Middlesex is home to more than twenty universities nearly all of which operate rugby clubs for men and women.
The Student Rugby Committee represents the various higher education universities within the county, providing playing opportunities through festivals, sevens tournaments and other events.
The Student Rugby Committee, chaired by Dave Garvey, is a sub-committee of the Middlesex Community Rugby Committee. It works alongside some other committees including the Students’ RFU London team and the University of London Union (ULU) as well as British Universities’ and Colleges’ Sport (BUCS) teams.
From these institutes alone we have an eclectic mix of young men and women to consider spanning about 50 different teams, who represent the many facets of life and study that students see as both important and exciting, as their academic and working lives begin to coalesce. For students, activity in rugby can be a stepping stone to a career in sport, an outlet for their energy and a way of keeping fit, or merely a vehicle for socialising.
The core focus has always been the ‘player’ – with much of the activity of this committee centred on encouraging participation and maximising opportunities to play. However, the committee has also allocated a good deal of time and resources to opening opportunities in other key areas of the game: notably coaching and refereeing, with the committee taking the lead on creating a student refereeing panel to help cover a range of games in the county – not only student rugby, but mini-midi-youth and adult rugby too.
Middlesex U20 & U23 10s Festival
The 10s Festival offers U20 and U23 club and university teams to get an early run out in the tens format.
The women’s competition open to all National Challenge clubs and universities. Both competitions are open to teams from Middlesex and beyond, and multiple teams may be entered.
The London Student Rugby Forum
There is one held at the start of the year, dedicated to goal-setting and planning for the season ahead; then a second held at the end of the season to help promote a strong handover and continuity in communication between the core student rugby stakeholders, as well as reviewing the previous season’s successes and development points.
Middlesex 7s Festival – Student competitions
The core work for this was started back in about 2006-2007 by Tim Cunis, who successfully persuaded the Club Sevens Committee to allocate some pitch space and match slots to a student rugby competition. Now several years down the line the student competition is just as competitive and almost as high-profile as the main event with the student competitions seamlessly interwoven into the day and two men’s (Cup and Plate) and one women’s competition (mixing students with ‘emerging’ adult ladies sides) presently comprising up to 16 teams (8 men’s teams and 8 women’s). Visit the site
Cronk-Cunis U21 Student Festival
With 750 players taking part in five competitions on one day, this established U21 event is the biggest festival of one-day 15-a-side adult rugby in the country. Whilst the emphasis is on participation and enjoyment, the standard of rugby improves every year. This is a national event with eams come from as far afield as Hull, Altrincham and Penrhos to compete alongside a large number of Middlesex school/club U21 sides.
Student women’s rugby development day
With the BUCS and ULU seasons’ start being pushed back to the end of October / early November since the 2009-2010 season, there has been scope for a session to introduce ‘new to rugby’ freshers to the contact sport in a social, less formal environment than competitive league and cup fixtures. The informal development festival held at LSE between 2008-2011 has been replaced with a targeted set of courses held at various locations with RFU staff and coaches to develop specific core skills.
From 2013-14 onwards it is hoped that this committee will run a social freshers’ rugby festival (touch rugby, tag rugby, 7s and or 10s) during the traditional student freshers’ period for London Universities in Late September/ Early October before the structured season kicks in. This season there is also an aim for a Returning students and/or U23s festival in either/both of the Christmas and/or Easter breaks.
County Representative Squads
The County runs an U20, U23 and a Senior A squad each with its own objectives and the Student Rugby Committee is keen to promote the opportunities for players and liaise with the coaches and managers to ensure that college and university players are represented within the squads.
We provide opportunities for students to obtain RFU coaching and refereeing qualifications or to help us as volunteers and adminstrators. If you need help locating a playing opportunity please contact Nicky Fielder at the County Office.