[Georgia Porter | Sports Editor]
Varsity is fast approaching, so we decided to catch up with some of the competitors to see how they are preparing for the big day! First up in our spotlight is Men’s Rugby Captain Jordan Cox.
Jordan, 21, third-year BSc (Hons) Human Biology and Sports Studies student, became captain at the start of this academic year as a promotion from his vice-captain title last year.
He fell in love with the sport when he was thrown into the game by his secondary school P.E teacher because he had a typical rugby player’s physique.
“I enjoy the physicality and the combative nature of rugby; but also the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself and working with teammates to achieve something!”
Varsity occurs once a year and is a great event where both Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Universities go head-to-head in a variety of sports and showcase their best talent.
Jordan explains that he and the boys “are very excited to represent the university this year! It is a massive occasion and a chance for us to test ourselves against some quality opposition as Beds are two BUCS leagues above us.”
Because he wasn’t around last year, Jordan is “desperate to win a varsity match” and tick that box before he leaves university.
The team have been preparing to beat Beds in their training by putting structures in place that allow them to play in the right areas of the field, shorten up defences and get their dangerous players on the ball as quickly as possible. One of the players also records games and provides analytic feedback as part of his final year project, according to Jordan: “some of the players have really benefitted from that”.
Varsity is all about rivalry; the most famous has to be Oxford vs. Cambridge. Sport is all about healthy competition and the rugby team sure aren’t afraid of getting a little heated on the field.
“I love the rivalry with Beds; to be honest I love the rivalry in any sport as it makes for a great atmosphere. There is definitely a degree of bitterness between Herts and Beds on the day, but when all is said and done, everyone has a drink together. Nothing is taken to heart.”
In Jordan’s time here at Herts, the rugby team have won a game and lost a game. We were anxious to know how they planned to win this year even though Beds are in a higher BUCS league at the moment:
“When we won last year it was down to 80 minutes relentless hard work from the squad and few moments of individual excellence. If we get our mindset right and implement our game plan, I see no reason why we can’t get the win again.”
Within the Athletic Union, Varsity is an important annual event and both staff and members like to prepare for it; the rugby team are no exception.
“You’d struggle to find a team here that isn’t massively up for Varsity. Varsity’s usually equally valued by most universities up and down the country so I’d be surprised if it wasn’t valued as much by Beds.”
Make sure you support your favourite sports teams at Varsity this year on April 13th!