by Nathan Parker
Date: Wednesday 14th March, 2018 (KO: 15:00)
Venue: Maiden Castle 3G, Durham
THE University of South Wales Men’s 1st’s continue their impressive cup run with a semi final clash against Durham University’s 2nd’s in the north of England.
The Welsh side sealed a place in the last four of the Vase Cup without actually playing the quarter final, with Leeds University failing to show up at Sardis Road last week.
On the other hand, Durham had to battle it out with another Welsh outfit in the shape of Swansea, just pipping the men in white 43-35 to set up the clash with USW.
Swansea were actually the last team to beat Ben Daniels’ side and the USW coach has picked a strong squad to make the seven hour journey to the north of England.
Experienced Pontypridd prop Joe Popple returns to the starting lineup, adding his vast experience to the front row, whilst Jamie Hill returns on the bench as back-up for in-form scrum half Harry Rumens.
No doubt USW’s continuity within the squad has been a huge factor in their success this season, finishing third in the South A Division.
In the North A Division though it was Durham 2nd’s who were sat proudly at the top of the tree beating the likes of Newcastle and Nottingham to the title.
Continuity has also been a major factor in Durham’s squad this season with prop and captain Scott Bowerman leading from the front. USW will also have to look out for live-wire scrum half Akira Takenaka and pacey outside centre Rawstron-Rudd.
Although the home team were champions of their division, they actually lost the same amount of matches as USW this season, giving Ben Daniels side hope of a famous away day in the cup.