Its that time of year again as the various sports teams from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University (the poly down the road for the uninitiated) clash in a battle determine just who is the better university. While its easy to get a bit too caught up in the ‘DMwho? and ‘your dad works for my dad ‘ (definitely classist by the way) chat there is actually going to be some great sport so I’ve picked out the best stuff from across the 2018 edition of varsity, which runs from March 7th to 14th. Can the University of Leicester pull of yet another memorable Varsity win? Well given Leicester sit 37th in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) rankings and DMU sit 67th probably but anything (within reason) could happen.

Tennis – Wednesday March 7th @ Knighton Tennis Centre 

Probably the standout event on day one of the 2018 edition of Varsity is the tennis with the women’s taking place between 9am and 1pm with the men’s following on from that. For men’s tennis DMU actually are in a higher division than their Uni Of counterparts, so its a great chance for DMU to get some points on the board early. For the women’s the reverse is true, so while Leicester have been struggling in their division this year they should still be seeing off their DMU opponents.

Rugby – Thursday March 8th @ Welford Road Stadium

Probably the flagship event of the whole week the Rugby takes place at Welford Radio Stadium, the home of the Leicester Tigers. If you only attend one event for the whole of Varsity this year then this is the one to go to. The women’s game kicks off at 6:15pm and is a great chance to see a heavy Leicester victory, given the large divisional gap between the two sides (no pressure). The men’s game kicks off at 8:05pm and was absolutely thrilling last year, with Leicester vanquishing DMU right at the death. Uni of are heavy favourites this year too with the 1st XV having a glorious season as they sit atop of their league.

American Football – Sunday March 11th @ Stoughton Road

American Football is probably one of the most misunderstood sports on this list. Yes it goes on a bit and is fairly stop-start but once you get to grips with the rules it is an enthralling watch. This year’s varsity kicks off at 12pm and should be a fiercely contested match given Leicester’s narrow win last year. Again Uni Of are the favourites going in, having been promoted up a league last season they have adapted exceptionally well and secured their safety with games to spare.

Cycling – Sunday March 11th @ New College 

This event is a particularly noteworthy won as I’m told its the first Cycling Varsity event in Leicester – ever! The points will be contested through a series of exciting races and time trials round the circuit at New College. Expect the standard to be high with a number of talented cyclists taking part. As for who is going to win? Well given no BUCS events have taken place yet its hard to say but I’ll be backing Leicester in this one. The event starts at 11am.

Football – Monday March 12th @Beaumont Park 

The men and women’s football are undoubtedly two of the most anticipated events every year. The women’s teams are actually both in the same division – so it should be a relatively tight affair – although Leicester sit top of the division while DMU are struggling. Kick off is at 5:30pm and it is followed by the men at 7:30pm. Again Leicester walk in the favourites but DMU are top of their division so do expect a close encounter.

Netball – Tuesday March 13th @ Leicester Arena 

The 1st to 3rd Netball teams are all having their Varsity at the Leicester arena with the first game starting at 6pm. While Leicester do sit in a higher division than their DMU rivals they have struggled this year, so DMU are certainly in with a chance. This is one of a number of events happening at Leicester Arena – which is definitely worth checking out.

Basketball – Wednesday March 14th @ Leicester Arena 

The final event this year is basketball (rather conveniently) and its happening at Leicester Arena. The women’s game starts at 6:30pm and should be an intriguing one with, DMU flying high and Leicester struggling, although Leicester are in the division above. The men’s basket may be even closer as both teams sit in the same division. The sides have met twice in the season already and Leicester have managed a narrow win each time, so DMU will be out for some revenge so get down to the arena for 8:30pm to watch that.

That’s some of the highlights I’ve picked out for this year’s Varsity but there are plenty of other great sports I have not even got around to mentioning. From rowing to hockey to fencing to swimming to badminton to Lacrosse there is very much something for everyone. So make sure you get down to at least one event to support Team Leicester.

Cameron Eyles

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