Stage set for Varsity 2003
December 2, 2003

Oxford and Cambridge Universities will compete in the 122nd Varsity Match on December 9.

This will be the third year that the MMC Trophy will have been played for with Cambridge winning last year's fixture 15-13 while Oxford won the two previous years.

Four Old Blues were involved in this year's Rugby World Cup, Simon Danielli of Scotland, David Humphries of Ireland, Takuro Miuchi of Japan and Tyrone Howe of Ireland while current Oxford prop Kevin Tkachuk played for Canada and scored a try against Wales.

Chris White, England's Rugby World Cup referee will be in charge of this year's Varsity Match for The MMC Trophy with his semi final match (Australia v New Zealand) and third/fourth match, (New Zealand v France) still a recent memory.

To add to the Rugby World Cup excitement the Webb Ellis Trophy will be paraded for the first time at a Twickenham match by a number of the victorious England RWC squad who are coming to the match. This will add to the occasion for all spectators attending and tickets are still available for the match through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.co.uk & 0870 902 0000) and the RFU (www.rfu.com & 020 8892 2000).

This year MMC have worked together with Oxford, Cambridge and Harlequins RFC to organise three very successful Schools Days where over 250 children have received training. MMC Ambassadors Jason Leonard and Will Greenwood were involved with Harlequins School Days this morning while ex-Cambridge Blues Mark Denney (London Wasps & England A) and Simon Amor (Gloucester & captain of England 7's) were involved with the Cambridge Schools Day. At the Oxford Schools Trevor Leota (London Wasps & Samoa) and Paul Volley (London Wasps & England A) helped out.

Oxford University RFC
Ryan O'Mahoney, John Bradshaw, Adam Magro, John Allen (c), Adam Slade, Jon Fennell, James Gaunt, Tom Hayman, Richie Woods, Pater Raftery, Anton van Zyl, David Lubans, Henry Nwume, Dai Griffiths, Kevin Tkchuk.

Cambridge University RFC
Johnny Ufton, Charlie Desmond, Ian McInroy, Jason Wright, Neil Toy, Dafydd Lewis, Ben Dormer, Stweart Eru (c), Ben Woods, Ben Wheeler, Gavin Webster, Matthew Hocken, Tom Kirkman, Gareth Forde, Rudolf Bosch.

Oxford University RFC Player Profiles

1. KEVIN TKACHUK
(Thom Collegiate, Canada and Kellogg)
Kevin Tkachuk, born 11.7.76 in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. 6ft. 19st. Educated at Thom Collegiate, Regina, and the University of Victoria, from where he gained a BA in history. Now in his third year at Oxford, studying for the MSt in English local history, Kevin has won 24 caps for Canada, and represented his country at the recent World Cup. A member of the Oak Bay Castaway Wanderers, he was a provincial champion in wrestling and American football in Saskatchewan and wins his third Blue.

2. DAVID GRIFFITHS
(Armidale and St Edmund Hall)
David Ian Griffiths, born 6.8.74 in London, England. 5ft 11in. 16st 3lb. Educated at the Armidale School in New South Wales and Sydney University, where he gained a diploma in law. Now studying for an MBA, David has played for NSW at youth level and is a member of the Northern Suburbs team back in Sydney. A keen guitarist, this is his second Blue.

3. HENRY NWUME
(Nottingham HS and University)
Henry Odili Nwume, born 10.1.77 in Lusaka, Zambia. 6ft 3in. 18st 4lb. Educated at Nottingham High School, Brasenose College, Oxford and Guy's, King's and St Thomas's medical school, the latter two to gain his medicine qualifications over six years. Henry returned to Oxford in 2001 to study for the MSc in diagnostic imaging and has played for England Students and the Army. He is now studying for the MSc in the science and medicine of athletic performance. In his previous Oxford incarnation, he played for the Whippets, Under-21s and the Greyhounds; he came off the bench to win his Blue in the 2001 match, was in the starting side last year and now wins his third Blue.

