Former All Black to study at Oxford

Former All Black captain Anton Oliver is looking forward to playing in England’s rugby union Varsity Match after being offered a place at Oxford University.

Oliver (32) will study for an MSc in biodiversity, environment and management at the famous English seat of learning.

But as well as furthering his education, Oliver, who won 55 caps for New Zealand, will be part of the Blues squad as they prepare for the 127th Lehman Brothers Varsity Match against Cambridge on December 11.

“I see my time at Oxford as a clear demarcation in my life, leaving behind a life as a professional sportsperson for one of academic rigour and thought,” Invercargill-born Oliver said.

“The chance to play in the Varsity match—which is clearly a unique event in rugby union—is also very exciting and I see it as a natural way for me to finish my playing career.

“I first played representative rugby for Otago in 1994 when the game was still amateur and now to come back to the amateur game after all that I have experienced and learned is a lovely example of the full-circle metaphor: I’m finishing back where I started.”

Oxford’s director of rugby, Steve Hill, added: “We are delighted Anton has decided to accept the opportunity to study at Oxford.

“To have someone of his calibre and experience in the heart of our forward pack will be invaluable for our 2008 Varsity campaign.”—Sapa-AFP

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