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RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford in shape for big clash
OXFORD University rugby league captain Hugo Fearon says his players are ready to peak at the right time for tomorrow’s Varsity Match.
The Dark Blues take on Cambridge at the Honourable Artillery Company Ground in London at 3.30pm. Oxford have won the last three clashes and Fearon is hoping for four in a row.
“The team’s looking really sharp,” said Fearon, whose side beat Oxford Brookes 16-4 in their traditional derby clash on Friday.
“This term, fixtures have been pretty irregular with the weather and teams pulling out last minute from playing us.
“But the amount of training and fitness work we’ve done hasn’t faltered and the boys are showing all the signs of peaking at the right time.”
Just like in the rugby union clash, Oxford’s season will be defined by their result against the Light Blues.
“We can be proud of what we achieved in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition and the floodlit match against Brookes is another season-defining moment,” said Fearon.
“But, ultimately we’d trade it all to make sure we beat Cambridge.
“The rivalry is unique and extremely intense and nothing less than a win will do.”
Fearon also wants to make the most of the semi-professional Oxford Rugby League club coming to Iffley Road.
He said: “Having rugby league of such a high standard in the city at the historic Iffley Road stadium will draw talented players either as students or as athletes.
“The reciprocal benefits of shared training expertise and personnel can only bring exceptional benefits to the game in both the city and the university.”
Oxford squad: Bremridge, Cox, Jones, Shipman, Barber, Whittaker, Baker, Jagoe, Smith, Fearon (capt), Reavley, Saundry, Claxton, Hiron, Bonnell, Cole, Hatfield, Williamson, McKenna.