Dom Waldouck brought down the curtain on his Varsity Match career with a win at Twickenham and could be back in Heineken Champions Cup action next week.
The Oxford University skipper, who led his side to a 38-16 win over Cambridge, will resume his contract at English Premiership side Newcastle Falcons this weekend after a 12 week sabbatical.
“I won’t be playing against Edinburgh on Friday night, but I’ll be back up in Newcastle this weekend,” admitted Waldouck.
“I am unbelievably appreciative to Newcastle Falcons for giving me the opportunity to study alongside my Newcastle contract in these past few years. It has been a very special experience.
“I’m heading back to Newcastle with no plans to apply for another course. Rugby is a very finite career, and I’ve been very lucky to play for as long as I have, and now I’m thinking about my next path.
“It is going to be hugely different because the focus at Newcastle will be solely on rugby, whereas at Oxford there was a huge amount of academic work. I’ve really enjoyed my role as captain at Oxford and the effect I had on the programme.
“I enjoyed working with James Wade and the other coaches and it was a feeling of relief in getting the job done. Back at Newcastle I will have to focus on my own role and putting in my best rugby performances.”
Another professional player, former England Under 20, Saracens and London Irish full back Ben Ransom, stole the show and the Alastair Hignell Medal for Oxford with his performance. Like Waldouck, he is looking to his options outside rugby.
“Ben was outstanding. We were under a lot of heat in the first half because their No 9’s kicking game was brilliant,” said Waldouck.
“But Ben nullified that threat and was outstanding with his counter attack. He is a young, smart man who wasn’t getting what he wanted out of professional rugby.
“This is a transition period for him. You could see the class he has got out there, but he wants to focus on other things in his life.”
Waldouck was also full of praise for referee Nigel Owens, who added the match to his agenda this week ahead of a gtrip to Paris for a Heineken Champions Cup clash on Sunday.
“The referee wasn’t bad, was he. It is brilliant for the game to have such a high profile referee and it added to the respect of the occasion,” he said.
The dates for next year’s Varsity Matches has already been confirmed for Thursday 12 December 2019 at Twickenham Stadium. Ticket information will be released soon.