A former Monmouth sportsman has celebrated a memorable victory at the home of English rugby union.
Sam Troughton, 25, was part of Cambridge University’s squad for their hard-fought 20-10 victory in the 136th Men’s Varsity Match against Oxford University at Twickenham.
Cardiff-born Sam came on as a late replacement for lock Nick Koster and was on the field when the final whistle was blown.
“It was an incredible day all round and the celebrations lasted a few days,” said Sam.
“Winning the Varsity is everything for us. The whole season is judged on this game.
“Getting the Blue was a fantastic way to cap off my eight years in Cambridge.
“Although it was only a few minutes on the day, it’s about the work that’s been put in over the last few months leading into this game.
“I spent over two years training 12 times a week for the boat race during my days as an undergraduate and I never made it.
“To finally get my Blue in my final year was very special.”
Sam played prop for Monmouth School for Boys’ 1st XV and rowed for the 1st VIII for two years.
Sam, who is studying at Robinson College, played in the match between Oxford Greyhounds and Cambridge LX Club last year.
Cambridge opened up a 5-0 lead in the Varsity Match after a try from scrum-half and man-of-the-match Chris Bell.
Oxford replied before the break with a penalty from Conor Kearns.
Mike Phillips’ penalty made it 8-3 to Cambridge and then Archie Russell’s try with 25 minutes remaining, thanks to a strong outside break, opened up a 10-point cushion.
Oxford responded and Will Wilson crashed over the line for a converted score after 65 minutes.
However, captain Charlie Amesbury dotted down at the tail of a maul soon afterwards as Cambridge retained the title.
“The atmosphere at kick off was incredible and it was hard not to get caught up in it while on the bench but you have to stay focused,” said Sam.
He continued: “I was told to get ready with around 10 minutes left to play, but there was no stop in the action for six-and-half-minutes.
“I ended up replacing one of the second rows as a blood replacement, but another minute later the tighthead prop got a concussion so I moved into the front row.
“Strangely, while on the pitch, I didn’t even notice the crowd. All I was thinking about was doing my job, holding on to to the ball, and running the clock down.”