Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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7 May 2009 | PR/48

Students to take on England Under-20 in World Champ warm-up

Loughborough Students will play England’s under-20 rugby team next Wednesday (13 May) as the national side makes its final preparations for next month’s IRB Junior World Championship in Japan.

The match kick starts England’s week-long training camp at the University and provides a valuable warm-up fixture for a side looking to improve on their second place finish at last year’s Championship.

For Loughborough the match marks the climax of an impressive season that has seen them finish in the top half of National Three North in their first year at that level.

“The match is a great opportunity for our lads to test themselves against the best players in the country,” said Loughborough director of rugby Alan Buzza. “All the players in the England side are professional players with Premiership experience. It’s a big challenge but we’re hoping a vocal home crowd will get behind us and urge the team on.”

England Under-20 head coach Mark Mapletoft, a former Loughborough sports science student, named his 26-man squad last week which included eight returning players who lost out to New Zealand in the 2008 final.

“This is an exciting squad to be involved with and we have the talent, experience and ambition in the group to mount a really strong challenge for the world title in Japan this summer,” said Mapletoft.

“Everyone in the squad for this tournament has made an impact in the Premiership this season or on dual-registration with National League clubs and that made selecting a squad of 26 a very tough task.”

Next Wednesday’s match kicks off at 7.30pm on the University 1st XV pitch. Gates open at 5.30pm with the community BOOST match starting at 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £8 per person or £20 for a family ticket for up to two adults and two children. Students and staff can buy tickets at the discounted rate of £6. The match is being played in memory of Loughborough student Dan James with donations going to Spinal Research.

Advance tickets can be bought at the University’s Sports Reception in person or by calling 01509 226250.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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