Josh Beaumont is a fine example of someone who took the ‘alternative’ route to the top of the tree in rugby, by choosing University over an academy contract at the age of 18, in his case it was Durham University, but there are many other examples of players who have taken the education route rather than putting all their eggs in the rugby basket and still go on to achieve their rugby dream.
Since 2010 we have seen the following players leave OURFC with an Oxford Degree and enter the professional rugby arena:
Oliver Tomaszczyk (Jersey), Alex Cheesman (Cornish Pirates), Tom Mitchell (England 7’s Captain), Will Rowlands (Wasps), Stuart Commins (Ealing Trailfinders), Sam Egerton (England 7’s), Gus Jones (London Welsh), Ian Williams (RGC)
University rugby is still very relevant in today’s rugby landscape and is massive contributor to keeping players in the game in the critical 18 – 24 year old age category, with many universities, including both Oxford and Cambridge, running highly organised and robust inter-mural competitions not only in the 15 a-side game but also 7’s and touch too. This is not just restricted to the men’s game, as women’s rugby continues to grow the student game becomes ever more relevant as a pathway for young women to reach the top of the game, and wit the England Women’s 7’s programme now being professional, provide a career opportunity too.
To read the full story of Josh Beaumont’s rise to the top, please click through the link below.