EURFC players Jamie Gray, Paul Davis, Oliver Claxton and Rob Coote will represent England Students against France on 31 January 2014.

EURFC bolster England Students Squad

Five players from the University of Exeter Men’s Rugby Club (EUFRC) have been selected to represent England Students against their French counterparts in Blois on Friday 31 January.

Oliver Claxton, Robert Coote, Jamie Gray, George Beale and Paul Davis will travel with the national side made up of the country’s best student rugby players, as part of a series of matches that will roughly mirror the Six Nations.

The announcement follows an impressive start to the international season for Exeter’s players, three of whom, Coote, Claxton and Gray, helped drive England to a decisive 30-16 victory against Portugal, ranked 22nd in the IRB World Rankings, on 24 January.

EURFC club captain and England Students veteran Jamie Gray explained how he is pleased to see the national student side working together so well this early in the season.

He said: “Beating Portugal for the second year running was an awesome experience. It’s always hard when a group of new players come together with little time to prepare, but the squad gelled well and got the win we were after.”

Despite the short turnaround between matches, the players are now confident of a strong performance against France and will be buoyed by the addition of Beale and Davis to the line-up.

Gray continued: “Looking forward to France, hopefully we can go one better than last year and get the win. They are always a hard team with most of their players attached to professional sides, so everyone will have to step up to the challenge.”

“I’m really looking forward to Friday [31 January] and hopefully we can get a good result against them through a solid team performance.” added University of Exeter second row Rob Coote. “Fingers crossed the weather won’t be too bad and we’ll play some good running rugby.”

EURFC currently lie second in the British Universities and Colleges Sport National Ruby rankings and face rivals Bath in the upcoming Rugby Varsity match on 19 February.

Traditionally taking place at local Premiership side Exeter Chiefs' ground, Sandy Park Stadium, EURFC have an impressive record in the charity fixture which, despite losing star players Rob Coote and Sam Blanchet to England 7s trials, Gray hopes to maintain.

He said: “We are looking to win our fourth varsity in a row – but have to remember that it is still a league game, so we need to chase the bonus point victory to set us up a well as possible for the BUCS National Championship draw later in the season.”

Date: 30 January 2014