It’s the longest running Australian Football rivalry (outside of Australia), as the Oxford and Cambridge Universities prepare for a significant weekend of footy in the UK.
The two teams have developed a history that dates back to the early 1900’s, where the first Varsity match took place in 1911. Becoming a yearly fixture from 1921, this weekend will mark the 100th Varsity game between the two men’s teams.
Oxford University, hosting this year’s Varsity at the Horspath Athletics and Sports Ground at 2:00PM, will look to defend their men’s title in what is always an intense battle.
But before then, and kicking off the day at 12:00PM, the girls sides will meet for what will be their third year competing in the Varsity game.
A draw in 2018, and a loss in 2019, the Oxford women are ready to break their spell in 2020.
“Varsity holds a special place in our competition calendar, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t give a leg to win a Varsity match,” said Oxford President Kathryn Leslie.
The mindset at Cambridge is no different. Coming off a 1-point grand final win at the 2020 Fitzpatrick Cup, as well as an appearance in the National University League grand final, Cambridge President Pauline O’Malley says the girls are ready to continue their hot form in 2020.
“For us, Varsity is easily the biggest game of the year, and is what we train for.
“There is something extra about playing in the 100th, and is definitely a win the club wants to come away with.”
The men’s match in 2019 saw Oxford come away victorious, as Cambridge readies to travel south-west in an attempt to seek redemption and bring home the prestigious cup.
Neither of the teams managed to find a place in the grand final at the recent Fitzpatrick Cup, with Oxford finishing third, and Cambridge fifth.
However, the National University League told a different story, with Cambridge managing to finish second and reaching the grand final (loss to Birmingham), whilst Oxford finished third.
Despite the intense on-field competition, the history between the two clubs has always brought out great levels of respect towards one-another.
“Regardless of the outcomes, it will be a great day in Oxford,” said Pauline.
“We love travelling up there and while the games are fierce, it’s always great to get together after the game and have a few beers and a good chin-wag.”
The 100th annual Varsity match is sure to put on a show, and we wish the best of luck to both sides competing.
To find out more on this year’s Varsity match, visit the official Facebook event.