rugby

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The Independent Culture
There's not a lot of point going to Twickenham this weekend - tickets for the England v France game were sold out months ago. An interesting variant, though, might be to settle for the armchair option tomorrow, while spending this evening taking a glimpse at rugby's future down at Blackheath at 6.30pm, where England Students take on their French counterparts.

Though the side is put together more to represent the student body than to play a specific role in the development of the international side, there is a strong tradition of student players going on to the full England team - (clockwise from top left) Kyran Bracken, Tim Rodber, Ben Clarke and Brian Moore of the current pack, for example.

The French take things as seriously, and beat New Zealand to win the Student World Cup in Italy two years ago. They also beat England in Paris last year (the Student Games shadow the Five Nations programme) but the English may draw some encouragement from the beating Wales Students handed out to France in Paris a fortnight ago.

With most of England's players belonging to Divison One sides, the standard should be exacting and the rugby thrilling.

See listings for details

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