England Student Representative XV was first formed in the early 1970’s and ran alongside English Universities Representative sides. The RFU appointed Jack Rowell OBE to be the first England Student Coach Jack notably went on to be appointed as the England Men’s Senior XV Head Coach in future years.
The team has a rich history of player that have played for the team that have gone on to represent the Senior Men’s Teams or play at the highest level of the domestic game.
Recent players that have represented the team over the years include:
Josh Beaumont, Durham University, Sale Sharks & England
Tom Dunn, University of Bath, Bath & England
Harry Williams, University of Exeter, Exeter Chiefs & England
Tom Mitchell, Bristol Uni, Oxford Uni, England 7s, GB 7s (Silver Medal)
Daniel Bibby, Cardiff Met University, England 7s, GB 7s (Silver Medal)
Phil Burgess, Loughborough University, England 7s, GB 7s (Silver Medal)
Ruaridh McConnochie, Uni of Gloucester, England 7s, GB 7s (Silver Medal), Bath, England
Fitz Harding, Durham University, Bristol Bears
Graduated from Durham University 2013
Current club: Sale Sharks
"University rugby played a crucial role in my development as a player and making the transition into the professional game. As a late developer, I was never picked up by an academy and playing in the BUCS leagues for Durham ensured I was still able to pursue my professional ambitions by playing a high standard of rugby as well as combining this and fulfilling my academic ambitions. I was also lucky enough to represent England Students for two seasons and was able to test myself further on an International stage against more senior and professional opposition"
Graduated from Hartpury University 2019
Current club: Hartpury RFC
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with England Students, in the small amount of time together I learned a tremendous amount, met some great people and played some good rugby. England Students is a fantastic program. To be able to play and battle hard against all the boys in BUCS super rugby all year, to then at the end of the season, be able to share the pitch with some of the best players was awesome. Even more to see some of those players kick on so quickly and playing in the premiership now is quality.”
Graduated from Durham University 2020
Current club: Bristol Bears
"I arrived at university as an under-developed eighteen year old who would’ve massively struggled with the intensity, skill-level and physicality of a full-time professional rugby environment. My time playing university rugby not only allowed me to challenge myself off the field, but it also gave me time to develop into a player who could compete in the elite environment of the Premiership. It also gave me a special opportunity to play a high level of rugby week in week out with some of my best mates; some of the most memorable moments of my rugby career came at a university level and I will be forever grateful for that. The highlight of my university career was unquestionably representing England Students. To be able to represent your country at whatever level is always an honour and it was a special experience to go on tour and play France with a great group of lads.”
Graduated from Northumbria 2019
Current club: Newcastle Falcons
'I really enjoyed my time with England students and what I experienced, it was a great bunch. The things I learnt on the pitch has helped me make the step to play in the Premiership. The memories off the pitch I look back on fondly'
Current club: Newcastle Falcons
“Playing for England students was a great experience and I still have fond memories of the 3 game campaign in 2010. My best memory of the campaign was beating Ireland students, at home in Newcastle, in the snow! What has been pleasing is to see a lot of those lads from the squad go on to play for premiership clubs and also international honours in both 7s and 15s. It was a great part of our development into the professional game.”
Graduated from Gloucester University in 2015
Current club: Bath Rugby.
"Playing with England Students opened my eyes to what a professional environment looked like and the trial set up and matches allowed me to experience international performance sport. Through playing for them I was selected to trial with the England 7s programme. Following my successful trial I signed a full time contract and played extensively on the HSBC World Sevens series for three years. I was also selected to represent Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016 winning a Silver medal. I signed for Bath Rugby in August 2018 and have now represented them in the Gallagher Premiership and European Champions Cup."