Marshall and Ismail Plot Conquer of Kings

With less than a week to go until Varsity, The Buzz met up with first teamers Ollie Marshall and Haris Ismail in Gordon Square to discuss the big game.

gordon square haris ismail king's oliver marshall rugby ucl varsity

It’s that time of year again, and with a 100% record this season, it would be difficult to see past UCL winning back the Jeremy-George Shield next Friday. If this pair are anything to go by, spirits in the camp are sky high, with the team confident they can not only win, but by a big margin.

And this trend appears to have begun with their comprehensive victory over RUMS in team’s first match of the year, “It was a very good win, and laid down a marker for the rest of the season” said Ismail.

Of the Varsity match, Ismail described the squad as being “very, very confident that we can do a good job against Kings, who have lost every game bar one which they drew”. He described the state of the opposition as “pretty rubbish”. Marshall said “Kings squad is compiled of mostly first years, making for a very new team, and it’ll be interesting to see how they react to our physical playing style.”


When asked if the team may rely on Marshall, who has scored 22 tries in 11 matches this season, the winger replied confidently: “Absolutely not. I’m not the key player and there are a fair few others who score a lot too.” Not least Haris Ismail, who self indulgently (but light heartedly) states that he himself “plays really well every game but doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves” even though the team have to “rely on [him] quite a lot”.


And those going to the match have much to be optimistic about, with UCL’s No.12 inside centre Will East having had 2 years at London Wasps as well as being a former captain of England’s Under 18s side. “He’s a very good, very solid player. Definitely the best in our squad” said Marshall.


In reply to the question of nerves in the build up to a match played in front of a 15,000 capacity stadium, Marshall simply stated “Nervous? I don’t get nervous.”


So those attending Twickenham Stoop next Friday can surely expect a big win for UC.


As a concluding remark, I asked the boys how they would sum up a typical Kings rugby player in a few words. Their suggestions included “ugly, bad chat, boring, stupid and pretty average at rugby”. This list naturally included a few more suggestions which may or may not be publishable in an online tabloid.


Further suggestions are always welcome!