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Varsity Matches Preview | Where to Watch

Saturday 2nd March sees the The Women’s 36th Varsity Match, kicking off at 12pm. The Men’s 141st Varsity Match will kick off at 3pm. Both of these matches are held at StoneX Stadium and tickets are still available here.

Women's Match Preview:

Women's Captain Sophie Shams has named a relatively settled 23 with a vast armoury of talent and experience to take on the light blue of Cambridge. Here is the starting Forward pack, Back line and match day substitutes.

The front row combination of Kit Levenson, Zed Nott and Amber Wilkins bring a wealth of experience to the match with all three of them having earned their Blues last year. This trio will certainly be relishing the set piece and physical battle. In the 'engine room' returning Blues Tolu Duckworth and Zoe Guy bring go forward when carrying the ball and explosive dominance in defence. At number 6 Hannah Riches will be in her fourth year with the club having being awarded a winning Blue last year off the bench and has been on fine form this season. At open-side, Caity Watson will be looking to showcase her talent across numerous sports and is a real threat to the opposition ball. At Number 8, last year's victorious captain Lauren Webb will be looking to sign off in style as she earns her third and final Blue for OURFC.

In the backs, England U20 number 9 Alex Wilkinson will showcase her fine skill set and bring her Premiership experience to help control the game. At Fly Half, Stella Farmer will put her footballing skills on display with a strong array of kicks to choose from, making her a real threat in attack. In the centres, captain Sophie Shams returns to her former Premiership home, having been part of the Saracens squad in the Premiership. She is partnered by Grace Gibson who returns having unfortunately missed out on Blues selection last year due to injury. The back three sees the electric trio of Lily-Mae Phillips, Lilla Berry and Emma Jones. Lily-Mae will bring elusive running and boundless energy to proceedings. Lilla is a real talent in many sports and she will be looking to showcase her athletic talent on both sides of the ball. Full Back, Emma Jones is no stranger to the Varsity Match having worn the Light Blue of Cambridge previously.

The bench is packed with talent. The front row trio of Michele Szegda, Anna Jay and Olivia Brown are set to make a huge impact with both Olivia and Anna having learnt the game at Oxford. Michele will be looking to earn her first Blue having been part of the US National Championship team at West Point. Returning Blue Clara Strømsted will bring experience to the Second-Row. George Close-Smith covers the back row having been a standout performer in last years Panthers Varsity match. The back replacements of Beth Thomas, Madison Quig and Amelie Harris-Lovett are set to influence the game from the bench having all previously played other sports to high levels.

Men's Match Preview:

Men's Captain Jack Glover names a strong Men's Blues team to take on Cambridge. In the Forward pack, 31 cap Wallaby Tom Robertson forms an incredibly strong front row partnering his fellow Australian and Western Force Hooker in Harry Scoble. Next to the two Australians, is returning Blue, Mike Fankah who impressed with his strong scrummaging in last year's Varsity Match. In the second-row the physically imposing duo of Seth Dockery and former Exeter University 1st XV player Matt Cook partner each other adding much ballast to the pack. In the Back row there is a real balance of both experience and playing styles. At 6, Ed Blake brings more size and experience to the fray, having already achieved two Blues. At open-side one of the most impressive performers of the season brings fresh energy in the form of Zenden Rozenbroek. Pinning the whole pack together at number eight is captain Jack Glover, who bring his pace and leadership to the team, picking up his second Blue in the process.

In the Back Line, the Australian flavour continues at half back with the New South Wales pairing of Jack Hamilton and Archie King bringing game understanding and the Australian flair to the party. In the centres we see the returning Blue partnership of Luke Wyllie and Harry Bridgewater, who will be relishing the opportunity to inject their physicality on the game. The back three contains a raft of experience and flair in equal measure. Scotland schoolboy international, Hector Skipworth will be looking to get his hands on the ball early and show his pace on the artificial surface. Fifth Year Medic tom Mewes brings a wealth of experience to the other wing having come through the club in his early years to earn his first Blue in last year's match. At Full Back, Sam Reynolds is looking to sign off in style as he earns his third and final Blue.

Off the Bench The front row replacements are Joel Anjorin looking to earn his first Blue. Noah Zenios who will be earning his second Blue and Harry Pratt who's brother lines up for Cambridge. Covering the back 5 of the scrum George Fowler and Otis Walker will most certainly bring an impact with their pace and physicality. The backs replacements of Vasco Faria, Ben Scher and Wolfe Morn are the definitive impact players and are sure to excite the fans with their combined skill sets.

StoneX Stadium timings

Where to watch:

You will be able to watch full coverage of both the Men’s and Women’s matches via;

  • The Varsity Matches Facebook page

  • The Varsity Matches YouTube page

  • The Varsity Matches Website

  • Oxford University Rugby Football Club Facebook page

You will also be able to watch on UK Broadcast via Viaplay on their OTT Platform live, or on Viaplay 1 from 22:00 on the 2nd March 2024.

For our overseas fans, you can catch the action on the following networks:

  • South & Pan Africa - Supersport, MNET & CSN

  • Portugal - Sport TV

  • Japan - Jsports

  • Poland - SportKlub

  • Canada - CBC

  • USA & Canada - For the Fans & Sport Tribal TV

  • Pan Middle East - Dubai Sports Channel

  • Hong Kong & China - Now TV

  • China, Taiwan & Hong Kong - Star Sports

  • Australia - Star Entertainment 

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