CURUFC's Varsity match will be held on 4th July.Wikimedia

Earlier on this year we were faced with uncertainty on whether any Cambridge teams would be able to go forward with their annual Varsity matches against Oxford. Now, with a government approved plan for the next six months, CURUFC look ahead to the 4th July, when they will come head to head with the dark blues.

“CURUFC look ahead to the 4th July, when they will come head to head with the dark blues.”

CURUFC was founded in 1872, the year that the first Varsity Match was played against Oxford. The men’s squads are divided into Blues, LX Club and Under 20s. As of 2020, there have been 138 Varsity matches played – with Cambridge rightly taking the lead against Oxford 64-60 and 14 matches drawn.

The CURUFC Women’s side was founded in 1988 and has two teams: the Blues and the Tigers (Women’s Second XV). Both of these teams compete in the BUCS Premier South League and will have the chance for a Varsity match this year too.

It’s the goal of all Cambridge rugby players to participate in a Varsity match – in the 2019-20 season there were seven matches played at varying levels with 100 players earning the honour of competing with Oxford. These matches usually take place at Twickenham in early December with the men’s and women’s Blues attracting 25,000 spectators and a television audience across the globe. While the location is still unconfirmed for the postponed summer date, there is hope that there will be a chance for some spectators too.

With organised outdoor sport permitted to restart from March 29th and Easter term stretching from April 27th to June 18th, it appears there is ample time for both teams to prepare for the match and return to a sufficient standard of fitness. Of course, after a season suppressed by the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, one of the most important things for the squad is to ensure that they are fit and safe to play.

Captain of CURUFC, Stephen Leonard, told Varsity: “the guys have been working incredibly hard on their own, and recently working in pairs where possible, and are excited to be able to get back into training.” Without much match time in the past months, he acknowledged that “there is no getting around the fact things will be difficult for the players” but that they are viewing it as a new challenge they are excited to overcome. Now that there is a possible end goal in sight, Leonard explained that everyone is desperate for the Varsity match to be played and to be won.


Mountain View

Training in lockdown

The Women’s match will also be planned on the same day and Leonard highlighted, “after the years of work that had been put in to rightfully give the two matches equal weight, we’re continuing to try to keep both teams playing on the same day and at the same venue”.

It can be very demoralising for a squad to train apart without real hope for an end target so hopefully now, with a date in sight, the squad can look forward to the summer and bring victory home. GDBO.