Current Medical student Harry Pratt will be playing for the Dark Blues at Twickenham on Saturday 2 March. We asked him what it’s like playing rugby at this level.

Congratulations on being selected for the Varsity rugby team!  Can you tell us a bit about the commitment and work needed to get you to this point?

The blues have training most days each week, normally with Thursdays and Sundays off. We have big on pitch sessions on Mondays and Fridays, with a team run on Tuesdays before games on Wednesdays. There are also gym sessions on Mondays and Fridays (and Wednesdays if there is no game), as well as some top-up fitness work on Saturday mornings.

How do you balance a Blues commitment with your degree work?

It has been a struggle at some points – second year is quite intense for medics, so it has been difficult to balance everything. As a Christian I actually take Sundays off work and rugby – I have found this, perhaps counterintuitively, really helps me to get everything done during the week! It allows me to go hard at my academic work and sporting commitments for six days, before then taking a total break on Sundays. Rugby does also provide a welcome break from work during the week.

What is the hardest part about playing at this level?  And the most enjoyable?

The hardest part for me has been making sure I properly recover between sessions and get enough food on board during the day. Although this has definitely been made easier by the good food served in Hall at Queen’s! The most enjoyable bit has to be just getting to play rugby with some of your best mates. As we spend so much time together as a squad over the season, we are a really close-knit group come varsity.

What advice do you have for someone considering giving university rugby a go?

Just go for it. OURFC is a great environment to get involved with rugby, whether you have played it all your life or never even picked up a rugby ball. The club have provided me with so many amazing experiences (including tours to Japan and the US) that are simply unique to rugby at Oxford. Getting involved with OURFC is not an opportunity to be missed!