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The Impact of BUCS Super Rugby According to Will Greenwood 06/03/2019

WORLD Cup winner Will Greenwood believes university rugby can keep going from strength to strength as this season’s BUCS Super Rugby league presented by Yoti heads towards a dramatic conclusion

Cardiff visit Exeter today knowing only a win will stop their hosts from becoming back-to-back champions, with Bath and Hartpury waiting in the wings should they slip up.

It means a grandstand finish is once again in store with the BUCS Super Rugby Championship still to follow later this month when the eight best teams battle it out in a knockout competition.

An exciting spring is therefore in store for the best institutions in the land – with Greenwood, a regular player with Durham in his university days, in little doubt about the positive impact of the sport at this level.

“I’ve always enjoyed university rugby, it’s a fantastic stepping stone for those that mature a little bit later and can play against lads their own age at a really high level,” he said.

“At an age when you’re trying to get game-time under your belt, it’s an opportunity that’s afforded to players to get regular rugby for 20-25 weeks of the year.

“It’s an open and expansive game; I’ve always been an advocate of lads dodging the academies and playing with the universities on a Wednesday and then a club on the Saturday.

“I only have fond memories of university and my Durham team; I see far more of them now than I do any of the other teams I played for.

“I had a great time with Durham, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a great city, great connections and it was hugely academic, just below Oxbridge, and also hugely relevant in making people well-rounded.

“Some players develop and mature a little bit later on, or find their passion for it later, but in the meantime they still get the chance to play really high-level rugby.”

While the Six Nations dominates the focus of the rugby world, Greenwood hasn’t been shy in lending a casting eye over his alma mater.

Indeed, he’s had plenty to enjoy, with notable results over the high-flyers for Durham - victories at Exeter, Bath and Loughborough certainly scalps to take note of.

And with the BUCS Super Rugby Championship final once again taking place at Twickenham this year, there’s even more incentive for players to strive for almighty performances.

That’s exactly the path Hartpury’s Sebastian Negri has taken, captaining his side to back-to-back victories at rugby HQ in the past two years.

And in just a couple of days’ time, the 24-year-old is all set to make a return visit to Twickenham – this time in Italy’s Six Nations clash with England.

“BUCS Super Rugby continues to highlight that it’s a genuine option for players who are unsure about joining an academy, and giving them an option alongside their studies, which is great,” added Greenwood.

“You always get a great day at Twickenham, running out of that tunnel and being a rugby fan, understanding the footsteps you’re following on really is a massive deal.

“Knowing which end Elliot Daly ran 90 metres to, or which corner Chris Ashton dived to score in, you see those operators and you get to walk in the footsteps of giants.

“I know that Durham went through a really strong period – I follow them on social media and they’re always reporting some good wins, and it’s nice for them to do the double over Exeter.

“It’s a great competition and you’ve seen with the likes of the top talent that has come through there and gone on to play Premiership and international rugby, that it is a fantastic platform to develop from.”

Catch the action from Exeter vs Cardiff live from 14:15 today here

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