Malikhi Lloyd-Jones and Luke Stephens, two of ten students from the University of Gloucestershire selected to represent the Southern universities in tomorrow’s big game against the North, have attributed their fine form to the ‘top class’ rugby league set-up at the University.

Luke Stephens, who is studying law at the University of Gloucestershire, is a graduate of the All Golds’ academy system and says tomorrow’s game will be a great opportunity to book a place on the plane to Australia for the Student World Cup. He said: “I can’t wait for the game. It’s an opportunity to get in the England squad, who wouldn’t want that?

“Having nine other lads from the university team involved will be great. Playing every week with your mates is fantastic and playing alongside so many of them tomorrow will make communication so much easier.

“I feel this year I’ve really learned a lot from the coaching staff at the university of Gloucestershire. Anthony Murray has been a great head coach to work under, he’s taken us up a level.

“The opportunity that the University of Gloucestershire provides for rugby league players are fantastic. I had options to study elsewhere but I’m so glad I decided to study here. The facilities are top class, you really couldn’t get a better place to study and play high level rugby league.”

Malikhi Lloyd-Jones came to the University of Gloucestershire in September to study for a degree in Business Administration. Like Stephens he is under contract with the All Golds professional side and looks set for a big 2017. Lloyd-Jones echoed the thoughts of his team mate Stephens, saying the facilities and coaching team at the university were a big factor in his decision to come to study here. “I’ve only been here five months but I’ve learned so much about the game playing under Anthony Murray. Things have been going really well us and I really can’t wait for the game tomorrow, it’s been a while since I played a game so I’m obviously raring to go. It should be a great game against a strong North side.

“What impressed me about the University of Gloucestershire is the set up. In terms of facilities you really couldn’t ask for more. To have the opportunity to study, get qualifications that can set you up for life as well as playing high end rugby league, is absolutely fantastic.”

Lloyd-Jones and Stephens will be joined by eight further members of the University of Gloucestershire rugby league team. In total, the university of Gloucestershire make up half the 20 man squad for the game at Loughborough. The best players from the game will be in line for selection for the England Students squad which will play at this summer’s Student World Cup in Australia. The South are made up of students from universities from the South West, Midlands and London and will be taking on the North squad, which is selected from students studying in the North West, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

The South squad:

Archie Gibbs – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Ben Stead – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Bradley Kislingbury – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Charlie Greene – St Mary’s University, London

Connor Jones – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Craig Winfield – Cambridge University, London

Daniel Harrison – Nottingham Trent University, Midlands

Daniel Fallon – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Elliot Hall – Loughborough University, Midlands

Errol Carter – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Harry Kidd – University of Gloucestershire, South West

James Mason – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Kieran Sherratt – Coventry University, Midlands

Lewis Lord – Loughborough University, Midlands

Lewis Taylor – Loughborough University, Midlands

Luke Stephens – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Malaki Lloyd-Jones – University of Gloucestershire, South West

Matthew Ross – Nottingham Trent University, Midlands

Matthew Holroyd – Nottingham Trent University, Midlands

Rob Meadows – Loughborough University, Midlands