The University of Exeter Men’s rugby team is officially the best student team in the UK.

University rugby team scoops national title

The University of Exeter Men’s rugby team is officially the best student team in the UK, after winning the British University and College Sports (BUCS) Championship at Twickenham last night.

A dramatic late drop-goal from James Doe sealed the win in an exciting victory over Loughborough at the home of English rugby.

The University of Exeter headed into the final after an unbeaten campaign and as the Number 1 ranked University for Rugby in the UK.

The game was memorable and hard-fought, with a final score of 21-19. Exeter Captain Sam Skinner, who also plays for Exeter Chiefs and for the England Under 20’s team, said: “It’s incredible to win with a drop goal in the last minutes at Twickenham, it’s such a special moment and one the lads will remember forever.

“It was an intense game and I thought we dominated a lot of it, but credit to Loughborough because they defended really well. When they got their chances they took them, and I think we weren’t clinical enough at times and it took something extra special to win it at the end. We want to come out of the blocks firing in every game, and we went out there and played the game - and not the occasion.”

It is the first time since 2004 that a University of Exeter Men’s Rugby Club team has reached the final and they last won the trophy in 2001. In 2004 the coach was Rob Baxter, who is now Head Coach at Exeter Chiefs.

Alison Davidson, Director of Sport at the University of Exeter, was delighted by the result. She said: “This is a fantastic achievement and well deserved. The players, the coaches, the fitness team and the entire team of people who support the players deserve a lot of credit. This is proving to be an incredible year for sports at Exeter - we are The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2016 and now BUCS Rugby Champions!”

Rugby is one of Exeter’s nine focus sports, and in the 2014/15 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings the institution was ranked 1st for Rugby overall. The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times / The Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016 Sports University of the Year, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence.

The winning team was: Jack Owlett, Paul Davis, George Beale, Freddie Hosking, Sam Skinner, Matt Eliet, Harry Ledger, Tom Lawday, Sam Waltier, Ollie Claxton, Ned Warne, Pete Laverick, Ted Landray, Alex Brown, Gavin Parker, Mike Perks, Tom Rhodes, Fred Wheadon, Tom Edwards, James Doe, Tom Holdsworth, Adam Worth, Jacob Knight, Alex Webb.

For a full report of the game, visit the England Rugby website.

Date: 24 March 2016

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