Varsity stars in line for Nottingham Rugby debuts

30 Aug 2012 12:49:35.040

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Ahead of their 2012 RFU Championship opener on Friday 31 August, Nottingham Rugby Football Club has added two new recruits from The University of Nottingham Rugby Club.

Spotted when representing the University in the annual Varsity Match against Nottingham Trent, Alex Boggis and David Priest have become full-time members of the squad and are in contention for a starting place in the match against Leeds Carnegie at Meadow Lane tomorrow night.

Having being included in the clubs pre-season games, both players are looking to follow in the footsteps of former British Lion Brian Moore and current Nottingham Rugby players Tim Streather and Andy Savage, who have all represented the club while studying at The University of Nottingham.

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Balancing sport and grades

Dave Priest, a 3rd year Physiotherapy student who was playing for the University’s first team last year, explained: “It was pretty daunting at first, getting the call and being asked to join the big names for pre-season. Obviously it is something I want to do; I enjoy playing rugby – love playing rugby, so if I can take it further that will be brilliant.

“The University has helped by bringing in some quality coaches over the last couple of years, which have really helped us to develop our skills and awareness on the pitch. From the academic side they are pretty understanding, allowing me the time to train and to study to get good grades as well.”

Alex Boggis, who is currently in the second year of his Classics degree, added: “I am quite similar to Dave. I am hugely ambitious, but at the same time I do not want to get ahead of myself. I know there is a lot of hard work in between even representing Nottingham from where I am now. I am only young, I am 19, but having the development and the structure of a professional club will really help to develop my game, so I am hoping I can use those opportunities to full effect.”

Studies come first

The importance of the students being able to balance their sporting ambition and academic success is not lost on Nottingham Rugby Head Coach and former England international Martin Haag, who insists that while the club has a set training timetable, University should always comes first.

He said: “There has to be life after Rugby, not everybody can be a professional rugby player. These guys are smart, they are coming through and thinking ‘I do want an education, I do want to go to University and I want to play Rugby as well’. That is very difficult, but the good ones can manage their timetable accordingly, can cope with their studies, can cope with the training and are ultimately the ones that will be successful.” 

Nottingham Rugby Football Club kicks off their RFU Championship season against Leeds Carnegie at Meadow Lane, 7.45pm on 31 August 2012. Hear more from Martin, Alex and Dave on YouTube, or find out more about sport at The University of Nottingham at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United KingdomChina and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Dan Tilley, Director of Sport, The University of Nottingham at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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