Oxford and Cambridge Universities have named their squads for this Friday’s Varsity clash at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.
The game is preceded by a hospitality lunch with Old Boys, Oxbridge Alumni, City professionals and Guest of Honour Martin Offiah MBE, the largest in the game’s recent history.
After a string of five victories over their Light Blue rivals, Oxford lead the series 17-16.
“We come into the Pcubed Rugby League Varsity Match as favourites but we know how formidable Cambridge can be,” said Oxford‘s Mark Davies.
“I am sure it must be hard to take to the field after recent results, but that will just make the Light Blues more determined.
“We’re certainly looking to cement our lead and make complete a set of six back-to-back victories – the first in Varsity’s history.”
Cambridge’s Harry Cozens added: “Cambridge know what it’s like to be part of a winning side. We saw five back-to-back victories in the late 1990s and held the lead for 22 years.
“I’m very pleased Oxford managed to address the gap between the clubs; it makes it more exciting for players and spectators
“It’s disappointing to lose a quality player in our co-captain for this period, however it gives an opportunity to one of our young London kids to step up.
“I will be evaluating the squad in the coming weeks and strengthening areas within the squad where needed. Hopefully Glenn Riley will be returning from injury soon to add some experience to the pack.”
Oxford (college in brackets):
Will Henshall (Wadham), Conor McCleary (Brasenose), Charlie Davies (New), Chris Mansfield (Jesus), Josh Marshall (St Cross), Crawford Matthews (St Antony’s), James Clark (Brasenose), Will Key (St Catherine’s), Sam Steinert (Keble), Leo Bentley (Somerville), Gareth Davies (captain) (Wadham), Tom Bradley (Queen’s).
Interchange: Mark Giza (Queen’s), Calum Lomas (St Hugh’s), Yoni Dennis (Wadham), Matt Lewis (Queen’s), Sam Bainbridge (St Catherine’s), Alex Babb (St Peter’s), Anthony Collias (Keble)
Cambridge (college in brackets):
William Wynell-Mayow (Clare) Saul Leisegang (Churchill), Ewan Smith (Churchill), Peter Shotton (Gonville and Caius), Anton Evans (Homerton), Craig Winfield (Selwyn), Max Burrows (Homerton), Harry Cozens (captain) (St John’s), Dougal Balfour (Downing), John Cormie (Hughes Hall), Tom Hughes (Wolfson), George Laing (Gonville and Caius), James Greenan-Barrett (Churchill)
Interchange: David Earnshaw (Sidney Sussex), Matt Commin (Robinson), Stuart King (Emmanuel), Nicky Watmore (Homerton)