Roff set to call it a day
December 5, 2007
Australian World Cup winner Joe Roff will ring the final bell on his glittering career when he leads Oxford out in tomorrow's Lehman Brothers Varsity Match.
And the 32-year-old former Wallabies wing is happy to bow out at Twickenham, where Oxford face a Cambridge side seeking a hat-trick of Varsity victories.
Roff, capped 86 times by Australia and a member of their 1999 World
He played in last year's 15-6 defeat, but now has a chance to make amends before concentrating on finishing his studies.
Roff said: ``Last year's Varsity was a very special highlight in my career
``It is going to be my last game, and I can't think of a better way to
``My wife has told me to stop embarrassing myself and hang up my boots, and to be able to finish on the Twickenham stage is a good way to go out.''
Roff scored an impressive 30 Test tries before retiring from international rugby in 2004, but despite gracing rugby at the highest level, tomorrow's student showpiece is an occasion he will relish.
``There is something very special about the Varsity match,'' he told the
``It is still one of the most important games in world rugby.''
Results this season would suggest Oxford start as favourites, having won 10 of their 12 fixtures, with only Northampton and the Ospreys toppling them.
The talented Oxford squad boasts plenty of Varsity Match Experience, with 10 players from the squad having played in this famous fixture before.
History however favours Cambridge, who are 59-52 ahead in the Varsity series and are finishing the term strongly, reeling off four successive wins following a poor start to the campaign.
The Light Blues will be captained by former Bristol and Bath scrum-half Ross Blake, while ex-Leicester back Ross Broadfoot wears the number 10 shirt, forming a formidable halfback pairing.
Teams for the 126th Lehman Brothers Varsity Match, Oxford versus Cambridge, Twickenham, tomorrow, 4pm.
Oxford: C Mahony (Keble); J Boto (University), E Sadden (Keble), J Roff (Harris Manchester, capt), T Tombleson (Wolfson); C McMahon (Linacre), B McKerchar (Keble); R Allhusen (Linacre), D Rosen (Worcester), R Lutton (Linacre), J Chance (Kellogg), D Alexander (Templeton), P Wright (University), S Ackroyd (Keble), A Jackson (St Anne's).
Replacements: W Cowie (Keble), K Davis (Linacre), R Matthews (Wadham), B Payne (St Peter's), T Henry (Linacre), P Clarke (St Cross), T Gregory (Kellogg).
Cambridge: H Murray (Eddies); A Stevenson (St Catharine's), C Lewis (St Catharine's), S Reid (St Johns), J Wellwood (St Edmund's); R Broadfoot (Hughes Hall), R Blake (Hughes Hall, capt); A Fitzpatrick (Gonville and Caius), J Clark (St Edmund's), J Dawson (St Edmund's), T Boynton (Hughes Hall), J Blaikie (Hughes Hall), R Bartholomew (Jesus), J Wheeler (St Edmund's), J Lumby (Hughes Hall).
Replacements (from): A Reddy (Trinity), P Crossley (Homerton), L Pilbeam (Trinity), T Malaney (St Edmund's), J Astbury (Hughes Hall), J Fiori (Jesus), T Basey (Hughes Hall), J Greenwood (Hughes Hall).
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry