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This last month we visited the training grounds of Oxford and Cambridge to speak with some of the players ahead of the mouth-watering Varsity Matches taking place this weekend.

The journey to this moment has been long and littered with hard work both in the gym and on the field, and we wanted to get the inside scoop from those involved. From their preparation to the players to watch, read on below for a behind-the-scenes look at the Varsity Matches 2023.


The training that goes into getting the players ready for the big fixture is intense. Hours are spent in the gym priming their bodies for peak performance and on top of that are all the minutes spent out on the grass preparing tactics, plays and practising skills to help them defeat the opposing shade of blue come match day.

The graft that the players undergo includes a gruelling training programme. The players are pushed to the limit, but all the hard work is worth it when they finally get to run out on to the hallowed turf at Twickenham as they squeeze out every last bit of effort to get the win. 

The early mornings and late nights can certainly test the players, both mentally and physically, but the players all understand that it is a process and a journey that is necessary to help them achieve the right outcome. Knowing this allows the teams to buckle down and get through it. 

One’s To Watch:

During our time at Iffley Road and Grange Road, we also wanted to find out which players the fans should be casting their keen eyes upon at Twickenham, the standout stars who will get them off their seats!

From the Cambridge women’s team, it’s their skipper and scrum-half Emilia Bushrod who makes the team tick. Last year she starred as Cambridge retained the winning trophy despite the game ending in a draw, and Emilia will be looking to keep the silverware at Grange Road for another year. Meanwhile, from the men’s side, your eyes will be glued to Tomaso Castello, if he comes off the bench, who has represented Italy 18 times at the international level from the centre position. 

From the Oxford women’s team, Chloe-Marie Hawley is sure to draw the attention of the crowd due to her sporting prowess. Not only has she received her blue for rugby, but she also has one for football and basketball. And for the men’s team look no further than their bruising number 8 Piers Von Daelszen who has represented Canada on the international scene and is sure to make your jaw drop at the home of rugby. 

What’s Next:

We are less than a week away from this year’s Varsity Matches, get your tickets to witness the star players in action. Don’t miss out on the chance to see the birth of the matches’ next legends.