The Captains of the rugby league clubs at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge came together yesterday (21 Feb) to challenge each other for the right to lift the Pcubed Rugby League Varsity Match trophy at the upcoming Battle of the Blues on Friday 3 March.
Held at Pcubed’s offices in the City of London, Oxford’s captain and scrum-half Jordan Ayling (Magdalen College, Chemistry) and Cambridge’s loose-forward and captain Miles Huppatz (Downing College, Geography) were joined by Old Boys, sponsors and select guests to discuss the encounter.
Both captains certainly demonstrate the tenacity required to skipper their charges, both having succeeding gaining places at Oxbridge after been unsuccessful at the first time of asking. They lead clubs that have a mix of experience and youth in their squads, with Cambridge having had three players selected to play representative rugby league this year, and Oxford drawing on two sides in the same league and a run-in to Varsity of four games in nine days.
It waits to be seen if 360 minutes of rugby league so close to Varsity proves costly to Oxford; it arguably provides Cambridge with a great opportunity to best their Dark Blue counterparts for the first time since 2009.
Both captains recognise the platform on which they are playing, and note that for many it will be the biggest stage on which they will perform in their rugby careers. The game will be played in front of over 700 at the Honourable Artillery Company, with students, Oxbridge alumni, City sport and rugby league fans joining Pcubed, other sponsors and their guests at what is one of the biggest sporting occasions in the Oxbridge calendar.
Tickets for the game are on sale, and a few places remain for the pre-match hospitality with England and Great Britain legend Jamie Peacock MBE.