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University of Gloucestershire’s Will Bonsor ‘honoured’ by Varsity selection that doctors said was unlikely

Ahead of Tuesday’s Varsity Rugby Union fixture against Worcester University, starting second-row Will Bonsor reflects on the team’s hard work during their six-week training camp at the University of Gloucestershire.

“In terms of the training we’ve had, we have on-field sessions on Sunday and Monday evening, we do fitness on a Tuesday morning which is always the worst day of the week in the mud and the gruelling rain, getting up at 6:30am to get to Gloucester for seven and we’re flat out for around an hour.

“Thursday is probably the best day for the team with two sessions on a Thursday, S&C and prehab, and we usually follow the morning prehab session with some breakfast as a team, which for me is a really good thing as I have struggled with mental health, so I find it a really nice bonding time.”

Head Coach Ashley Kempson has named his squad for the final match-day, after six weeks of intense competition amongst the players. Only 22 were selected for the squad, and this announcement was given on Monday evening.

Bonsor, who plays in the second row, was anxious before the announcement as he faced stiff competition for his position.

“I was extremely nervous, I was almost half-crying in the car”

“My health was so bad at the start of the year and I was told that realistically I probably wasn’t going to be able to continue playing sport at any decent level, so to be picked is a real honour and extremely special to me.

“It just shows how much the team, the coaches and the S&C team have been able to push me to get to this point, to actually be picked and to be starting.

“It is very special to me.”

UoG Men’s Rugby Union lost their previous coaches before the start of the season and brought in university lecturer Ashley Kempson to take the reigns with just four fixtures left, turning the team around and getting them increasingly closer to that first win of the season.

“I think he’s made us more competitive, especially that game against Cardiff [which] was a real big change for us.

“We lost by just two points, against a big team like Cardiff who have a lot more money and resources available to them as a team, I think that was extremely successful of us to go down there and come so close to beating them.”

“I think as a team we really showed ourselves as a group, we looked after each other, backed ourselves and we gained a lot of confidence by silencing their crowd.”

Tickets for their Varsity fixture have now sold out, but the fixture will be live-streamed.

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