Future Blues? Varsity inspiration at the home of rugby

QE’s youngest rugby players enjoyed an opportunity to sample the famous Varsity Match at Twickenham, the English home of the sport.

The 37 Year 7 boys relished their day among the 25,000 spectators at the historic annual fixture between Oxford and Cambridge universities.

PE teacher Luke Jacobs said: “For most in the group, it was their first experience of Twickenham. We hope it has inspired them that they could one day be running out on the hallowed turf wearing the Blue of Oxford or Cambridge.”

The ranks of Old Elizabethan Oxford or Cambridge Rugby Blues include Edward Andrews (OE 1996-2003), who played for Cambridge in its victory over Oxford in 2006.

""On arrival, the Year 7 boys were given time to explore the stadium and take in the atmosphere of a day that is steeped in tradition. The match was first played in 1872 and, with interruptions only for the two world wars, has been played ever since. It first took place at Twickenham in 1921.

A women’s Varsity Match was first played in 1998. This was the second year that it has taken place at Twickenham on the same day as the men’s game.

""“The boys were treated to two games of rugby that varied in style,” reports Mr Jacobs. “First was the women’s fixture, which proved to be a cagey affair and a battle of attrition in which Oxford made a record-breaking 236 tackles. It finally ended in a narrow 3-0 victory to Oxford.  The men’s match proved to be a higher-scoring spectacle, ending in a close 23-18 win for Cambridge. The boys seemed to appreciate the hard-hitting tackling coming in from both sides.

“I am sure the day’s events will last long in the memory of the players we invited: although tired after a long day, on the coach journey back to School they were clearly inspired both for their own forthcoming fixtures and for their longer-term rugby-playing careers.”