The University of Leeds women’s and men’s rugby union teams will headline Leeds Varsity for the first time, with both teams set to compete at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Both captains sat down for an exclusive Q&A with the Leeds Varsity media team to discuss their highly anticipated fixtures.
Emma Winstanley, University of Leeds Rugby Union Women’s Captain
Leeds University come into Varsity for the first time ever as defending champions, how does it feel just hearing that?
Pretty good! We’re really excited about coming into the event as champions and we’re ready to beat Beckett again.
Is your team looking forward to getting out there and playing?
Yeah, it has been a really good vibe in camp throughout pre-season so far.
Now for the first time ever your team is going to be co-headlining the Leeds Varsity Rugby Finale, how excited are you to be involved in a historic occasion?
I think all of the girls are even more committed to the cause this year, the team has been a lot more committed in training because it is such a massive opportunity for us to show our skills.
Why should people come watch the game?
I think it could be a closer game than what the men’s game potentially could be, so hopefully there’ll be a tough contest when we get out there.
A lot of the girls all know each other as well, so there’ll be a good vibe on the pitch and probably a few of us knocking lumps out of each other.
Luke White, University of Leeds Men’s Rugby Union
What does it mean to you guys going into the event first time as champions?
I think it’s pretty good. To be honest, it doesn’t bear much on the actual rugby game, we still want to win that and be winners overall but it counts for nothing when we get out on that pitch.
What are you expecting from the game this year?
Looking at our team this year, I think we’re prepared quite well.
We’ve got a lot of new players come into the team, a lot of freshers came through at the back end of last season and they’re making up a quarter of our team this year.
We’re coming into the game as massive underdogs again this year which we love and suits us quite well, so we’re really looking forward to it.
What’s it like having Varsity as your first competitive fixture of the season?
It’s certainly a baptism of fire for the team but if we can weather the storm in the Varsity game I’m sure we will go into our league season more than prepared I feel.
Why should people come down and watch your team?
It is probably one of the best atmospheres, not just for a student game but for any sports contest.
If you’ve either been here before or new to the experience it’s probably one of the best social nights of the year.
There’s plenty of fun you can have with your mates, with some rugby on in the background and it gives you something to cheer about and get passionate about.
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