Dream come true as University students Will Britton and Miles Reid help Bath Rugby to Anglo-Welsh Cup victory on debut
The thriving partnership between the University of Bath and Bath Rugby produced more positive results on Saturday as students Will Britton and Miles Reid made their senior debuts in the famous Blue, Black and White.
The duo, both part of the University men’s 1st XV that competes in BUCS Super Rugby, came off the bench in the second half to help Bath record a 21-8 home victory over Newcastle Falcons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Fellow University of Bath students Josh Bayliss and Darren Atkins, who both study Sports Performance, were in the starting XV for a Bath side captained by Luke Charteris, a Sport & Exercise Science graduate.
Britton, who captains the University in BUCS Super Rugby, earned his selection after impressing while training with Bath during the build-up to the game. Fellow students Chris Barry, Jake Buckingham, Jack Davies, Tom Doughty, Will Flinn and Scott Russell also took part in the preparation sessions at Farleigh House.
“It was brilliant, something I’ve always wanted to do,” Britton, a Sport & Social Sciences student, told Bath Rugby’s Twitter feed after the game. “We’ve played here a couple of times with the University and nothing really comes close to playing in front of a full Rec.
— Bath Rugby (@bathrugby) January 28, 2018
“This has definitely pushed me on. I think I have learnt more in the last week at Farleigh than I could possibly have ever imagined and it’s definitely something I want to do more of in the future.
“Being in the second row, I obviously had to learn the lineout calls so I have spent quite a lot of time this week with Luke Charteris and he has been a massive help.”
Britton also praised the partnership between the University and Bath Rugby, saying: “It is massively important. As Uni players, we get to do some training at Farleigh House and spend time with the Bath coaches which is pretty invaluable when you are trying to get better.”
Sports Performance student Reid, a former pupil at Beechen Cliff School in Bath, is one of several Bath Rugby Academy players combining education and sport at the University. He has been a regular in the BUCS Super Rugby back row since returning from a long-term injury in November and was thrilled to finally represent his hometown club on the senior stage.
‘I’ve grown up in Bath, and it’s been my dream all my life to play for @bathrugby, so it’s nice to achieve it.’ @milesreid8 after making his first team debut v @FalconsRugby. pic.twitter.com/bzwtMpgfXn
— Bath Rugby Academy (@bathrugbyacad) January 27, 2018
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I’ve grown up in Bath and it’s been a dream all my life so it’s nice to finally achieve it, especially after being injured for such a long period of time.
“This has given me a hell of a lot of motivation. Playing first-team rugby for the first time is a great experience and really builds your confidence.”
The University men’s 1st XV return to BUCS Super Rugby action on Friday (February 2) when they make the journey to Kingston Park, home of Newcastle Falcons, to face Team Northumbria.
The IKON Construction-sponsored team then have their final home game of the league season on Wednesday, February 7 when they welcome Nottingham Trent to the University of Bath Sports Training Village. Kick-off is 6.30pm and entry is free.