EXTRA DOSE OF RIVALRY
Rugby fans will be treated to an extra dose of rivalry after Wasps’ clash with Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena this weekend.
The Varsity final between Coventry University and the University of Warwick’s rugby teams will take centre stage (5.15pm) following Wasps’ Aviva Premiership match with Harlequins (3.15pm) on Sunday (February 28).
Wasps will be looking to make it six wins on the bounce in front of a bumper home crowd, after another impressive away win at Bath last weekend following their victory at leaders Saracens the previous weekend.
Varsity is an annual sporting competition between the two universities competing in over 20 different sports, and is spread across ten days.
For every match won, points are awarded, and the university with the most points overall takes home the Varsity crown.
Now in its 26th year, both rugby teams will be looking to clinch a series win for their respective universities in front of a big crowd at the 32,609 seater venue.
Speaking ahead of the game, Coventry University captain Louis Addleton said he wants to make history by bringing the Varsity title home for the very first time.
Louis said: “We’re all aware that Coventry are yet to win a Varsity series, so to clinch the series in front of a big crowd at the Ricoh Arena would be out of this world.
“We’ve had a rough time of it in the league this season but we recently got our first win, which will give us a great deal of confidence going into this game.
“We’re used to playing in small rugby grounds, so to perform in front of a big crowd on a lush green pitch is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us.”
The two sides last met in November when Warwick ran out 22-7 winners, and their captain Matt Lawrowitsch said they can’t afford to under-estimate their opponents despite being 32 points better off in the league.
Matt added: “This is a one-off type of game where we’re playing in a state-of-the-art venue in front of a big crowd, so past records count for nothing. All of the lads can’t wait to put on their boots and get out on the grass.”
It’s the first year that the Ricoh Arena has hosted a Varsity rugby match, having hosted the tournament’s football matches previously.
Martin Fallon, marketing manager at Wasps, said: “Varsity is now such an iconic part of the sporting calendar for thousands of students in Coventry and Warwickshire, so we wanted to help by providing a venue that the tournament deserves.
“Fans will also be treated to a trophy presentation on the pitch after the game to celebrate both universities’ sporting talent.”
Tickets for Wasps v Harlequins and the Varsity final are available from £15 for adults and under-10s go free and are available from www.wasps.co.uk or by ringing 024 7678 6411.