Off the back of a strong win over Irish side Trinity College Dublin last week, the OURFC Men’s Blues face their toughest challenge of the season tomorrow as they welcome Bristol to Iffley Road. This is not Bristol University but rather Bristol RFC, the professional side currently playing in the National Championship after relegation last season from the top flight of English rugby.
Fresh from signing All Black Charles Piutau on a contract rumoured to be worth over £1 million per year, Bristol head down to Iffley Road currently unbeaten and averaging 40 points per game against some of the best sides in the country. Described by many pundits as the most ambitious rugby club in the Northern hemisphere, this is a side unlike any OURFC have played or will play again.
And yet, this is a Blues side full of confidence, having won 5 from 6 so far this season, continuing to build impressively before the Varsity Match in December. Notable wins over the best club side in America (Old Blue), the reigning double BUCS champions (Hartpury College) and the Collegiate All Americans (effectively America U23s) have put the Blues in strong stead to challenge Bristol.
The starting team is the strongest that captain Conor Kearns (Jesus) has available, with the return of England Saxon Andy Saull (Kellogg) and Canadian International Dan Moor (Christ Church). There is also a debut for Teddy Hall’s very own Abs Oswal in the front row as he partners the returning Aaron Henry (Somerville) and double Blue Kieran Ball (Trinity).
Whilst Bristol may be able to offer attractions such as the Clifton suspension bridge and an aerospace museum, Iffley Road will have the far more exciting appeal of cheap booze, food vans, music and high-class rugby. A large crowd is expected and the atmosphere will be electric. So come down and support your boys from 7:15 on Friday night as they continue to build towards December and the Varsity Match.
Oswali, Henry, Ball, Fifita, Adams, Talotti, Saull, Wilson, Kershaw, Kearns (C), David, Moor, Moorby, Stileman, Moore
Elvin, Miller, Parker, McPherson, Hogg, McGagh, Barley