The finest college football players in Great Britain will gather in Leeds for the BUCS Finals Day on Saturday afternoon.
The national championship game will be a real Battle of Britain as England’s Birmingham Lions take on Scotland’s Stirling Clansmen. Both clubs are undefeated on the year with 10 wins apiece, meaning the battle for glory promises to be a hard-fought and close-run affair.
The Lions are playing in their sixth consecutive national final and advanced to the championship showdown with a 27-21 semi-final victory over last year’s beaten finalists, the Hertfordshire Hurricanes. Birmingham also recorded a 41-2 win over the Durham Saints in the quarter final round of the playoffs.
Head coach Wayne Hill said: “It is a great honour to be representing the University of Birmingham in the BUCS National Championship Game. The players and coaches have worked tremendously hard this year in what has often been an up and down season as we tried to find our identity.
“We can now focus on Stirling who are a formidable opponent. They have dominated every opponent they have faced this year. We’re expecting a battle for four quarters and this is something we will be prepared for. The game should be a great advertisement for BUCS and British football.”
The Clansmen have indeed proven themselves to be a formidable outfit in the 2013-2014 season. After eight regular season wins, they have swept aside all before them in the playoffs, recording a 48-7 quarter final victory over the Sheffield Sabres before notching a 48-0 drubbing of the Imperial Immortals in the semi-final.
Head coach Rob Orr said: “We’ve done incredibly well to get this far and we have one final hurdle to get over. We’ve played really well all season and we’ve pretty much dominated all-comers.”
With a fast-paced offense and a dominant defense, the Clansmen are in confident mood having reached their first national final in 10 years.
Team President Jorge Gutierrez Rubio added: “Some people talked about how Stirling would never get to this level again but here we are fighting for a national championship for the second time in our history. It’s time to show everybody in Great Britain that the Scottish teams are ready to compete at any level.”
The BUCS National Championship Game – which will see both teams battle for the Neil Reynolds Trophy – kicks off at 4.15pm at John Charles Stadium in Leeds.
Ahead of that championship showdown, the Royal Holloway Bears and Swansea Titans will meet in the Challenge Trophy Final. That game kicks off at 12.15pm.
Bears head coach Mike Dunson said: “We’re elated to be in the final after a long, hard season. Our results are testament to the hard work our guys have put in, coupled with the belief that we can compete with anyone we step on the field with.
“Everything I have heard about Swansea indicates that they have a great team this year with lots of talent. This will be the biggest challenge of our season so far but we’re looking forward to it and have nothing to lose. I’m sure we will be involved in a great game.”
Admission to the Bucs Finals is free. The full address for the venue is John Charles Stadium, Middleton Grove, Leeds LS11 5DJ.