The Varsity Matches return to the home of England rugby this spring. Oxford and Cambridge will resume their iconic rivalry at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 25th March 2023, in partnership with global investment banking firm Jefferies.
151 years after the first Varsity Match, where Oxford defeated Cambridge at The Parks, Oxford in 1872, the Battle of the Blues will recommence with the Light Blue Women and the Dark Blue Men holding the coveted bragging rights over their respective arch-rivals. When the teams meet on the 25th March, the matches will kick off at noon.
The last contest, the first weekend match between the sides in 75 years, saw Oxford’s men defeat their Cambridge counterparts 21-17 in a fiercely contested match, after the women had battled it out in a 10-10 draw.
Former England fly-half Toby Flood, currently studying an Executive MBA at Queens’ College, has been named captain of Cambridge men having made his Varsity Matches debut in 2022. PhD Chemistry student, Emilia Bushrod, captains the Light Blue women with the aim of narrowing the 21-13 series score against their Oxford counterparts.
For Oxford, Australian front-rower Tom Osborne, studying for an MPhil in Economics, hopes to lead his side to within one win of levelling the all-time series, which Cambridge lead 64-62. Former Worcester Warriors academy player, Lauren Webb, studying Law at Corpus Christi College, is looking to regain the trophy for Oxford as captain of the Dark Blue women.
Jefferies, the largest independent, global, full-service investment banking firm, continues its partnership with The Varsity Matches as title sponsor for the second year running. The partnership will continue to drive further engagement in gender diversity, LGBTQ+ awareness and social change.
Ed Keen, Head of Equities EMEA at Jefferies, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with The Varsity Matches, which is already helping create a platform to engage with important social issues that resonate across sport and banking. Jefferies is proud to support a historic fixture that celebrates and promotes not only sporting excellence, but diversity and inclusion in sport. We also look forward to seeing what this year’s matches have in store!”
Rhino, official suppliers to England Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union and the British & Irish Lions, will once again support both sides, including by providing the official match ball.
Reg Clark, CEO of Rhino, said: “We’re now in our sixth year of the partnership with The Varsity Matches and it’s always a brilliant occasion for everyone involved, but we feel this is going to be the greatest so far. We’re expecting big things from all four teams this year.”
Varsity Matches Board Member, Christina Haddad, said: “We have assembled an exceptional group of partners to host this year’s fixtures at Twickenham. A lot of time has been spent listening to our audience, and it’s clear that spectators welcome the move to a weekend in spring. With this adjustment and with the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, the Varsity Matches are returning to the home of England rugby bigger and better than ever. We are looking forward to welcoming the crowds back on March 25th to back the Blues as they fight it out once more in this centuries-old rivalry.”
Tickets will go on sale 14 November, 2022, and will be available through Ticketmaster, the RFU, and Oxford and Cambridge University Rugby Clubs. Follow The Varsity Matches on Facebook/varsitymatches, Instagram@varsitymatches, Twitter @varsitymatches, and on the website at thevarsitymatches.com for announcements.