A new four-year deal has been agreed between the Varsity Match and the Rugby Football Union, meaning that the women’s and men’s fixtures between Oxford and Cambridge Universities will continue to be played at Twickenham until at least 2021.
The new deal will run between 2018 and 2021 and so will oversee a series of key years for both clubs and the fixtures. The deal won’t just cover the anniversary match itself, but also the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Varsity Match, the 150th anniversary of Oxford University Rugby Football Club, the 150th anniversary of Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club too.
The Men’s Varsity Match has been played there since 1921, with Cambridge currently leading Oxford 63-59 overall (with 14 games drawn). The women’s match has been played since 1988 and hosted at the national stadium since 2015, with Oxford currently leading 19-12. The game is one of the world’s longest running sports fixtures between the two universities, and has become one of the biggest domestic rugby matches in the UK.
Oxford Women’s Blues captain, Abby D’Cruz, said: “The Varsity Matches represents a great tradition in the historic rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge.
“The news that we have secured their place at the home of English Rugby for the significant years to come, including the 150th anniversary of OURFC in 2019 and the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Varsity match this year, is incredibly exciting for everyone at the club and a great motivator to represent Oxford on one of the most hallowed turfs in world rugby.”
Men’s captain, Dominic Waldouck, told Cherwell: “Some of my earliest rugby memories are watching The Varsity game. For me, Twickenham represents the home of Varsity, so it’s great to hear the contract has been extended.”
In 2017, Cambridge won both games, with scores of 24-0 and 20-10 in the women’s and men’s games respectively. The men’s result meant the Light Blues secured back-to-back Varsity victories for the first time in a decade.