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Supported by members of her team, the Mommersteeg Group, Helen Potts was part of the Women's Blues Squad in the annual rugby union fixture held at Twickenham. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Women's Varsity Match.

Helen potts varsity
Photo Credit: Matthew Impney, Wired Photos

Helen Potts, a Graduate Student here in the Department, took part in closely fought Women’s Varsity Match against the University of Cambridge.

Helen’s Squad narrowly lost 5-8 on Thursday 6 December 2018. She was supported at the event by lab leader Mathilda Mommersteeg and Will Stockdale from the Mommersteeg Group. “It was so great to have Tilly and Will at the match. There were 10,000 people attending in total, so it’s reassuring to have people you know in the crowd who are cheering you on."

Helen is in her second year on the BHF DPhil programme at DPAG. She first got into rugby during her masters here at Oxford University. She has been a member of the Women’s Blues Squad since she first joined the University club. She trains 7 times a week and works hard to fit rugby in around her lab work: “I’m really lucky that Tilly is very understanding and supportive and lets me fit rugby in."

For Helen, both rugby and lab work requires a great deal of drive and motivation, and she finds they complement each other with useful skills: “Rugby has helped me be more confident, which helps with presentations, whilst my research has taught me to be creative and keep trying even if things aren’t working, which are both invaluable skills on the rugby pitch.”

There are 4 more BUCS League matches in store for Helen next year before the season ends. Best of luck to Helen for these matches!