4. DAVID LUBANS
(Warners Bay HS and St Anne's)
David Revalds Lubans, born 29.3.74 in Canberra. 6ft 5in. 17st. Educated at Warners Bay High School, New South Wales, St Andrew's College and Sydney University, where he gained a BSc in human movement and health education. Now studying for the MSc in educational research methodology, Dave is a member of the Northern Suburbs club in Sydney and has played for Australian Barbarians and New South Wales Country. He is also a talented basketballer. He played No 8 in the Oxford team last year and now makes the switch to the second row to win his second Blue.

5. ANTON VAN ZYL
(Rondebosch Boys' HS and Templeton)
Anton Van Zyl, born 23.2.80 in Cape Town. 6ft 4in. 17st. Educated at Rondebosch Boys' High School and the University of Stellenbosch, where he gained a BComm in law. Now studying for the MSc in industrial relations and human resources management, Anton was a part of the junior Western Province set-up and also the Boland Cricket Academy. This is his first Blue.

6. PETER RAFTERY
(Bedford Modern and University)
Peter David Raftery, born 7.1.80 in Bedford. 6ft 3in. 16st 12lb. Educated at Bedford Modern School and Trinity College Dublin, where he gained an undergraduate degree in dental science. Now studying for the MSc in diagnostic imaging, Peter played for a season in Cape Town, for the Villagers club, and has a single-figure golfing handicap. Nicknamed "Old School" for his no-nonsense approach to forward play, this is his first Blue.

7. RICHARD WOODS
(Blackrock College and St Anne's)
Richard Anthony Woods, born 19.8.77 in Dublin. 5ft 11in. 14st 3lb. Educated at Blackrock College, Dublin, and Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained a BA in mechanical engineering and a diploma in business IT. Richie is now studying for the MSc in bio-engineering. Blackrock is his home club, although more recently he has been playing for Newbury, and he has also represented Irish Students and Universities and been a member of the Leinster squad. A talented athlete, he has won honours in Ireland at the javelin and pole vault and was in the Oxford Varsity squad this year. He came off the bench to win his Blue last year and has been arguably the player of the season for the Dark Blues. This is his second Blue.

8. THOMAS HAYMAN
(Mount St Mary's and St Cross)
Thomas William Hayman, born 17.9.80 in Johannesburg. 6ft 5in. 18st 12lb. Educated at Mount St Mary's in Derbyshire and Loughborough University, where he gained a BSc in sports science. Now studying for the MSc in the science and medicine of athletic performance, Tom is a member of Leicester and has played for the first team on occasions over the past few years. He has been capped by England Students and is an athlete of talent, winning a number of honours in the discus. This is his first Blue.

9. JAMES GAUNT
(Monmouth and Worcester)
James Alexander Gaunt, born 28.5.81 in Bristol. 5ft 7in. 12st 7lb. Educated at Monmouth School for Boys and Exeter University, where he gained a BSc in exercise and sports science. Now studying for the MSc in the science and medicine of athletic performance, James has played for Newport and Exeter Chiefs, captained Wales at under-18 level and represented British Universities. This is his first Blue.

10. JONATHAN FENNELL
(Dublin High School and Pembroke)
Jonathan Maurice Roy Fennell, born 24.8.79 in Dublin. 6ft 2in. 13st 7lb. Educated at Dublin High School and University College, Dublin, where he gained a BA in international relations. Now in his second year at Oxford, studying for a DPhil in history, having gained an MSt in historical research last year. Has played for St Mary's College back home in Ireland and also had a year in France while at UCD when he played for Lyon. A talented sportsman, he has played badminton and cricket for Leinster and Gaelic football for Oxford. A surprise selection to warm the bench last year, he has established himself this term as the Dark Blues No 10 and wins his first Blue.

11. ADAM SLADE
(Reigate GS and St Anne's)
Adam Edward Slade, born 16.5.81 in Redhill, Surrey. 5ft 10in. 13st 10lb. Educated at Reigate Grammar School and Loughborough University, where he gained a BSc in physical education and sports science. Now studying for the MSc in the science and medicine of athletic performance, Adam has played for London Wasps, Worcester and Saracens and last year represented English Universities. He signed youth forms with Crystal Palace FC at 16 but decided to return to school instead of pursuing a football career and is also a talented runner. This is his first Blue.

