Originally from Preston, Halstead (seen above playing in red for England Universities) played junior rugby league at Leyland Warriors, Bamber Bridge and Thatto Heath before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University during which he played for OURLFC in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Pcubed Rugby League Varsity Matches. Now reading for a Masters in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, Halstead was successful in gaining selection through a process started in January this year.
Participation in the squad is self-funded and the entire squad has been working hard to fundraise ahead of the tournament, which kicks off at the start of July.
On being selected, Halstead said “I am honoured to be selected in the England Universities squad for the 2017 Student Rugby League World Cup. It is every lad’s dream to represent their country and we now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go and beat the Aussies in their own back yard. The only remaining challenge is to raise the tournament fees to make sure I am on that plane.”
Halstead, teaches at Harrow School in north London has donated his time and expertise to those who might be able to support his trip. He added “I didn’t want to just take people’s money so have decided to give something back to a cause that is very dear to me. For each £100 donated, I will give an hour of my time to mentoring children from disadvantaged areas, like the one I myself am from, to help them get into top universities. It is my belief that those with talent shouldn’t be held back by their financial situation.
“I would like to take this moment to thank all those across the country who have donated so far, and express my gratitude to the rugby league community in particular for their support. Anything you can spare would be massively appreciated.”
If you would like to contribute to Josh’s campaign, visit https://www.gofundme.com/JoshuaHalstead. The deadline for fundraising is 29 June.
To see the current crop of Light and Dark Blues, the 2018 Rugby League Varsity Match is taking place on Friday 2 March at the Honourable Artillery Company. Tickets are on sale now.