An excellent crowd is expected at Ifley Road, Oxford on Saturday for the U20 Varsity match.
Cambridge are looking to revenge their ‘Blues’ loss at Twickenham when they went down 12-6. Both teams are packed with former schoolboy talent many of whom have also represented Country and County at age group level as well as numerous Premiership Academies.
Cambridge is Captained from No.8 by ex RGS High Wycombe pupil Paddy Harlow who is one of the five Senior Squad members on the team sheet for Saturday. Indeed Cambridge’s starting fifteen has something of a British Isles theme with ex Llandovery College (Stephen Leonard), Merchiston (Dougal Balfour) and Hampton (Demitri Moros) players amongst the line-up alongside the Eroghogbo brothers from Sir Joseph William’s school. Cambridge’s last match was a good win over Buckingham University and they will be heading up the motorway with a high degree of confidence.
Oxford’s preparations included a bruising victory over Loughborough University 26-19 that has left them with a long injury list. The former Wellington College Captain, Will Wilson leads the Oxford team after gaining his first Blue in December as the youngest player at Twickenham. The man of the match that day was ex Cranleigh Winger Tom Stileman who has been in exceptional form all year. Oxford will be hoping their forwards can win Stileman some ball as his electric pace, intelligent running and sheer physicality has been the dread of many a defence.
Kick off for the U20s game is 12 noon – postcode is OX4 1SR. The Oxford Ladies ‘Panthers’ take on the Cambridge Ladies ‘Tigers’ at 2.30PM. Ifley road is a great location and I am sure the bar will be open well in advance.