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Leicestershire, UK
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15 May 2012 | PR 12/89

Barbarians visit completes fine season for Loughborough Students

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Photo: Neil Plumb/Plumb Images

One of the biggest sporting names has visited campus to play a celebratory rugby match in the new Loughborough University stadium.

The Barbarians, coached by one of the University’s finest graduates Andy Robinson, played against Loughborough Students RFC - Champions of National League 2 North.

Despite the difficult weather conditions a large crowd turned out to watch both teams who were intent on playing running rugby.

The Barbarians took an early lead through former Great Britain rugby league centre Sean Long who crossed for a try.  Nottingham’s Japan international fly-half James Arlidge added the conversion.

Loughborough matched the Barbarians for almost 20 minutes before John Carter and Chris Budgen scored converted tries for the visitors.

However at the end of the first half Russell Weir, Loughborough’s scrum-half and captain, gave the home fans plenty to cheer about as he took a quick tapped penalty and scored a try. A conversion from Andy Hall took the half time score to Loughborough 7 Barbarians 21.

The second half saw great resistance from the Students before a second close-range try from Budgen proved decisive. Late tries from Phil Chesters and Ross Broadfoot gave the Barbarians a 40-7 win.

During the half time break the University was awarded with two accolades in recognition of the contribution that Loughborough has made to student rugby.

Ian Elvin, Chairman of the Students RFU, presented a silver salver for the outstanding contribution made by the club in volunteering through the BOOST project, as well as achievements in participation and performance.

Bob Reeves, Vice President of the Rugby Football Union, presented a plaque to recognise the all-round contribution that Loughborough has made to English rugby and for enhancing the image of university sport across the whole rugby community.

Speaking after the match Loughborough Students Head Coach Dave Morris said:

“It was very hard to play rugby in the weather tonight.  I’m disappointed to lose, but it was a fantastic occasion to play against the world famous Barbarians.

“It’s an awesome stadium with a real buzz about the place and lots of our old players coming back to support us tonight. We also had a real mix of the local community and students down here which we are keen to encourage and provide a great match day experience.

“It’s a great way to finish the season, and for some of the boys a fine way to end their University careers at Loughborough.  They have been tremendous and have left a real legacy in getting promotion.  It has been a really special season.”

Plans for the forthcoming 2012-13 season, in which the Students will play in National League 1 for the first time, are already in place.

As with previous years the Students will play teams in a higher division to prepare them for the season ahead. Pre-season matches will be played against teams in Championship such as Cornish Pirates, Nottingham, and newly promoted side Jersey.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough Students RFC pre-season fixtures 2012-13 season
11th August: Triangular with Cornish Pirates and Redruth (A). Kick Off: 3pm at Penzance
18th August: Nottingham (H) Kick Off: 3pm
25th August:  Jersey (A) Kick Off: 3pm

Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

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 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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