Varsity rivalries set to resume battle
December 5, 2012
Oxford celebrate their 2011 triumph over old rivals Camabridge at Twickenham © PA Photos
One of rugby's oldest rivalries will resume at Twickenham on Thursday when Oxford come face-to-face with Cambridge in the 131st Varsity Match.
Cambridge lead the all-time standings with 61 wins compared to Oxford's 55 but the Light Blues have struggled in recent years with Oxford having won the last two of the annual clashes. Former Sale Sharks flanker John Carter skippered Oxford to a 28-10 victory last year - complete with an impressive black eye - and he will captain the side once again this season but they will be without last year's Man of the Match and try-scorer Karl Outen.
Ahead of Thursday's match, Oxford have named a squad consisting of eight Blues and their party also boasts a number of charges who have top-flight experience. Alongside Carter, they have also called on the expertise of ex-London Wasps prop Bob Baker and former London Wasps and Dragons back-rower Gus Jones.
The Dark Blues have experienced some mixed form in the run-up to this clash having won just two of their matches this term. But that record is perhaps unfair on the face of it when you consider that their opponents have included Russia and the Northampton Saints. They will come into this clash on the back of a morale-boosting win over National League One side Esher last month.
Cambridge have won six matches this term but have also struggled against more seasoned opponents with Saracens having got the better of them - but they did beat National One sides Blackheath and Ealing. They too have called on a number of former Blues with seven included in their squad while Rob Malaney skippers the team from blindside.
Oxford University: S Egerton (Adams' GS and Keble); H Lamont (Cranleigh School and New), C Bramham-Law (Magdelen College School and Hertford ), G Turner (King Edward VI School, Southampton and Kellogg), O Vallance (Dulwich College and St Edmund Hall); J Hudson (International School of Geneva and Lincoln), S Commins (Bishops School, Cape Town and Kellogg); L Anderson (Bexley GS and University), N Gardner (Magdalen College School and Lincoln), B Baker (Aylesbury GS and Kellogg), J Law (Jesuit HS, California and Kellogg), W Rowlands (Rugby School and Pembroke), A Waddingham (The Kings School, Macclesfield and Kellogg), J Harris (Eltham College and Kellogg), J Carter (Shrewsbury School and Kellogg - captain).
Replacements: J Wisson (Dulwich College and St Anne's), J Direen (Christchurch Boys HS and Kellogg), M Rickner (Wallington GS and St Anne's), G Jones (Eton College and St Catherine's), C Marr (King's College, Taunton and Trinity), H Hughes (Peter Symonds College and Magdalen), H Cho (Eton College and Brasenose), H Macdonald (Leeds GS and Wadham).
Cambridge University: R Stephen (Kings School, Canterbury and King's); A Murdoch (The Kings School, Grantham and Homerton), D Holmes (Loughborough GS and Hughes Hall), D Bain (Brisbane GS and Jesus), W Smith (Whitgift School and Girton); A Abraham (Lancaster RGS and Homerton), S Tullie (Bradford GS and Emmanuel); W Briggs (Bedford School and Magdelene), P Mallaband (British School of Brussels and Emmanuel), S Brown (Lancaster RGS and Clare), N Brakeley (Dartmouth College, New Hampshire and St Edmund's), S Annett (Methodist College, Belfast and Clare), R Malaney (Hale School and St Edmunds - captain), H Kelly (KCS Wimbledon and St John's). M Steele (Dame Alice Owens and St Edmunds).
Replacements: R Cowan (St Paul's School Barnes and Pembroke), N Marshall (Magdelen College School and Trinity), F Sanders (Oundle School and Magdelene), M Mather (KCS Wimbledon and Downing), O Wolfe (Oakham School and Christ's), K Cook (Queen Elizabeth Hospital School and Hughes Hall), I Cherezov (Bedford School and St John's), K Hegarty (Colaiste au Chraoibhin, Cork and Fitzwilliam)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games