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Cambridge University RUFC players will get chance to impress during Town v Gown clash with Cambridge Rugby Club

Head coach James Shanahan has revealed that his Cambridge University side are still very much in an experimental phase heading into this evening’s Town v Gown clash against Cambridge Rugby Club.

With a new term only just getting under way and a number of senior players still not available, Shanahan intends to cast an eye over a number of less experienced players at Grange Road.

He said: “It’s been pretty slow so far but the Varsity match is not until next year so it’s a process and a long pre-season building up to that in a lot of ways.

Action from a previous meeting between the two sides. Picture: Keith Heppell
Action from a previous meeting between the two sides. Picture: Keith Heppell

“This term is all about development and taking a look at some of the less experienced players.

“We’ve got 40-odd boys in the group and not all of them are available right now so we are going to get a good look at everyone.”

The students go into the game on the back of a 42-24 defeat to Durham University last month.

However, Shanahan was pleased with much of what he saw from his players during that encounter.

“It was a very encouraging performance,” he said. “It was 28-24 after 60 minutes. We had a very inexperienced team and it was their experienced bench at that point who helped them to win in the end.

“It will be the same for us against Cambridge. We’ll have a mixture of players out there but I expect us to be competitive.”

Cambridge University won the previous Town v Gown encounter in convincing fashion, coming out on top 65-7 in February.

But with Cambridge having no National League 1 commitments this coming weekend, Shanahan believes the opposition could be stronger on this occasion.

“It will be their development team again but we could see some boys that have been on the bench for the senior team or coming back from injury that need minutes,” he added.

“I expect them to be stronger than last year and that will be a great experience for our boys.”

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