Luke Shaw: University Origin Games, Evolution at Grassroots!
I have seen Myton Warriors sweep aside some of the best amateur clubs in the country. But having witnessed the monumental effort by Hull Uni to push the Warriors to only win by fine margins, I soon realised the level of University Rugby League has improved dramatically with collegiate teams fielding many players of NCL and in some cases, professional standard. Following a very exciting North vs South University Origin game, I recently spoke with 18 year-old back-rower Luke Shaw, who plays for Beverley ARLFC and Lincoln University to discuss his thoughts on the game at university level, here's what he had to say:
1. Who do you support and which Super League player are you most like?
"I support the mighty Hull Kingston Rovers, and I'd compare myself to John Bateman as I'm not the biggest but I run the ball as if I am!"
2. When did you start playing rugby?
"My dad got me into Rugby when I was around 5 years old
3. What are the University Origin Games?
"University Origin games are the next step in the ladder towards the England Students rep squad. A Northern team and a Southern team are picked from regional representative squads who all compete amongst each other. I got involved after the captain of our university team presented the opportunity to me to trial for Midlands Universities".
4. You recently played for The South of England University Origin Team against the North, what are your thoughts on the game?
"The game was one of the fastest I've played, and was extremely close and well competed. The skill and fitness on show was exceptional. Although South were in the lead 12-10 at half time, North won the game with a final score of 34-18"
5. How would you describe the current level of Rugby League at University?
"The level of rugby league at university is really good, however the key point in my opinion is the widespread popularity and involvement across the country allowing lads who usually wouldn't be exposed to it getting an opportunity to play. This means that teams can be unorthodox and for me proves an evolution of the game at grassroots and a step away from the insular mentality that rugby league seems to have along the M62 corridor for a long time. So, a huge positive".