Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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14 March 2007 PR 07/32

Loughborough rugby team seeking to clinch promotion this weekend

Loughborough University director of rugby Alan Buzza’s frown lines decreased on Wednesday after his side beat Cardiff 43 – 22 in a British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) match.

“One down, one to go,” said Buzza after his side won the match, the first of two crucial games within three days, to advance to the BUSA quarter-finals.

“Now we just have to concentrate on winning the league and getting promoted, then we can put all of our effort for the rest of the season into making sure we win the BUSA title for the third successive year.”

Loughborough are leading the Midlands Division 2 and face second-placed Matlock at home on Saturday, with a win ensuring the student side are promoted to the first division next season – one of the key goals Buzza set the team before the season began.

“Because of the number of fixtures we play each year, we’ve had to manage the way we play in both the league and in BUSA.

“We have used primarily first team players in the league games, while the second XV have mostly played in the BUSA competition.

“Of course with injuries and other factors that situation is incredibly fluid and it helps that we have such amazing depth across both teams that enable us to slot players, who have mostly played in BUSA, into league matches and have them perform so well.”

Loughborough have lost just one of their matches in the league this season and while Buzza wants to ensure promotion on Saturday against Matlock, the team can still go up with victory in either of their final two league matches.

“We are still in contention even if we lose on Saturday but we are expecting to win and we can then begin to rotate in a few more of our first XV players into the BUSA squad.

“That will take a lot of pressure off both squads, particularly since we have such a hard run after that in BUSA with a quarter-final away against the winner of the Leeds v Exeter match.

“If we win that, then we would have our semi-final at a neutral venue before the final at Twickenham on April 25, which is a fantastic day out and one we expect to be at.”

ENDS

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Notes to editors
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 in the top five 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.

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