There are few better places for an afternoon stroll in London than Parliament Hill, so why not tie in a full day of sports watching with it too, as Varsity 2022 kicks off with widest ranging sport of the lot in Athletics. A full day of action is there to be enjoyed between 11am and 4pm. The menâ€™s team recently made it to the semi-finals of the BUCS National Indoor Championships, which bodes well for their toughest assignment of the year. All the usual track and field events will be on, so get up there for a festival of sport!
Swimming makes it deserved return at this yearâ€™s series, and also deservedly get to play it out at one of the finest arenas of the London 2012 set, that being the spectacular London Aquatics Centre in Stratford. After a narrow 105-101 defeat in the 2020 series, theyâ€™ll be looking to avenge defeat 2 years later over the course of a marathon 2-hour session.
After rounding out the 2020 Covid-19 suspended London Varsity series against a UCL medics team – UCL proper was still banned by their SU – with a resounding win, our men in red struggled against UCL in the Covid affected 2021 London Varsity series due to injuries and a lack of playing time before the game. This year though everything is different, as fans return to cheer on our menâ€™s and womenâ€™s teams across every varsity event.Â
Due to a large number of players graduating at the end of last year the Kings first XV is largely made up of first and second years, however, this hasnâ€™t affected the quality of play. The first team currently sits third in the division, one point clear of GKT, with next year looking like a potential title push. The varsity game this year will be the defining moment of the season.
It is often said that in rugby the forward will decide if you win a game or not. And this game will be no different. The Kingâ€™s forward pack is made up of some amazing players that will provide a platform for our backs. Kings first XV captain and starting prop Joshua Hall is a massive ball carrier and is always able to provide go-forward. Another senior Michael Batty will lead the Kingâ€™s defensive line as we look to halt UCL in their tracks. Off this powerful forward platform we can expect the backs, with a line up full of pure talent, to use their electric feet to dance over the try line. UCL will offer a stern test though, with a lineup that will demand the respect of KCLRFC. Despite this though the quality of KFLRFC should prove to be too much for UCL, and I believe our men in red will be able to edge this game out.
Michael Jordanâ€™s Chicago Bulls, Pepâ€™s Barcelona and KCWLRFC. Sounds like a good list.
KCLWRFC have a chance this year to enter the annals of sports greatest achievements as they look to achieve the converted 3-peat over the Gower Street Polytechnic, UCL. After an impressive win on the last day of Varsity in 2020 before Covid-19 ruined the fun the ladies of KCLWRFC did not even need to break a sweat to trounce UCL once more in a later than normal 2021 London Varsity Series, a combined KCLWRFC and GKTWRFC team swiftly vanquished UCL once more – sadly though I alone was there to celebrate. However this time the sidelines of Grasshopper RFC will be packed once more to bring home the points for Kingâ€™s in the London Varsity series.Â
Rugby has traditionally been the curtain closer on the varsity schedule, this year however both the womenâ€™s and menâ€™s games will be the first of the big three – football, hockey, and rugby – to go. Nothing like a bit of scoreboard pressure on whoCL as Kingâ€™s looks to reverse the hurt of the last five varsity series.
KCLWRFC President, Eva, had this to say before the game;Â
â€œWe are really looking forward to playing varsity this year. We’ve had a very unique year with having to build a completely new team from scratch but it’s been great to see the improvement from each and every player over the season. Can’t wait to see how this plays out at varsity – should be a great match!â€
With a core of senior players led by like likes of impressive fly-half Grace Moucharafieh and exciting young talent KCLWRFC will head into varsity as clear favourites, having already beaten UCL this year. As always though when it comes to UCL it will be a tough game and nothing can be taken for granted. Our ladies in red will need all of our supportÂ
Taking place in a typically friendly, casual venue this time round (the heavily underrated Southwark Park), the KCL outfit will be looking to retain their title from the opening event of last yearâ€™s series, and KCLâ€™s first point of last yearâ€™s series. They recently finished 13th in the Division 1 Nationals, which is a decent platform to build on.
Images credited to KCLSU.