12. JOHN ALLEN (Captain)
(Bede Polding Coll and University)
John Aubrey Allen, born 19.7.74 in Windsor, New South Wales. 6ft 1in. 15st 13lb. Educated at Bede Polding College, South Windsor, NSW and the University of Technology, Sydney, where he gained a BA in human movement studies and a graduate diploma of education. Now in his second year at Oxford studying for the MSc in the science and medicine of athletic performance, John has played for ACT Brumbies and more recently Rosslyn Park. His home club in Sydney is Souths and he has also played grade cricket in the same city. A talented cricketer who also won a Blue for OUCC last summer (and scored a century against MCC), this is his second rugby union Blue.

13. ADAM MAGRO
(Sydney Boys HS and Wolfson)
Adam Magro, born 14.4.71 in Sydney. 6ft. 14st 1lb. Educated at Sydney Boys High School and the University of New South Wales, where he gained a BComm in finance and a law qualification. Now studying for the MSc in nature, society and environmental policy, Adam is the oldest member of the Oxford side and has experience all round the world, having been part of the ACT Brumbies squad, having spent a season playing club rugby in Japan and more recently with Leinster. His home club is Randwick back home in Sydney. This is his first Blue.

14. JOHN BRADSHAW
(Rondebosch Boys' HS and Exeter)
John Anthony Bradshaw, born 28.11.79 in Cape Town. 5ft 11in. 12st 9lb. Educated at Rondebosch Boys' High School and the University of Cape Town, where he gained a degree in business science. Now studying politics, philosophy and economics, John has been part of the Western Province set-up over recent years. This is his first Blue.

15. RYAN O'MAHONEY
(Grey College and Trinity)
Ryan Michael O'Mahoney, born 28.9.79 in East London. 6ft 1in. 14st 1lb. Educated at Grey College, Port Elizabeth, and the University of Stellenbosch, where he gained an accountancy degree. Now studying for a bachelor of economics and management, Ryan has played for Wilgenhof and Stellenbosch. This is his first Blue.

Cambridge University RUFC Player Profiles

1. RUDOLF BOSCH
(Greg College, Bloemfontein and St Edmund's)
Jakobus Rudolf Bosch born 28.11.74 in Bothaville, South Africa. Ht 1.78m 108kg. Holds a degree in medicine from Stellenbosch University and has qualified as a doctor. Obtained an MPhil in Medicine in Cambridge three years ago when he won his first Blue. Returned last year to read Economics. Has played for Boland in the Currie Cup and Western province Under 21. Winning his third Blue.

2. GARETH FORDE
(St Joseph's, Brisbane and Hughes Hall)
Gareth Michael Forde born 13.9.78 in Brisbane, Australia. Ht 1.80m, 106kg. A graduate of University of Queensland he is studying for a PhD in Chemical Engineering (biochemical). Knows universally as the Oracle and his country's official spokesman in Cambridge during the World Cup he was on the bench as a prop last season but this term has switched to hooker. Played Australia U16's and for Queensland Schools. Winning his first Blue.

3. TOM KIRKMAN
(Loughborough GS and St Edmund's)
Tom William George Kirkman born 15.01.82 in Nottingham, England. Ht 1.86m, 125 kg. Geography graduate from Durham University now a graduate freshman reading Economics. He has represented Durham University, Newcastle Falcons U21 and Leicestershire U18's. Winning his first Blue.

4. MATHEW HOCKEN
(Palmeston North Boys HS, NZ and Hughes Hall)
Mathew William Hocken born 19.8.78 in Palmeston North, New Zealand. Ht 1.93m 105kg. A graduate of Canterbury University he played for NZ Colts, Universities, Canterbury Crusaders Colts Under 19 and B teams. Now in his second year reading politics. On the bench last year. Winning his first Blue.

5. GAVIN WEBSTER
(Oundle and St Edmund's)
Gavin Webster born 11.3.73 in Dewsbury, England. Ht 1.95 m, 109 kg. Holds a degree in Sports Science from Loughborough University and is now in his second year reading Social and Political Sciences. An experience player who has played for Northampton, Connacht and Valencia, England Under 19, 21, Students, Ireland Students and Exiles. Winning his second Blue.

