Your guide to the Varsity Match 2017

  • Women's Varsity match kicks off at 11.30am (Thursday, 7 December)
  • Men's match kicks off at 3pm
  • Buy tickets here 

The 31st women’s Varsity Match and 136th men’s Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities returns to Twickenham Stadium on Thursday, 7th December.

In the men's game Cambridge will be hoping to make it two wins on the bounce having ended Oxford's record run of six successive wins last year with a 23-18 victory. 

Meanwhile Oxford will be looking to defend their title in the women's match having beaten Cambridge 3-0 in last year's fixture. 

The Light Blues - Ones to Watch 

Keep an eye out for former England Sevens captain Ollie Phillips who will be hanging up his boots after the match, 17 years after playing his first game at Twickenham. 

Cambridge's Will Briggs will make Varsity Match history when he lines-up for a record seventh time in the Varsity Match. The 27-year-old Magdalene College medical student made his first appearance for the Light Blues in 2011. 

Cambridge will be captained by former Harlequins, Newcastle, Sale and Bristol back Charlie Amesbury who says his side are in a good place heading into the match. “We're building well and we're fully focused on the mission - which is to try and win the Varsity Match for the second successive year."

Cambridge will be hoping for a big performance from Alice Middleton who won the ‘Pegers-Bunting Award’ for Player of the Match in 2015 when her side won 52-0. 

Twins Fiona and Jenni Shuttleworth will feature for Cambridge in the women's game with former set to start in the back row while Jenni is amonst the replacements.

The Dark Blues - Ones to Watch 

Oxford skipper Conor Kearns is one of six former Blues in the starting fifteen, the Irishman is studying for a masters in Pharmacology and is the first Irish captain of the Dark Blues since Tyrone Howe in 1995. 

Canadian international Dan Moor features in the centres for Oxford, Moor has been capped 14 times for Canada. He will line up opposite Cambridge's number 13 Archie Russell, brother of Scottish fly-half Finn. Moor is joined by England Sevens player Sam Edgerley and ex-England Saxon flanker Andy Saull. 

On the bench Oxford have the former Heineken Cup winner Dom Waldouck who has relished the whole experienced of joining Oxford. "It has been a brilliant experience for me, i've really enjoyed being part of it. We have some exceptional and enthusiastic players so we can't wait."

Oxford women's skipper Sophie Behan is hoping to sign-off her Women’s Varsity Match career with another win following last year's 3-0 win. She is one of eight returning Blues in the starting fifteen. 

Full back Sophie Trott may well be Oxford's key player. Trott, who was named Player of the Match last season, has been central to Oxford's recent success under guidance of former England head coach Gary Street.

Facts and Stats 

  • Cambridge's men are hoping to make it 63 wins from 136 matches with Oxford having won 59 games
  • The first men's Varsity Match was in 1872 and 14 have ended in a draw
  • The first women's Varsity Match was played in 1988
  • Oxford have won 19 of the 30 women's matches including 13 in a row between 1989 - 2001

Teams

Men's: 

How to follow 

  • You can still buy tickets to watch both matches live at Twickenham. Tickets are on sale here 
  • The women's match will be available on the BBC via the red button from 11.25
  • The men's match will be on BBC Two from 2.25
  • UniLad will be streaming both matches live on Facebook
  • You can also follow live updates from @VarsityMatch and reaction on @EnglandRugby
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