Sport | Varsity – What's all the hype?

With Varsity around the corner, LS Sport are here to let you know what to expect of the University’s most competitive sporting showdown with our neighbours, and where to get all the best coverage.

During the course of just one day, the University of Leeds will battle it out with Leeds Metropolitan in 56 fixtures, to determine bragging rights for the coming year.

Since the event’s conception in 2005, these rights have remained in the hands of Met, having won the first seven events, and retaining the title last year after a dramatic 30-30 draw was sealed at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, when Uni won the coveted Men’s Rugby Union 1st Final.

Uni will be desperate to turn this near miss into victory in 2013, and will hope to take the winning feeling from that dramatic final into this year’s Varsity.

The showcase finale never fails to disappoint. Drawing crowds of over 11,000 in 2012, the atmosphere generated by University and Metropolitan students alike is truly breathtaking. In addition, Uni have recently developed a winning habit in this fixture, running out victors in the past two years.

Created in 2005, Varsity has become the fixture which all University teams value the most. It is the chance to play for the pride of your University, and for the student body as a whole.

The event’s conception created a formal annual meeting of the between the city’s Universities, having previously only engaged in individual league fixtures and informal Rugby Union matches.

Yet from humble beginnings, Varsity has grown from a 10 sport event to cover over 25 sports, and spanning not only 1st, but all 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th teams.

Indeed, from irregular meetings organised by the teams themselves, the Men’s Rugby Union Final has grown dramatically even since the creation of Varsity. Having drawn 2,000 observers in 2005, the Final now draws five-figure crowds, showing the popularity of the day’s fixtures.

Events take place at a variety of venues between the two Universities, at between 10am and 10pm. More information on the venues is available in the Freshers’ Guide.

It is free to attend all Varsity events as a spectator, except the Grand Finale at Headingley, for which tickets cost £10. To book tickets, or for more information on Varsity as a whole, visit

Jamie Kirby

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