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ENGLAND STUDENTS 2024 FIXTURE DATE AND VENUE ANNOUNCEMENT

The 2024 England Students fixture against France Universities is confirmed for 4pm on Saturday 4th May at Coventry Rugby Club.


England Students secured a thrilling 25-21 victory over France Universities on Saturday 6 May 2023, marking the side's first win on French soil in 17 years.


This year’s fixture will take place at Coventry Rugby Club, Butts Park Arena Butts Rd, Coventry CV1 3GE, with a 4pm start time.


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We are hoping to see loads of supporters down for what is set to be another epic clash in this long-standing rivalry, with England Students hoping to make it three consecutive wins!


In late April, England Students will come together to train at RAF Cosford, Albrighton, led by Head Coach Darren Fearn, Newcastle University’s Director of Rugby, alongside Gareth Nesbit and Mark Matzopoulous as Assistant Coaches, and Andrew Kennedy as Team Manager. The squad will then move to Warwick Conferences at the University of Warwick ahead of the clash.


England Students victorious over France Universities at the Stade André Beaudry, Terrasson-Lavilledieu in 2023. Photo credit: THREE2


Darren Fearn, England Students Head Coach, said: “Coventry is a great club with a rich history; we’re hoping to get a big crowd down on the 4th May to support the England Students side versus French Students. It’s always a really exciting test match and a great spectacle. I'm sure there’s going to be a lot of future Premiership, Championship and Top 14 players on show, as there has been for the last numerous years.


“It’s always a tough challenge against the French. We went over to France last year and got our first win there for 17 years, which was special. They’re always a really strong opposition, and they’ve got players who go on to play Top 14 and Pro D2. A lot of players from England Students over the years have gone on to play regularly in the Premiership and the Championship. It’s a great development opportunity, it’s a great test match, and it’s always a good rugby game!”


Matt Cannon, General Manager at Coventry Rugby, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting England Students vs France Universities. At Coventry Rugby, we have a really good relationship with the Colleges and Universities in the West Midlands, so being able to showcase the best national and international talent is great. A few of our Senior Players have emerged through the BUCS programme and have now gone on to play in the Premiership, so we know how important it is to allow these players to represent and showcase their skills against a top-class opposition in a hopefully full arena.

 

“For us, it’s fantastic to host a match such as this. Being seen as a venue fit for international fixtures is very important to us, and all in attendance will be in for a fantastic spectacle.’’

 

England Student Representative XV was formed in the early 1970s, with the first fixture against France Universities two decades ago marking the beginning of a successful and enduring partnership between the sides. By bringing together the best talent from across the English and French student populations to battle it out on the field of play, each nation aims to shine a spotlight on university rugby and the power it has to uncover and develop the next generation of professional players.


Among those who have represented England Students in recent years are 7s star and Olympic silver medallist Dan Bibby, Bristol Bears back row Fitz Harding, Bath hooker Tom Dunn, and Exeter Chiefs tighthead Harry Williams, as well as England greats such as Josh Lewsey, Tom Mitchell (GB 7’s captain) Will Greenwood and Lawrance Dallaglio. While France Universities count Fabien Galthié, Thierry Dusautoir, Raphaël Ibanez and Serge Betsen among their esteemed alumni.


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For media enquiries, interview opportunities or more information please contact Elly White, SRFU Communications Lead at e.white@studentsrfu.com.

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