Gremlins rugby league team

University rugby teams take on Franklin’s Gardens as they kick off their final game of the year

The University of Northampton rugby teams are ‘marching in’ to Franklin’s Gardens next month, as they face off for their last and most competitive game of the year – rugby union versus rugby league.

Last year, rugby union Bears beat rugby league Gremlins 55-31, and the Bears are hoping to sink their claws into the title for the second year running.

The annual match, known as ‘Crosscodes’, is a decade old tradition at the university, where both teams play the first half by rugby league rules, and the second half by rugby union rules. In previous years, the match was just for students to watch. However, this year, for the first time, the teams are opening the game up to rugby fans from across Northamptonshire.

Teddy Rhodes, president of the University of Northampton Gremlins team, said: “This is a huge game for both teams. My team have played Nottingham, Loughborough and many other universities this year, but nothing quite compares to the rivalry at our own university.

“This year, we are opening the game up to the wider community to watch, and we’d love to see the people of Northamptonshire get excited about this hybrid rugby game, where we play half and half rules. It’s something a bit different, where we can bring together two different types of rugby, and compete at the home of the Saints – a team we admire. We feel ready to snatch the crown from the Bears this year.”

Both teams pulled their university Student Union funding to hire Franklin’s Gardens for the game, which will take place on Friday 5th May.

Nick Cherrett, rugby union president at the University of Northampton, said: “Earlier this year, our team entered into a partnership with the Saints, which has meant we have received consistent high quality coaching throughout the year. We were previously only coached once a week, but now we have training twice a week, and we have a Saints coach with us on game day, which has helped us massively with structure and improvement.

“We feel really grateful to have the support from a high level coach, and we have been working extra hard in training in preparation for this game, to defend our title from last year’s Crosscodes win against the Gremlins.”

Matthew Wainwright, Saints Community Coach, added: “I have seen incredible improvement in the rugby union team since the partnership has started. As their coach, I know how important this game is to the players, and I’ve heard that both teams are fired up and ready for the game.

“We are delighted that the boys have chosen to host their Crosscodes game this year at the Saints grounds, we want to encourage people to come and watch and support the teams. Food and drink will be available at the venue – it’ll be a great Friday night under the lights for all rugby supporters.”

The teams would also like to thank local sponsors Dawson Properties and Bar Rumba for their donations to help secure the stadium venue.

The Crosscodes game is on Friday 5th May, with kick-off at 7.30pm.

Early bird tickets (the first 200 tickets) are available for £5. General admission is £7.50, and children aged 15 and under are £3. Children under 14 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Book your tickets here:


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