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22 February 2006 PR 06/15

Loughborough gear up for showdown with Bath in second ‘Real’ Varsity Match

The UK’s two foremost university sporting rivals, Loughborough and Bath, will go head to head on Friday 17 March, for the second annual ‘Real’ Varsity Rugby Match.

The event, one of the newest fixtures on the British sporting calendar, was established last year to broaden awareness of university rugby and show just how high the standards of university sport are.

The inaugural match, held in Bath last February, saw Loughborough secure a 21-7 win in an entertaining encounter – a result which Loughborough’s Director of Rugby, Alan Buzza, hopes will inspire his side to a second victory.

“The ‘Real’ Varsity match will be a huge game, and an excellent marker
as to the favourites for the BUSA Championship this year,” comments Buzza.

“As reigning BUSA Champions Loughborough will enter as favourites, but one of the hallmarks of university rugby is the constantly changing personnel and so last year will effectively count for nothing. That said, we’ve got an excellent young squad, who’ll be keen to repeat last year’s success. A win on home soil would be brilliant, both for the players and the supporters – and given the traditional rivalry between Loughborough and Bath I’m sure the crowd will be in for some great rugby!”

Loughborough University’s rugby legacy is second to none. Many former students, who include such illustrious names as Sir Clive Woodward, Andy Robinson, Ben Kay and Ollie Smith, have gone on to play for, coach and even manage the national team.

Over the last eighteen months the Loughborough students’ team has benefited from several training sessions with the full England squad, who have utlised the University’s facilities for their autumn internationals and 6 Nations preparations.

Loughborough also has a formal link with Northampton Saints.

Tickets for the ‘Real’ Varsity match – priced £5 for adults and £3 for students/concessions – are on sale now, available from all Loughborough University sports facility receptions or by calling 01509 226250 or 01509 226200. The match will take place on the First XV Rugby Pitch, Loughborough University. Gates open at 5.30pm, kick-off at 7pm.

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For further information contact:

Notes to editors

  1. Members of the media are welcome at the match. Please contact Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, Loughborough University, T: 01509 222239, M: 07971 163522, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk, for further information.

  2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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