Princeton hosted the Oxford University Rugby Football Club as part of their US pre-season tour to prepare for the 2017 “Varsity Match” played against Cambridge University. This year’s Varsity match will be played on December 7th in London at the world-famous Twickenham stadium.
OURFC came to town following a stay with Harvard University and a 31-20 victory over men’s club Mystic River in Boston on September 10, 2017. They did a stint in New Haven with Yale before coming south to Princeton as the final preparation for their second match against the USA All-American team in Philadelphia on September 16.
The Oxford tour website summarized the team’s Ivy stays, “The touring party arrived in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, following an intensive week of training, sightseeing and socializing at the three prestigious Ivy League Universities of Harvard, Yale and Princeton whose hospitality towards OURFC showed no bounds. Use of the excellent ‘athletic’ facilities at all three campuses, meant the squad were as well prepared as they could be…” The OURFC report continued, “Spending only 24 hours at Princeton meant we didn’t really have the chance to sink our teeth into the surroundings but we had a great time staying with the rugby boys there. We arrived and got straight into training with their team. Time with our billets in the evening gave a chance to go to the eating clubs at Princeton which are similar to colleges in a setting just like the typical leafy college streets in suburbia.”
The training session with players from both the OURFC Blues and PURFC at Rickerson Field consisted of several practice sets before three short segments of controlled scrimmages. The scrimmages were officiated by PURFC graduate and rugby referee Chris Green ’12. Thanks to Chris for his participation in the practice as well as his overview of the new rugby law changes.
OURFC went on to defeat the All-Americans in a tight match 20-18. They have moved on to West Point to stay with the Army Rugby Football Club and will conclude the competitive side of their campaign with a game against Old Blue Men’s Club in New York City on September 22.
The Oxford University Rugby Club was founded in 1869 and has a rich history. Their team is now captained by Conor Kearns and is comprised of rugby players from the 33 different Oxford Colleges. It was a pleasure hosting OURFC and we look forward to planning a future tour over to the Oxford campuses so that PURFC can see some of their new friends and experience the hospitality of the Oxford team. We wish the Blues the best of luck in their upcoming December Varsity Match against Cambridge.