Cambridge and Oxford to contest Varsity Matches at Leicester Tigers’ Mattioli Woods Welford Road
A new venue has been set for the Varsity Matches, which will be staged this summer.
The pandemic meant that the traditional clashes between Cambridge University and Oxford University were not possible at Twickenham in 2020, and it would have been the 100th anniversary of the first men’s Varsity Match at HQ.
But in line with the RFU’s return to rugby, the date of Sunday, July 4 has been set for the men’s and women’s matches to take place at Leicester Tigers’ Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
The summer clashes will allow the students sufficient training and playing time in the build-up to the Varsity Matches.
“With all the uncertainty surrounding amateur contact sport, and the return to play for rugby at student level, everyone is delighted to have agreed the date and venue for the Varsity Matches,” said Tim Jones, the chairman of the Varsity Match Company Ltd.
“We all know that the path of the pandemic is unpredictable and the government’s roadmap may change. However, with the progress of the vaccine programme we are hopeful that we will be able to stage the matches in front of some spectators.
“The Varsity Match has an incredible history and, we believe, remains the pinnacle of amateur rugby. It retains a strong following and continues to provide a vital financial lifeline to both clubs.”
There was a Cambridge double in the last Varsity Matches in 2019, with the men’s team winning 15-0 and the women’s team taking an 8-5 victory.
Peter Tom, the chairman of Leicester Tigers, said: “Mattioli Woods Welford Road is an iconic home of rugby and we are delighted to be able to host an iconic fixture at our home stadium.
“Getting people into the stadium to enjoy their rugby is why we are here and to be able to host such a prestigious match and welcome a large crowd is an exciting opportunity for Tigers and the rugby community in the East Midlands and beyond, especially in these challenging times.
“The Tigers have had a number of players and coaches down the years who have also earned a Blue and it will be an honour for the club to welcome Oxford and Cambridge to Leicester.”