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England Students return to face France in 2024

The Students’ RFU (SRFU) have confirmed that the England Students programme will return for 2024.


Long-standing rivals England Students and France Universities will be back in battle on English soil, with the 2024 fixture scheduled for early May. Last year’s match, held at the Stade André Beaudry, saw England Students secure their first away win against the French in 17 years with a tense 25-21 victory.


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 the best talent from across the English and French student populations together 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, Will Greenwood and Lawrance Dallaglio. France Universities count Fabien Galthié, Thierry Dusautoir, Raphaël Ibanez and Serge Betsen among their esteemed alumni.


After overseeing two consecutive wins for England Students, Darren Fearn, Newcastle University’s Director of Rugby, will reprise his role as Head Coach, alongside Gareth Nesbit and Mark Matzopoulous as Assistant Coaches, and Andrew Kennedy as Team Manager.


Player nominations are now open, and close at 5pm on Monday 19 February 2024. Eligibility criteria and details of the nomination process can be found here. A financial contribution towards the running of the programme will be required from selected players and/or their institutions. More details will be published in due course.


The SRFU, which runs the England Students programme, is a charity that exists to develop, grow and govern university rugby in England. There are a number of sponsorship and investment opportunities available for those seeking to support the SRFU’s mission. More details can be found here.


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