The University of Exeter is one of eight teams competing in the elite BUCS Super Rugby League

University of Exeter to join elite BUCS Super Rugby League

The University of Exeter is set to play a pivotal role when a thrilling new era of student rugby competition kicks off this season.

The Men’s 1st team have been confirmed as one of eight hand-picked competitors for the inaugural BUCS Super League, which begins in October.

The league, which is supported by the Rugby Football Union and Welsh Rugby Union, will see eight top-class student teams competing against each other over the course of the season.

Supporters will be able to follow the matches from the comfort of their own home, with much of the action being broadcast on specialist digital channel BT Sports.

The new league is designed to help raise the profile of university rugby, progress performance to National League standard and establish a pathway to elite and professional rugby.

The University of Exeter Rugby Union Men’s 1st team are the defending BUCS champions, having won the 2015-16 League. They will face competition from Bath, Leeds Beckett Carnegie, Hartpury, Loughborough, Durham, Northumbria and Cardiff Met in the new competition.

Sam Skinner, 21, a third year Business and Economics student and team Captain is contracted at Exeter Chiefs. He said: “There is a culture at the University of Exeter that is helping create extremely talented sportspeople who perform to a professional standard.

“The fact that we have Exeter Chief coaches helping to train us is really pushing us forward. The BUCS league is a great opportunity to showcase this high level of talent that can be found in University sports.”

Simon Linsell, 22, is in his third year of studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and is the vice-captain of the team. He said: “I’m really looking forward to the matches. We have just completed 6 weeks of pre-season and we’ve all been working really hard for this.

“I hope that the TV exposure of the league will show people that there is an extremely high standard of rugby being played at universities.”

Keith Fleming, Director of Rugby at the University of Exeter, said: “The pre-season is going extremely well and the boys are all working really hard. We are aiming to do as well as we did last year. We don’t work this hard to come second.

“We are playing to a professional standard at Exeter. We have six students training with the Exeter Chiefs and I hope that the BUCS league will allow us to continue developing high-end and elite athletes.”

The University of Exeter will face the University of Loughborough in the first match of the BUCS Super Rugby League on 5 October.

 

Date: 26 September 2016

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