The Varsity Match - The Oxford v Cambridge Tradition

The Varsity Match - The Oxford v Cambridge Tradition

The annual Oxford v Cambridge fixture, or The Varsity Match, as it is commonly known, is a tradition which reaches all the way back to 1872.

The inaugural fixture occurred a year after the first ever rugby international was played (between Scotland and England) at The Parks in Oxford. Interestingly, Oxford and Cambridge squared off in 20-aside game which no doubt bore little resemblance to the modern spectacle we know today. The Oxford representatives were clad in dark blue jerseys (a tradition that has survived throughout their rugby history), while Cambridge wore pink, only changing to their now blue and white strips in 1876.

The Varsity Match was played at various locations before 1921 when it was moved to Twickenham, where it has been traditionally played ever since.

The fixture has been steadily honoured annually apart from the wartime years which brought obvious complications.

Of the 138 games played between these two sides, Cambridge find themselves just ahead with 64 wins to Oxford’s 60, with 13 draws occurring.

Unfortunately, the spectacle does not draw as much attention today as it used to, particularly in the amateur era. It is hoped, however, that the fixture- steeped in tradition that it is – will live on well into the future.

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