The 136th Varsity Match and The 31st Women’s Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge are set to return to Twickenham, the home of England Rugby, on Thursday 7th December. Last year saw two of the most exciting matches in recent memory, with both Varsity titles changing hands from the 2015 matches. The Women’s Match was a nail-biting encounter which saw Oxford Women take home the title, with a single penalty from Catherine Wilcock the only score in a hard fought 3-0 encounter. The Men’s Match also saw a reversal of champions, with the Cambridge men ending a six year wait to claim the title with a famous victory. In what was a free flowing game with both teams scoring a brace of tries, it was the Light Blues who eventually came out on top finishing with a 23-18 triumph.
The 2017 matches are also set to be gripping encounters, with each of the squads boasting talent-filled sides which are sure to produce more high-quality rugby. Cambridge men will have Bristol full-back Charlie Amesbury on hand again as their newly appointed captain, with the Light Blues hoping that he will be able to put in a similarly dominating defensive performance in the back line. The Oxford men meanwhile will also have a strong presence at with Conor Kearns set to captain a side that will be out for revenge. Speaking on his appointment and his sides preparations, Kearns said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be elected as captain of OURFC for the upcoming Varsity Match campaign. When you look at the people who have gone before you and the tradition that is steeped in the club, it is a great source of inspiration. The work starts now. Although the player group varies extensively from year to year, it’s really important to lay down the foundations for next season by looking at younger players coming through and building a squad”
The Cambridge women will be hoping for a repeat of their 2015 display, as returning Blue Lara Gibson looks to lead her side to victory after tasting defeat last year, whilst their Dark Blue counterparts will look to double Blue Sophie Behan to lead from the front as she captains the side. Speaking on her election, Behan expressed what it means to her to be leading the charge for Oxford; ‘Being elected as the OURFC Women’s Captain for the coming season is an incredible privilege. I am joining the ranks of some formidable former captains who have left behind some very large shoes to fill, but I’m ready for the challenge. Having been on the pitch in 2015 when Cambridge won, last year’s win was that much sweeter. I am so proud to have been a part of that squad, who threw their hearts and souls into 80 minutes and came away with the trophy. Fingers crossed for a repeat this year.’
Relive all the action from last year’s clashes with the Official 2016 Varsity Match video: http://www.thevarsitymatch.com/news/watch-varsity-match-2016-official-video/
Further event and ticketing information to be announced in the coming weeks at www.thevarsitymatch.com/