Bursaries put Oxford in touch

October 8, 2004

Oxford University is hoping to attract a different class of rugby player with a new bursary aimed at rugby league fans, writes Caroline Davis.

Ian Lenagan, originally from Wigan, who studied at Manchester University and then made his fortune and moved south, has donated £300,000 to endow a scholarship fund at Oxford.

Two successful students - players, coaches or physiotherapists - each year will receive an annual £1,000 bursary in return for involvment with the university rugby league team.

Matt Scaife, former president of the OU Rugby League Club who came up with the idea, said that because rugby league is largely played in northern clubs and has a more working player it would attract non-traditional students to the university.

He said: "I hope the scholarships will help to counter ... the misconception that most Oxford students are southern, former public school pupils."

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