Varsity 2013: to be or not to be?

Rumours surrounding the cancellation of this year’s London Varsity sweep through campus.

A petition has been launched amid panicked rumours that the annual London Varsity rugby match between UCL and The Strand Poly has been cancelled.

The petition, opened to the public yesterday by a third year UCL student, has swept through the sporting community and now has over 140 signatures, calling to “overturn any agreement/decisions not to host the London Varsity.”

The petition’s proposer, Elliot Millar-Mills, claims to know that “the current state of affairs will see the Men’s 2013 Varsity played at Berrylands playing grounds [KCL’s home ground] on Wednesday afternoon as a BUCS match. Women’s game cancelled.

However, a statement from the UCLU Women’s Rugby Vice-Captain, Eleanor Trezise, confirmed that: “In the last meeting both UCLU clubs had on Tuesday with the Students Activities Officer, it was confirmed that there are no plans to cancel neither the men’s nor the women’s matches.”

A statement issued shortly afterwards by Student Activities Officer, Abdul Akbari, further challenges the legitimacy of the petition. It reads: “There have been suggestions that Varsity will be cancelled, this is NOT the case. We will be having a meeting with Kings very soon and then scheduling a meeting with the sports clubs here at UCLU to discuss our options.”

Rumours of a cancelled Varsity were most likely sparked by the refusal of Twickenham Stoop to play host for another year following the shameful incidents from the 2012 Varsity match in February of this year.

Last year saw crowd violence in the stands and the King’s mascot chucked out of the ground.

A similar statement released by KCL Student Union announced: “After a period of consultation between UCL Union and KCLSU, it is with regret that the decision has been made not to go ahead with the traditional rugby matches between UCL and KCL under the banner of The London Varsity as a result of incidents and behaviour at the 2012 event. [However], both Unions are working together to offer an alternative format for The London Varsity 2013.”

It is currently unclear as to what the ‘alternative format’ will be but both Student Unions seem adamant to defend the event which last year attracted over 2500 spectators and provided a platform for both the men’s and women’s teams to showcase some spectacular sport.