Interview: Ross Biestmen

How has training been going? Is there a good team spirit?

Training is going very well. We have been working very hard to build a strong team and team spirit and morale is high. There is a general attitude around the club that every player is concentrated on constant performance improvement and a genuine determination to succeed.

What is a typical day in the life a rugby blue?

I am reading for an MSc in Management Research so mornings start early with breakfast and time in the library, then classes, followed by a strength and conditioning session. Training begins in the early evening. Following training I usually head over to Tesco so I can cook a big meal. Then it’s back to the books and off to bed to do it all over again.

What’s the level like, having played most of your rugby in America?

The standard here at Oxford is amongst the highest I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. Rugby in America is still growing with most of the youth still concentrated on other sports.

You’ve had a good start to the season. What do you put this down to?

Our undefeated record is testament to the team’s dedication in pre-season and work in between matches. What’s great is that the players and staff are not satisfied with just a victory on the scoreboard. The entire team will dissect the game-film and learn from mistakes made and how to capitalize in the next match.

Has Anton Oliver been a positive influence on the team?

First and foremost, Anton is a great teammate. Not only does he have the ability to have great moments in the game, he also helps us all become better students of the game. Anton has brought almost 15 years of elite level professional experience to the team. But you realize that he is another teammate trying to earn a degree and play rugby for one of the world’s most elite Universities, just like the rest of us.

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Do you think the widespread use of graduates at the top of

Oxford sport is unfair on aspiring undergraduate sportsmen?
I enjoy the fact that graduates have the opportunity to continue playing with OURFC. By the same token, it does build some competition for spots on the field. What is great about OURFC is that selection is based on merit, giving every player an opportunity to earn a spot.

Do you fancy your chances in Varsity?

We are improving every week as a team with a Varsity victory in December as the final goal.