As Blackheath prepare for their home match against Loughborough Students tomorrow, there’s one Club player who might be casting his mind back to his own time at an institution that combines academic achievement with sporting excellence.
Club’s Josh Davies spent three years at Llandovery College in Carmarthenshire. George North and Alun Wyn Jones have been recent pupils at the college, which prides itself on its Welsh traditions.
Davies, an ever-present in Blackheath’s 11 National League One matches this season, said: “I spent three years at Llandovery from the age of 15. It made me grow up very fast, but it was a time I wouldn’t change for anything.
“Having a university side in the National Leagues is great as it gives the students their first real opportunity to play at senior level.
“It has provided a springboard for many players to go on and achieve Premiership and international honours. University teams always seem to play a good brand of rugby.”
Blackheath’s 26-19 victory at Fylde a fortnight ago keeps them fifth in the table. Loughborough have struggled with just three wins from 11 matches to leave them one place off the foot of the table.
But their latest match saw them defeat Old Albanian 37-18, and the corresponding fixture a year ago saw the Students become the first visiting side to win at Well Hall, Blackheath’s new ground, before they went on to complete a league double over the Club.
Mark Cooke (hamstring) is expected to return at inside-centre after missing the last three matches. Geoff Griffiths hopes to be fit to resume on the wing. Hayden King has recovered from an infection and is a likely starter at loose-head.
Kick-off is 3pm.
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