We’ve got an outstanding team of rugby experts lined up for The Varsity Matches 2022, which will be aired on Freesports and live-streamed (more info here) this Saturday at 12.30pm (Women’s) and 3.30pm (Men’s), respectively.
Among the expert panellists providing pre and mid-match analysis for the Women’s Varsity Match are Rachael Burford, Alice Middleton and Amy Wilson-Hardy.
Harlequins centre Burford will take part in the expert panel and also join Simon Ward in the commentary box, bringing unique insight gained during a glittering career that includes four Rugby World Cups, which featured England’s historic win in 2014. Away from her successes on the pitch, Rachael co-founded the Girls Rugby Club, a new global coaching platform specifically designed for girls. Burford is a staple in the women’s premiership and has been one of the most successful players to transition to broadcasting.
Alice Middleton enjoyed an absolute dream outing in her first Women’s Varsity Match. Not content with a hat-trick of tries, including one from 50 yards out, she also added 12 points with the boot before picking up the medal for player-of-the-match. Twelve months later she was named captain of the side. Sadly, Cambridge couldn’t repeat their thumping victory from the year before but Middleton’s epic solo score in 2015 helped to ignite the Women’s Varsity Match in its new home at Twickenham.
After Cambridge Middleton moved to Bristol Bears having completed her studies to become a doctor (which she completed in addition to her previous qualification as a dentist). During 2019-2020 she worked with COVID patients as a junior doctor and has a long term career plan to become a head and neck surgeon.
Amy Wilson-Hardy is one of the most exciting players on the 7s circuit, having represented Team GB at back to back Olympic Games and picking up a medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Equally adept at 15s, Wilson-Hardy has also represented England at the Rugby World Cup and starred for Bristol Bears and now Wasps. After much uncertainty during lockdown, Amy was announced as one of the England Sevens contracted players, as the RFU revived the team.
Although a Bath University graduate, this is her second year being involved in the Varsity Matches and was a lead speaker in a panel discussion on the growth of the women’s game sponsored by Jefferies earlier this yea
We are certain that these three distinguished women will provide invaluable insight into the excitement and drama as it unfolds on Saturday, 2 April!