Oxford captain RULED OUT for Varsity match happening in 11 DAYS
With very little time to go, Cambridge gets a massive boost
George ‘Zoltan’ Messum, the captain of the men’s Dark Blues, has been deemed ineligible according to Blues criteria.
The ruling, made by the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Blues committee, means Oxford will take to the field at Twickenham without their talisman. They have just ten days to find a new captain and a new number eight.
Messum is without a doubt one of their star players, having played for the Northampton Saints, Bedford Blues and England Students, the last of which he captained.
Messum also played for the Dark Blues last year at Twickenham, when they scored their record win (43−6), an unprecedented fifth success in a row.
Despite playing in last year’s Varsity match, this year Messum has been found not to meet all of the criteria set out for Blues sport eligibility agreed by the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Blues Committee, it was announced last night.
On the OURUFC website, Messum said: “I am of course on an individual level disappointed that I will not be able to take the field at Twickenham.”
I cannot put into words how supportive players past and present, along with the management have been…and I know that my own individual disappointment will not affect what this group wishes to achieve.”
A full explanation of Messum’s ineligibility has not yet been given, but the most likely reason is believed to centre on the increasing resistance of the Oxbridge Blues Committee towards the recruitment of ex-professional players on spurious courses.
Messum joined St Anne’s College last year from Loughborough University where he studied International Relations as an undergraduate. At Loughborough, he was affectionately known, campus-wide, as “sausage legs” according to his profile on the OURFC website.
It is believed that a ruling of this type is long overdue. The ‘Messum ruling’, as this will surely be known if it is true, may have implications for other sports. Messum, 24, is into his second year of a postgraduate course in Historical Studies at St. Anne’s. He will continue on in his role as club captain.
CURUFC have yet to make a statement, but, with the addition of Jamie Roberts and Ian Nagle, combined with the men’s Blues good form, the 2015 Men’s Varsity Match is surely the best opportunity for a Cambridge victory in years.
The squads for both Blues’ matches will be announced on Monday at 6pm.
The Oxford and Cambridge Joint Blues committee also presides of the eligibility of rowers for the Boat Race although it is too early to say what effect, if any, this will have on other sports.