Durham University Rugby Football Club head into the second half of the 2019/20 season sitting comfortably at the top of the BUCS Super Rugby league.
The men’s team’s impressive victories against the likes of Swansea (36-7), Hartpury (25-7) and Cardiff (26-5) have demonstrated the club’s might on the pitch, thwarting opposition chances while establishing a real presence on their own score-line.
Now the squad turn their attention to the second half of the season with a focus on the trophy of and title as BUCS Super Rugby champions. This achievement would demonstrate the effort performed both on and off the pitch by the entirety of the club, pulling together the determination and time spent by players, coaches, physios and supporters alike on developing a dominant team.
Those on the DURFC first XV sacrifice an immense amount of time and effort to stand a chance of dominating the field.
Players undergo three weekly strength and conditioning sessions, two on-field training sessions and one weekly BUCS game in a schedule which is difficult to fit in alongside the regular University timetable but produces players capable of impressive organisation and drive physically and academically.
Captain Ben Fowles identifies the commitment performed by players, with the squad working throughout the recent break. By being “kept to a strict strength and conditioning routine” so they might “hit the January pre-season running”, the squad are now “fitter than ever” and ready to “face business” for this second half of the season, hungry for further success and to claim the trophy.
DURFC have also been prolific off the field, with a successful term of fundraising for multiple charities and the DURFC community. Club members helped raise an impressive £2,716 for the Movember Foundation, a global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health. In addition, they raised a further £2,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
But even more impressive is the incredible £5,572 raised for Sport Action Zambia by last term’s charity match. Further charitable efforts include support for the HALO charity, an organisation aimed at developing awareness for crimes against women and female genital mutilation.
Combined, the efforts produced by the entirety of the DURFC community and their supporters resulted in a tremendous total of £10,288 raised for a variety of charities and concerns in just one term.
This achievement is one that they wish to maintain, with DURFC standing dually at the top of their BUCS league and as the largest charitable donors of all Team Durham sports squads.
URFC are also looking to improve and develop their relationship with the local community. Opportunities have recently been given to children from local rugby clubs to “show off their skills” during half-time at some of the most competitive home games. In addition, first XV player Charlie Spawforth has given talks and coaching sessions at many schools within county Durham, promoting the sport and identifying the many different pathways that lead to professional rugby.
One of these pathways has been fully grasped by player Jack Hill. Having been selected to train and compete amongst Scotland’s U20 squad, Hill stands as a representative for the BUCS pathway which allows a university player to be carried through to the next level. DURFC’s coach identifies BUCS as now “standing as a real viable route” for those wishing to develop their rugby to national and international level alongside a degree.
DURFC will face Cardiff for their first game in the second half of the season on home turf. With a 6:30pm kick-off on Wednesday 29 January at Durham City Rugby Football Club, the squad hope to pick up pace from where they left off and produce more palatinate power on a road to another BUCS win.
Image courtesy of DURFC