Dylan Hartley suprises UoN students at rugby tournament

October 11th, 2016

England Rugby Union captain Dylan Hartley made a guest appearance at the 02 Touch Tour event last week on campus, even surprising our first XV BUCS Rugby squad with a post-match team talk.

Held at the Highfields playing fields on Wednesday 5 October, the O2 Touch Tour hosted over 150 University of Nottingham students who part in the fun touch rugby tournament or tried a new sport on one of the ‘turn up and play’ pitches.

The 02 Touch Tour aims to promote the benefits from taking part in social mixed touch rugby and, as well as this week in Nottingham, have taken the tour to Gatehead and Oxford. Joining Dylan in Nottingham were Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clarke MBE, Women’s Rugby World Cup winner and soon to be England’s most capped player.

After the tournament kicked off, Dylan Hartley took to the stage for a Q&A session with students, talking about his experiences in the England squad, his dedication to keeping in shape and calming of that notorious temper – before making his way onto the pitch for a friendly run around with two of the teams.

Dylan even headed over to the first team pitch at Highfields, where our top squad were in the final moments of their triumphant win over University of Birmingham. It certainly was a surprise to the players when he joined in with their post-match huddle!

Sam Bell-Minogue, Assistant Director of Sport, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Dylan and the O2 Touch Tour to the University of Nottingham – it was a fantastic experience for our students and really positive to see so many try out Rugby for the first time.”

“We have partnered with the RFU and O2 Touch for several years now and they are incredibly supportive of our student rugby programme. As well as elite performance training for our top squads, we also offer social rugby through our O2 Touch ambassadors and the popular Engage programme. We hope meeting Dylan today will inspire students to carry on with their rugby; it’s a great way to keep fit with your friends.”

For more information about the Engage programme, including Touch Rugby, visit the UoN Sport website. Take a look at pictures from the day in the gallery below.

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