Rugby: Paul Loudon set for Varisty encounter

Edinburgh Academical centre Paul Loudon will complete a notable rugby double tomorrow when he runs out at Twickenham for Cambridge University in the annual Varsity match against Oxford University.

It will the 129th instalment of the historic fixture with Fettesian scrum-half Sam Hunt also flying the flag for Scottish rugby in Cambridge colours.

Loudon, 11 times a Scotland under-20 cap over a two year period, said: "I have been fortunate to play at Murrayfield for Accies in the Scottish Cup Final so it is good to be ticking the Twickenham box as well.

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"I can't deny that perhaps playing in a match of this magnitude was somewhere in the back of my mind when the chance to move from Durham University to undertake a two-year course in land economy arose. But although I was aware of the history, I have been struck by the intensity attached to the Varsity fixture."

The build up has seen Loudon exposed to high-quality rugby and expert coaching he hopes to bring back to an Accies club he represented in the opening three matches of Premiership Division Two before studies took him south.

"Wasps' defence coach Rob Howley has taken us for training and the build up also saw (Wales and Lions coach) Shaun Edwards help out.

"From the opening day of our season in September, everything is geared to this fixture and we have been training twice a day recently. There hasn't been a team talk where the Oxford match hasn't been mentioned."

Preparations have included a match against a strong Northampton side who included Scotland prop Euan Murray and England's Shane Geraghty.

In fact, that is the only match Loudon's team have lost although that does not prevent butterflies when the moment of selection for a match to be broadcast live on Sky Sports draws near.

"It's almost a fortnight beforehand that the team is announced and that was a tense time.

"The way it is done is that the captain knocks on the door of your room and tells you whether you are selected or not.

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"It is particularly nerve-wracking but after Thursday the Cambridge University season begins to taper off and I certainly plan on being back at Raeburn Place making myself available for Accies shortly."

"Although I was aware of the history, I have been struck by the intensity attached to the fixture" paul loudon