As part of the Wessex Scene’s series of previews before this year’s Varsity competition, Men’s rugby captain Freddie Gleadowe answered a few questions ahead of the big day on March 9th.
How has this season gone so far for you as a team?
The season has been a strong one for all 3 sides this year. The 1st XV are currently occupying there highest league spot yet in joint 2nd with UWE 1st XV and are pushing hard to challenge for the top spot and promotion.
The 2nd XV have all but secured promotion this season dominating their league and proving themselves ready for the inevitable step up next year.
For the first time in SURFC history the 3rd XV have participated in the BUCS leagues and have fielded a full 20 man squad for every fixture. This shows a huge amount of progress for the club demonstrating the coaching and training structures effectiveness in keeping players engaged throughout the season.
What would you say has been the highlight and where do you personally need to improve?
The highlight of my season was the 12-12 draw vs UWE 1st XV. In a wet and windy game we drew with a side that at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season beat us 47-7. It was a very proud moment to see how far the team had come on over the 2 years of development.
What was last year’s Varsity like to compete in?
We struggled to field a team last year with many of our guys unavailable. A common theme it seems throughout the AU. One of our players played 160 minute of rugby in the front row to ensure we could have competitive scrums for the entire game. The game itself was a hard fought one in very wet and muddy conditions. This limited our expansive brand of rugby and restricted us to the tight game Portsmouth like to play.
How’s preparation going and how confident are you of victory this year?
The result and the loss is not something that will be repeated. Preperations are running alongside our ongoing league promotion campaigns however the intensity at training has certainly been turned up a few notches with the big day approaching.