University of Exeter Men's Saturday League Team Win Promotion
Promotion, Contracts & International Caps - EURFC Season Ends On A High
With the BUCS 15 a side season finished, and the University Men’s team left wanting after the Semi-final held at Sandy Park, they had one goal left to achieve and that was to gain promotion into the South West Premier league (formally National 3 South West).
Not taking the easy path to promotion Exeter left themselves with a playoff game against Banbury RFC, who were coming into the game off the back of an 18 match win streak. After a close match, the students choosing the hard approach to winning, secured the win and a place in the South West Premier. Director of Rugby, Keith Fleming commented and reflected on the achievement and this season's club performance:
“It has been a long road for the University to achieve this status within the English League set up, and coming off the back of an increasingly competitive Super BUCS season, which we won, I am happy that the boys have achieved that this season. It has added to a successful season with the club and also for the players that have gained and received recognition for their hard work throughout the year. Sam Morley and James McRae have both signed contracts with Exeter Chiefs following an outstanding season that saw Sam train with England U20s and James selected for England Students. Simon Linsell, George Gosling, Felix Maddison, Aaron Bagwell and Ted Landray were all selected for England Students as well - yet again highlighting the pathway for student athletes and the opportunity that we provide, not only for Premiership clubs but also Championship and National League with a number of players confirming their graduate roles in the professional trade of rugby.
The strengths throughout the club have increased year on year, with 8 men’s teams playing on Wednesday enjoying a successful season; the club has played over 150 games - Our 1st XV won the BUCS Super League and got to the semi-finals of the Championship, also winning Men’s Team of the Year at the Student Rugby Football Union Awards. The fresh 1st XV (the University’s 3rd XV) ended up second in Premier B south and reached the semi-finals of the Trophy Competition. The 4th XV won BUCS Gold and our fresh 3’s (the University’s 7th XV) won their league and also won BUCS Gold in the Cup Competition.
Reflecting further over the season we are really proud of our Women’s 1st XV who won the Women’s Championship at Twickenham in a fantastic game, which went to extra time and showed how competitive the competition is now. Lagi Tuima, Caity Mattinson, Poppy Leitch, Hollie Cunningham, Jess Thomas and Ebony Jefferies were all involved with England teams this year which shows the quality that we have throughout the club and is a testament to the hard work that goes in from all the coaching staff and support services that our players receive.”
The Men’s 1st XV Winning the BUCS Super Rugby League, the Women’s 1st XV winning the Championship Cup and now promotion as well is a result of the hard work that goes on in the club, from players, coaches and support teams and is just reward. We are very much looking at challenging ourselves in this league and in the respective BUCS leagues, which will be a great development tool for our young players that are wanting to continue with their academics and develop their rugby in all mediums and environments.
All BUCS Rugby competitions are now complete with the last Trophy Tournament held in Leeds on Wednesday 2nd. The Men’s and Women’s Clubs have not only been performing at the top level in the country, but also across all leagues and competitions with great success, involvement and enjoyment whilst studying full time academic degrees.
The offseason is only a small period of time now where EURFC members can rest and reflect before looking forward to rebuilding the momentum leading into the new academic year and rugby campaign.
Date: 3 May 2018