Varsity Profile: Alice Savage (Women's Rugby)

Hi Alice, thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us! If you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and your time at Leeds?

Hi there! I’m a final year history student, and I’m from Edinburgh so coming down to England for uni was a big choice to make but I’m so glad I did because I’ve been able to meet some amazing people from all over the UK and the world!

When did you decide to join the rugby team? Have you played all your life or was this something you decided to try at uni?

I’ve been a rugby fan my whole life but I didn’t actually join the club here until my second year. I realised after freshers that I wanted to make friends outside of my course, and the team here is so diverse having girls from 1st year to postgraduate in a wide range of courses so we balance each other so well. I think it’s important to try and be involved in societies while you’re at uni because you do get so much out of them and it’s the perfect time to try something new!

How did the varsity go?

This year we secured our first win (24-12) over Beckett since the Leeds Varsity was created, and as this is my last year here coming off the pitch to a victory was very an emotional moment.

Is Varsity one of your most important matches of the season?

Beckett are a strong team to come up against, but we focused on going out there and playing our style of rugby while having as much fun as we could! It’s really just the end of our preseason- we’ll be seeing them again in the league soon! But also it’s the first match we play together as a team after seeing girls graduate and welcoming new members so it sets the pace of our season, and provides a great morale boost!

How do you prepare for your big matches?

Our preseason started in early September, so we were down for a month before Freshers to bring our strength up and to bond as a team. During the season we have to balance our matches with uni work and it’s a matter of making as many training sessions as possible, and getting involved with socials so that everyone feels comfortable together. 

Did you feel a good amount of support from the crowd?

We played down at the Beckett Headingley campus so the majority of the crowd was Beckett students, but we have some great friends who come to support us- we’re also lucky to have alumni members in the area who come and cheer us on! Honestly though when you’re on the pitch and in the zone all you focus on is your teammates! 

Do you think other teams should be allowed to host the ‘varsity finale’? Why do you think its always the male rugby union team that play?

The men’s match is the last event in the Varsity roster so in that sense it truly is the ‘finale’ of everything and the culmination of our friendly rivalry. That being said, I’d love to be able to see the girls play in the stadium- maybe one day we’ll have a double header event like the Edinburgh v. St Andrews varsity!

How is your season shaping up, can we expect big things for the ladies’ rugby union team?

We’re just coming off a great last season which saw us promoted into the BUCS Northern 1A, so we’re really hopeful we can keep up that momentum. We’ve also got some great new recruits and a 2nd team in the making so we’re really going from strength to strength!

Thank you so much for chatting to us. It’s really nice to get an insight in to the world of ladies rugby and university sport! Good luck for the rest of your matches!