[Press and Public Relations] Student Rugby Trio are International Stars

No 43

The University of Leicester is helping to keep alive Leicester's status as a sporting capital by producing three international rugby players.

Greg Hurst from Bramhope (Leeds), Ben Joyce from Brackley (nr Northampton) and Chris Purcell from Aberdare, south Wales have all aced the National League of the Student Rugby League Competition, and have represented England and Wales and Great Britain in international tournaments.

A recent trip to Russia was an amazing if not surreal experience for Greg Hurst, who is reading for a degree in Business Economics: "The locals got to hear about us and 14,000 people came to the stadium to watch," he said.

"It was as though I was famous! I kept getting asked for my autograph and two girls had made a banner saying 'I love you Greg!'. I kept telling people I'm only a student, not a super star!"

Maybe not yet, but a promising career in semi-professional rugby is now a reality not a dream.

The players were allowed some respite from the high-pressured job of representing their country, and enjoyed the anonymity of being tourists. "We got to do some sight-seeing in Moscow and went on the overnight train which was a bit like something out of a James Bond film."

However, the reality of playing rugby to such a high degree is somewhat less glamorous. Hard work, dedication and balancing academic work with training are all essential to their success.

For these young rugby stars, apart from their studies, life at Leicester is all mud and games! Greg said: "The University of Leicester and the Student Rugby League have given me great experiences in sport and a platform on which to build. A good club atmosphere and the new friends that have come about through playing at university will be my lasting memories of my time here. I would advise all new students to play sport at this University. Socially and competitively, the rewards for me have been high."

Greg added: "We are now on the lookout for sponsorship in order to keep competing at an international level with the forthcoming Student World Cup being held in Italy in July."

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact Greg Hurst on: Mobile: 07980 545717 email: gth3@le.ac.uk To contact Ben and Chris, please ring Greg.

[Leicester University] [*] Administration [*] Press and Public Relations
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 24 February 2002 16:30
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