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Miles Huppatz brings university rugby education to Shelford as one of a group of new additions

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Miles Huppatz touches down for Cambridge University in the annual Steele-Bodger XV match. Picture: Keith Heppell
Miles Huppatz touches down for Cambridge University in the annual Steele-Bodger XV match. Picture: Keith Heppell

Miles Huppatz will bring some Blue steel to Shelford’s front row next season.

The former Cambridge University RUFC hooker, who has twice won the Varsity Match, will be heading to the Davey Field after staying in the area on the culmination of his studies.

It will add invaluable experience to the young Shelford ranks, especially as No 2 Will Corrigan has retired, with Huppatz having finished last season in National League One with Bishop’s Stortford.

“Miles was looking for a place to play rugby and, luckily enough, through the connection of John Naylor being part of our first XV coaching team now, he’s decided that Shelford is where he wants to play his rugby,” said Shelford director of rugby Will Cotterill.

“It’s fantastic for us because he’s a very good player, and is only 23. I had a good conversation with him and spoke to him about where we are as a club, and our aspirations to get back into the National Leagues.

“I think it was important for him to be part of a programme that was looking to develop players, look after the players and also an aspirational programme.

“It was a position that we really needed to fill and we’ve been very lucky to have Miles come across to join us, and Ben Bates from Cambridge as well, which means we plug the gap nicely.”

Hooker Ben Bates and flanker Peter Clark were both with the Cambridge second team last season.

Bates had watched Shelford before the lockdown, and Cotterill said: “Ben was quite impressed with the way we played and was quite keen to come across and join.

“And Pete is a friend of Ben and his number was given to us by an old coach of his who rated him quite highly as a developing player.

“I spoke to them about what we’re trying to achieve here at Shelford and they both wanted to be involved.”

Back row Will McGinn and scrum-half Matt Mellish have both come in from Saffron Walden, and versatile back Sam Collicott has arrived from Bury St Edmunds.

“Will is very keen to develop as a player and challenge himself more,” said Cotterill.

“I think he has won their coaches’ award for the last couple of seasons.

“Matt has played quite a high level of rugby, and has been posted to Carver Barracks.

“He was with Walden last season as they were the local club and have good connections with the barracks.

“But, this year, he wanted to play a slightly higher standard of rugby.

“Sam is a Cambridge boy and his work commitments have changed so he is looking to have a good season on the field.”

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