Student Origin clash beckons!

The sixth annual University Rugby League Origin takes place on Sunday (6 February, 3pm) at Loughborough University, returning after a year’s absence owing to the global pandemic in 2021 writes David Butler.

The South will take on the North in the annual clash, with a place in the England Universities squad at stake.

The teams have been selected from players who competed in the Inter-Regional Games in November and is the last phase in the selection process for the England Universities team, with Head Coach Richard Tate tasked with selecting 26 players for the national team.
He said: “The Origin Coaches Adam Houston, Jack Howieson (North) and Ben Whincup and Mark Sloan (South) have worked hard over the last three weeks to prepare the squads ahead of the game and once again their commitment to the Universities representative programme has been superb and special mentions should also go to Chris Chatten (North) and Ryan Cousins (South) who as team managers have handled a lot of the organisation and allowed their coaches to focus on preparation for the game.”

Both sides feature a large number of fresh faces, which is to be expected given the year’s absence owing to the pandemic. Tate will be familiar with at least two faces in the South squad, Ben Foskett and Michael Holden, who were selected for the 2020 England squad but was unable to pull on the jersey owing to lockdown and the suspension of the programme. Similarly, the North features Ben Gray and Sean Croston, both of whom have played for England for multiple seasons and Ben Bradshaw who was a pick for the 2020 squad. Both sides have plenty of talent to draw from with players from the professional game taking part alongside regular BUCS players.
“I and Kevin Deighton (Assistant Coach) are looking forward to the game and seeing how all the players perform in the game and I am sure they will give us plenty of selection headaches to take away over the coming week,” added Tate.

North Squad: Adam Lavin (Lancaster / North West)
AJ Towse (York St John / North East)
Alex Fitzhenry (Liverpool John Moores / North West)
Ben Bradshaw (Hull / Yorkshire)
Ben Gray (Sheffield Hallam / Yorkshire)
Cameron Brown (Liverpool John Moores / North West)
Elliot Jones (Hull / Yorkshire)
Harry Trulson (Hull FC Sports College / Yorkshire)
Jack Earl (York / North East)
Jack Quinn (Northumbria / North East)
Jed Charlton (Northumbria / North East)
Joe Riley (Leeds / Yorkshire)
Joseph Heaton (Edge Hill / North West)
Kellen Wood (Liverpool John Moores / North West)
Leon Stewart (Hull / Yorkshire)
Matty Rudd (Manchester Metropolitan / North West)
Max Flanagan (Newcastle / North East)
Nathan Newbound (Northumbria / North East)
Sam Eyres (UClan / North West)
Sean Croston (Northumbria / North East)

Coaches: Adam Houston, Jack Howieson
Team Manager: Chris Chatten

South Squad:
Alex Boag (Exeter / South West)
Ben Edwards (Loughborough / Midlands)
Ben Foskett (Wolverhampton / Midlands)
Ben Littlewood (Nottingham Trent / Midlands)
Ben Thewlis (Loughborough / Midlands)
Charlie McCurrie (Leicester / Midlands)
Christian Gale (London South Bank / South East)
David Bofenda (Open University / South East)
Delaine Gittens (Coventry / Midlands)
Ed Brown (Bedford / South East)
Henry Symons (Gloucestershire / South West)
Jack Cherry (Nottingham / Midlands)
Joe Hunter (Nottingham Trent / Midlands)
Josh Stuttle (St Mary’s / South East)
Luciano Bejanidze (St Marys / South East)
Michael Holden (Gloucestershire / South West)
Owen Priest (Gloucestershire / South West)
Sam Hughes (Oxford Brookes / South East)
Ted Davison (Loughborough / Midlands)
Tom Mitchell (Loughborough / Midlands)

Coaches: Ben Whincup / Mark Sloan
Team Manager: Ryan Cousins

Previous Origin Results:
2021: North 26 – 4 South
2019: North 34 – 22 South
2018: North 34 – 16 South
2017: North 28 – 16 South
2016: North 44 – 28 South