Twickenham familiar for Caian

  • 30 March 2022

Family will be at the forefront of her thoughts when Sibella Egerton (Natural Sciences (Physical) 2019) runs out at Twickenham for the Varsity rugby union match on April 2.

Sibella has rugby pedigree. Her father Andrew played for Wasps and was the first person she called when selected by the Light Blues. Her uncle Dave played for Bath, England and the British and Irish Lions. Dave died last year.

“I’ll be thinking of him when I run out at Twickenham,” she says.

“It’s not something many people get to do. We sing the anthem and in those moments of reflection I’ll be thinking of my uncle and the rest of my family.

“My dad is my biggest rugby influence. He’s the person I text or call after games, and he gives me his opinion when he watches my games.

“He’s the first person I called when I found out about getting into the Varsity team.”

When Dave Egerton was Bath number eight, the West Country side made regular trips to cup finals at Twickenham, where Sibella has been numerous times as a spectator. Now the 21-year-old’s family – dad Andrew and mum Oonagh, sister Poppy and brother James – will be watching her on the fabled turf.

Like her father and uncle, her playing career began at Salisbury Rugby Club, when a women’s training squad was established five years ago. Her first match experience came in representative rugby, for Dorset and Wiltshire under-18s.

“I didn’t know I was going to play rugby when I started university. I thought I might try rowing. But here we are and I’m going to Twickenham,” she adds.

A rugby union kick-off

Sibella Egerton takes a kick-off for CURUFC (credit: Phil Llewelyn)

Sibella discovered her selection as a replacement, offering cover for positions including scrum-half, fly-half and inside centre, in a one-to-one meeting with the captain, Laura Bleehen, who provided her with a card with her shirt number, 21, on it.

Cambridge have played Oxford twice already this season, in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions, winning once and losing once, and Sibella was involved in the second XV match which Cambridge won earlier this month.

She says: “I think it’ll be a really close match. The Varsity matches in the last few years have been quite low scoring, but we’ve got a really good set of backs and I’m hoping we can score some more tries and make it an exciting match.

“Every game felt like a warm-up for this game. It’s all gearing up to this. This is the pinnacle of the season and feels like the only thing that matters.”

:: Tickets for the Varsity matches - the women's match kicks-off at 12.30pm and the men's match kicks-off at 3.30pm - are available on the dedicated website

Main image credit: Kane Smith

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