Blues showcase home talent

Click to follow
The Independent Online

For a British tradition the Varsity Match has proved something of a shop window for overseas - southern hemisphere - players. True Brits have been the exception rather than the rule in both camps.

For a British tradition the Varsity Match has proved something of a shop window for overseas - southern hemisphere - players. True Brits have been the exception rather than the rule in both camps.

This year, that trend has diminished somewhat and both Oxford and Cambridge - current holders of the MMC Trophy - step out at Twickenham this afternoon with far fewer Antipodeans in their ranks than has been the case in the past.

The Dark Blues' director of rugby, Steve Hill, said: "I am very keen to bring through the best of the young British and Irish players, and I think the university should be playing its role for the country."

Tony Rodgers, in his 25th season in charge at Cambridge, agrees, but said: "It is not a conscious policy with us. Anybody who applies has a chance of getting in. It just so happens that we have had fewer players from overseas applying for places."

As a result, Rodgers explained: "We have a greater proportion of British and Irish players."

Today represents a big chance for those British and Irish players on show to strut their stuff and strike a blow for the amateur game. Critics of this fixture are likely to be denied further ammunition to knock it yet again by the players going out, enjoying themselves and entertaining the enthusiastic crowd.

Comments