The Varsity ‘Light Blues’ Vintage Rugger. The history of The Varsity Match extends back to early 1872. It was a year after the first ever rugby international (Scotland v England). Both Cambridge and Oxford sent officials to arrange a challenge match. At The Parks, Oxford, they played a 20 a-side version of the game with the hosts victorious in this inaugural meeting.
Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt ‘Light Blues’ Vintage
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An Introduction to Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt
The Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt ‘Light Blues’. The history of The Varsity Match extends back to early 1872. It was a year after the first-ever rugby international (Scotland v England). Both Cambridge and Oxford sent officials to arrange a challenge match. At The Parks, Oxford, they played a 20 a-side version of the game. They played with the hosts victorious in this inaugural meeting.
Oxford wore dark blue jerseys. However, Cambridge played in pink, changing the Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt its now-famous blue and white in 1876.
Matches began in 1872 with the first men’s match. But matches not played during the two World Wars. Ever since 1921, the game played at the home of England Rugby – Twickenham Stadium, London.
The second Varsity Match a year later played in Cambridge at Parker’s Piece. But since then it has always been played in London. Richardson’s Field in Blackheath Oval and the Rectory Field in Blackheath staged four games before Queen’s Club in Kensington. The venue became the chosen venue from 1887 to 1920.
In 1878 and 1879 matches were postponed due to fog. They encountered a similar problem in 1919, the players were apparently invisible due to fog. The hundredth meeting staged at Twickenham in 1981 and the heavy snow covered the field.
Rugby Football introduced to Cambridge University by Albert Pell around 1839. Pell joined Cambridge after attending Rugby School, where the game of rugby originated.
Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club formed in 1872, around three years after the Oxford rugby club founded. Isaac Cowley Lambert was the first Cambridge Captain and he led the team out adorned in pink shirts with a monogram on the chest.
In 1871 members of the club assisted the RFU in writing the laws of the game based on the rules of Rugby School. All four nations adopted these rules and ultimately the remainder of the world.
Cambridge provided its first international player in 1874 when John Batten gained an England cap against Scotland.
Since then there have been many notable players who have not only represented their nations, but also gained selection for the British & Irish Lions.
In 1930, Wales Rugby international and former Cambridge product, Lions chose Henry Morgan Bowcott for their tour to Australia and New Zealand. He played in 20 of the 27 matches, including all five test matches. He partnered with another former light blue player in the centres in Carl Aarsvold. Aarsvold was to become Sir Carl Douglas Aarvold, OBE who had a sporting career with England Rugby. And afterward became a barrister and presided at the Kray twins’ trial in 1965.
Scotsman David Bedell-Sivright studied at Cambridge University, earning four Blues caps while playing in the Varsity Match. He captained both Scotland and the British Isles. In 1903 he toured with the Lions – now known as the British and Irish Lions – in South Africa. The next year Bedell-Sivright was appointed captain for the British Isles team that toured Australia and New Zealand.
He had a reputation as a formidable rugby player, as well as a ferocious competitor. He was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame, and in 2013 the International Rugby Board (IRB) Hall of Fame.
In the 1970s stylish Irish centre Mike Gibson MBE graced the famous Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt. He represented Ireland and the British and Irish Lions at international level. Touring with the British and Irish Lions a total of five times.
On the 1968 tour to South Africa, he played in 11 of the final 13 matches. In 1971 on the tour in New Zealand, Gibson formed a brilliant midfield pairing with Welshman and Lions Captain John Dawe. This combination played a major part in the Lions’ success – their sole series victory over the All Blacks. Mike Gibson was one of the finest ever Irish and Lions players and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011.
Manufactured from satin touch 100% cotton, the Varsity ‘Light Blues’ Vintage Rugger features the vintage Cambridge Lion as a smart appliqué on the front chest with the full Varsity Crest opposite. Also included in this garment is herringbone detail on the side vents and velvet tape on the neck opening. In addition subtle Ellis Rugby branding features on the collar stand and arm. The Cambridge Varsity Rugby Shirt ‘Light Blues’ Vintage Rugger is available in sizes S to 4XL
Small, Medium, Large, X Large, 2X Large, 3X Large, 4X Large