They’ve fought Sky over this because we’re such a big deal
The BBC has reclaimed the television rights to show the Varsity rugby match between Oxford and Cambridge live on television for the next five years.
The move should raise the profile of the fixture both domestically and internationally, as currently the Six Nations and the World Cup are the only rugby union tournaments shown live on free-to-air television.
This year will be the first occasion that both the men’s and women’s take place on the same day, both matches being played on Thursday 10th December at Twickenham.
Blues captain Nikki Weckman welcomed the move. “The highlights being shown on the BBC will raise the profile of the Women’s Match, reaching a much wider audience and hopefully helping to inspire a new generation of girls watching at home to want to play the sport.”
The BBC will also be streaming the match live on its website.
The rights had previously belonged to Sky, who broadcast last year’s fixture which ended in a 43-6 victory for The Other Place – a fifth victory in a row for the Dark Blues.
Nonetheless, hopes remain high in Cambridge that the tide will turn in this year’s fixtures as a trump card waits to be unveiled.
Wales and British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts starts a MPhil in medical science at Cambridge in October, and has announced his intention to play in the Varsity match. With 72 international caps with 10 tries, he may well be the man to stop the tide.
Cambridge still lead 61-58 on the all time count but Roberts will have to be on top form in order to stop Oxford further closing that gap.