Hartpury scoop Student Team of the Year award ahead of Twickenham final

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Hartpury are already celebrating ahead of their BUCS Rugby Championship final after being named the Students RFU Team of the Year.

Just hours ahead of their Twickenham final showdown with Exeter under the lights at Twickenham on Thursday evening, the team who clinched the inaugural BUCS Super Rugby title have been selected as the 2017 winners of the SRFU’s top honour.

Seb Negri, the Hartpury Captain, said: “It’s been a great season for us so far, winning the first ever BUCS Super Rugby title and now making it all the way to the championship final. This season has really been a team effort and everyone that has pulled on the jersey has performed.

“The boys have shown a lot of character this season and we’ve had to come from behind a couple of times and have faced some tough tests but everyone has stood strong, so I have to give a lot of credit to them. We’ve got a great group of lads here and we can’t wait for the final now.

“The support from everyone at Hartpury this season, not just the students and staff involved in sport, has been fantastic.”

The four-time BUCS National Champions will accept the award at a lunch event ahead of the final, which kicks off at 5.30pm. Tonight’s game will be the seventh time Hartpury have appeared in the showpiece event.

Sean Lynn’s side last claimed the award in 2014 as they topped the then-called BUCS Premier South A table with 10 wins from 12 games before making it to the BUCS final where they lost out to Leeds Metropolitan University.

The university side became the first winners of the new BUCS Super Rugby league this year after winning 12 of their 14 games to finish ahead of tonight’s final rivals Exeter University.

Hartpury’s Head Coach, Sean Lynn, said: “This award is great recognition for the boys and will be a great boost going into the big game tonight. We continue to work hard year on year and it’s excellent to be acknowledged as the top student side in the country.”

Negri has also been named the BUCS Super Rugby Player of the Year after being nominated, by coaches and captains from the other Super Rugby teams, alongside six other players from the competition. Teammate Jamie Forrester was also nominated for the award as well as being a nominee in the voting for the Fans’ Player of the Year.

The Hartpury captain said: “It’s a great honour to have been recognised by the other teams’ coaches and captains as well as everyone who voted for me to win but I couldn’t have done it without my own team. Obviously I’m delighted but our focus has to be on this evening as Exeter will be a tough test and I’d love even more to leave Hartpury as the captain of a BUCS Championship winning side.”

Five players from Hartpury’s title winning side have also been voted into the BUCS Super Rugby Team of the Year. Captained by Hartpury’s Seb Negri, the side also sees Jamie Forrester, Harry Cochrane, Luke Stratford and Alfie Barron make the final 23-man squad, voted for by the public. The five inclusions give Hartpury the biggest representation of any of the Super Rugby sides.

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