2001 – 2002

Captain Edward Simmons

This was the second year in succession that Ed Simmons captained the Queen’s College XV, and, since this turned out to be the most successful season in recent history, this seems to have been a good strategy. Queen’s started the year in the third division and won all but one game, securing promotion along with the combined St. Anne’s and St. John’s fifteen. The story was a similar one in the second half of the season when good early wins against Worcester and Exeter put the team in a very good position for the second promotion of the year. Unfortunately, for the second time in the year the College lost to St. Anne’s/St. John’s but, as in the previous season, having won all other games achieved promotion to the first division. After the completion of the league season, in cuppers the same Queen’s team that had represented the College all season met a University College team which contained several under twenty one players and two blues players including a large Nigerian international prop forward with whom Jon Hughes had a far from enjoyable battle. With typical Queen’s grit, determination and camaraderie, Queen’s triumphed. In the quarter finals Queen’s faced Keble, a team which has not been out of the first division in living memory. In the closest game of the season, Keble, the eventual cuppers winners and a team replete with University players, eventually went on to win by 14-9. Trinity term brought out the fair weather players amongst us to participate in the rugby sevens. Along the way to the final Queen’s beat Jesus, St. Peter’s and Brasenose by more than twenty points. In the final the team had the pleasure of becoming champions by gaining revenge over Keble by forty points to three. Congratulations must go to a number of individuals within the squad. Jon Hughes and Adam Watt represented the University Whippets and Greyhounds, respectively, against Cambridge, while Stewart Robinson and Richard Gawthorpe were selected for the Oxford Colleges squad. The end of the year sees many of the team’s stalwarts leaving, and new captain Stewart Robinson, the first captain of rugby for many years also to hold the post of President of Taberdars’ Room, will need a fair measure of luck and Queen’s spirit as modest underdogs to have a successful season in the first division.