This Saturday the Blood and Sand entertain Loughborough Students. We will hope to replicate the result from their last visit in 2012 - when we won 25-18. However such is the turnover of players that from the squad that ran out that day, only Mike Ayrton and Albert Portsmouth remain with Cambridge - and Loughborough being a student side have replaced their entire squad.
Loughborough have had a mixed start to the season, winning two games and losing two. The lost at Coventry, beat Hull Ionians at home and away at Blaydon and lost at home to Ampthill.
The University dates back to the formation for the Technical Institute in 1909. Under its first Principal Herbert Schofield it grew rapidly. It split off a Teacher Training College, a College of Art and Further Education College.
In 1953, Herbert Haslegrave took over as Principal of the then College of Technology. Herbert was an apprentice a English Electric, he did a distance degree at London before winning a scholarship to Trinity Hall, where he got a first in Mathematics. Under his leadership the college gained the status of a College of Advanced Technology.
In 1963 the Robbins report proposed increasing the number of Universities - so all the CATs become Universities. Loughborough University of Technology has since absorbed the Teacher Training College and the Arts College - so it dropped the "of Technology" description.
From the start, the colleges have supported sporting excellence. Rugby has been played at Loughborough since 1919. The college side was admitted to the UAU in 1931 - despite not being a university. There is a complex history - due to the Until 1976 there were separate teams - but since then it has been a single club.
The Students Union represents all students in Loughborough, including those at the Technology and RNIB colleges. Which is one of the reasons it owns its own lands and buildings separately from the University - a status it claims to be unique.
The Men's Rugby XV were offered a place at level 4 of the leagues when they were introduced, but turned it down. They finally joined in 1996 but were placed at the bottom of the pyramid. Many promotions followed with them reaching National 1 in 2012.
The Students also have a midweek team - effectively their seconds - that plays in the BUCS league. The vagaries of scheduling meant that they visited Cambridge to face the Light Blues on Wednesday in a friendly. The visitors proved too strong and won 5-38. We shall have to hope the Blood and Sand do better against the Saturday side at Volac Park.
So come down to Volac Park and cheer on the Blod and Sand in their battle against the African Violet.
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Volac Park played host to two of England's coaches last night as our prize for Albert Portsmouth's try that was judged to have won the Samsung Try of the Season.
The evening hosted by Ugo Monye, involved Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard taking Mini and Youth teams through their paces before emparting their extensive technical knowledge on the senior teams preparing for this weekend's encounters.
The event then wrapped up with the Q&A session in the Turnstone suite.
Thanks to Jonathan Woods who organised the smooth running of the event.
A warm welcome to the 2016/17 season. As your new President, I would like to pay tribute to Alan Banks and thank him for his stewardship of the club since 2010. I would like to thank Rob Dean for taking over as Chairman and hope you will support him in any way you can.
We face many challenges, not least of all the desperate state of the changing rooms with the planning permission for improvements expiring soon. It has now become our biggest financial focus of recent times, and I will be keeping you informed of the progress over the coming months.
It’s seems a long time since the last season finished but rugby has been anything but dormant during that time with some of our magnificent juniors involved in top flight rugby.
Jasper Dix and Fraser Dingwall were selected for Saints 7’s team. Fraser and Alan Gregory were also picked for Scotland U 18’s and completing the line up Alex Coles for England U 16’s. Five further players represented England in an international junior touch competition. Cambridge Mini & Youth has certainly come of age.
Meanwhile our 3rd XV enjoyed a successful tour to Paris and have now been training with the senior squad. Fitness and conditioning from Ben Fitches team and the stewardship of Darren Messenger means our 3rd’s are now a force to be reckoned with and great ambassadors for expanding rugby at CRUFC.
The 2nd XV will provide the depth for the 1st XV and they had a successful pre season contest against Bishops Stortford in front of a decent crowd at Volac park.
For those of us who ventured through bank holiday weekend Friday night traffic to Rosslyn Park in support of the 1st XV it was an encouraging evening. A very strong, physical Park side were confounded by the Blood & Sand and reeling at half time as our backs cut them apart going in 7 - 19 at half time. Changes by both sides altered the second half style of play and we were unlucky to finish 31-29. September 3rd is when the real stuff begins and I can’t wait for the whistle to blow.
I hope to see you all at Volac Park over the coming season and what ever Cambridge team or age group you are playing for or supporting I wish you the very best of luck.
|1st XV Fixtures||Match Day Lunches|
|Sat 01 Oct 15:00||H||Loughborough|
|Sat 08 Oct 15:00||A||Moseley|
|Sat 15 Oct 15:00||H||Macclesfield|
|Sat 22 Oct 15:00||A||Blackheath|
|Sat 29 Oct 15:00||H||Hartpury College|
|Sat 05 Nov 15:00||A||Esher|
|Sat 12 Nov 14:00||H||Fylde|
|Sat 19 Nov 15:00||A||Coventry|
|2nd XV Fixtures|
|Mon 03 Oct tbc||A||Cambridge University|
|Sat 08 Oct 15:00||A||Redingensians II|
|3rd XV Fixtures|
|Sat 01 Oct 15:00||A||Shelford 3|
|Sat 08 Oct 15:00||H||Renegades|
|Rugby News||Results||League Table|