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Testing time for England Students’ captain

29 January 2010

  • Captain Burgess faces two examinations in 24 hours
  • Sports policy paper comes just before Portugal match-up

England Students Team Manager Keith Green with his captain Phil Burgess

Photo: RFU Archive

England Students captain Phil Burgess faces a doubly testing time in Lisbon this week as he leads his team out against the Portugal national team on Saturday afternoon - 24 hours after sitting an important examination.

Open-side flanker Phil, 21, is currently a finalist student on the BSc Geography and Sport & Leisure Management programme at Loughborough University.

At 4pm on Friday he will be sitting his sports policy analysis paper at England Students' team hotel in Lisbon.

The exam has been scheduled to run at the same time as it is back home, and team manager Keith Green will be Burgess’s invigilator.

Burgess is in his first season as England Students’ skipper and has also played for Gloucester Rugby in the A team and at the Middlesex Sevens, and for Harlequins Academy and Surrey U20.

He will lead the final captain’s run before the match against Portugal, the world’s 21st-ranked international team, and then, when he might have joined his team-mates in the swimming pool, head instead for the exam room.

"The exam papers are being couriered to me and we will set up a hotel room up for Phil so that he takes the paper under strict exam conditions," said Keith Green.

"We have an excellent relationship with Loughborough who share our beliefs that you can combine academic achievement with top level sport, and I have been in constant contact with Rachel Breen the Departmental Administrator at the Department of Geography to set this up.

"Rachel is keen on behalf of the university to give Phil every opportunity to captain his country. It also speaks volumes of Phil’s character and commitment that we talked through the possibility of him having the pressure of captaincy while also having the exam on his mind. He never doubted he could manage both."

England Students Fixtures 2010

England Students v Portugal (away): January 30, Estádio Universitário, Lisbon, kick off 3pm
England Students v Irish Colleges (home): February 26, Kingston Park Stadium, Newcastle, 7.30pm
England Students v France Universities (away): March 19, Riom, 7pm