6. BEN WHEELER
(Oakham and St Edmunds)
Ben James Wheeler born 14.12.79 in Leicester, England. Ht 1.90m, 100kg. Holds a degree for Sports Science and Recreation Management from Loughborough University and now reading Politics. Has represented England
Schools, England students and Leicester Tigers. Winning his first Blue.

7. BEN WOODS
(QEGS, Wakefield and Hughes Hall)
Ben Neil Woods born 9.6.82 in Barnsley, England. Ht 1.93m, 104kg. A History graduate of Durham University now reading Law. Has played for English Universities, England Students, England Under 21 and Young England Sevens. A member of the Newcastle Falcons club. Winning his first Blue.

8. STEWART ERU (Captain)
(Hastings Boys High, NZ and St Edmund's)
Stewart William Eru born 2.4.74 in Hastings, New Zealand. Ht 1.88m, 114kg. Holds a degree in Physical Education and Commerce from Otago University now reading Social and Political Sciences. Played for Otago Universities and Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. Proved himself to have considerable marketing skills as he has developed the Cambridge University Rugby Club brand this year. Winning his second Blue.

9. BEN DORMER
(Christ College Christchurch and St Edmund's)
Ben Lief Dormer born 25.11.78 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ht 1.77m, 86kg. A bachelor of commerce from University of Queensland now in his second year reading Social and Political Sciences. A member of the Glenmark Club in Canterbury country he has also played for Canterbury Crusader Colts and Australian Universities. Winning his second Blue.

10. DAFYDD LEWIS
(Millfield and Hughes Hall)
Dafydd Gwyn Lewis born 21.03.81 in Carmarthen, Wales. Ht 1.80m, 90kg. A graduate of Brunel University and now a graduate freshman reading Politics. Represented Wales at U18, 19, 21 and student levels and has played Sevens for his Country. He has also played league rugby for both London Wasps and London Welsh. Winning his first Blue.

11. NEIL TOY
(St Kentigerns Col, Auckland and St Edmund's)
Neil Toy born 09.10.78 in Toronto, Canada. Ht 1.85 m, 87 kg. A graduate reading Social and Political Sciences having previously obtained a degree in Law at Canterbury University NZ. Known to his team mates at Zippy he has played for Canterbury Under 21, B, Crusaders Under 23 and New Zealand Universities. Winning his first Blue.

12. JASON WRIGHT
(King's College, Auckland and St Edmund's)
Jason Wright born 5.7.69 in Wellington NZ, Ht 1.85, 95kg. A graduate of Otago University where he obtained a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Physical Education. Now reading Social and Political Sciences. An extensive rugby pedigree having played for Otago, Otago Highlanders, New Zealand Universities, Richmond, Benetton Treviso and London Irish before arriving at Cambridge last year. Winning his second Blue.

13. IAN McINROY
(Belmont House and Hughes Hall)
Ian Robert McInroy born 20.01.79 in Irvine, Scotland. Ht 1.84m, 94 kg. A graduate freshman reading Economics having previous obtained a degree in Engineering at Strathclyde. A Scotland Under 21 cap and member of the Scotland Sevens team he is another that has to overcome injuries to make the side. Winning his first Blue.

14. CHARLES DESMOND
(Haileybury and Girton)
Charles Daniel Desmond born 22.09.83 in Welwyn Garden City, England. Ht 1.77m, 70kg. A freshman undergraduate reading Land Economy.
Set out to play for the Under 21's but called into the Blue team by a string of injuries and his spectacular pace has earned him a regular spot in the side. An athlete who won the 200 metres and finished second in the 100m at the Freshmen's Varsity match. Winning his first Blue.

15. JONATHAN UFTON
(Whitgift and St Edmund's)
Jonathan Derek Giles Ufton born 31.10.74 in Dulwich, England. Ht 1.85m, 90kg. Graduated from Reading University with a degree in Agricultural Economics now in the first of three years reading Geography.
Played for English Schools, Colts, Under 21's, London and the Barbarians. Also played more than 100 Premiership games for Wasps. Son of a former Kent cricket and Charlton footballer. Winning his first Blue.

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