Edward Russell, a third-year student from Exeter Uni, has been asked to join the Lions mixed lacrosse team, an international club that play across Europe, after outstanding performances for his university’s team.
He played in the distinguished Bottle Match, a varsity game played between the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) of Exeter Uni and the Royal School of Mines (RSM)of Imperial College London. Starting as a rugby union match up, the contest now includes the sports of football, lacrosse, netball, hockey, squash and golf. This year the rugby and lacrosse tournaments ended with CSM coming out as victors. I managed to speak with him about a day that saw him achieve a historic victory, and a call up to an international team.
“Winning the rugby was amazing I think just because of the tradition associated with it. Leading up to the rugby bottle win, we’d had lectures on the history of the bottle, the lads who won it before us. I think to win that and to bring that back gave an incredible sense of pride. Moreso than emotion, which was more lacrosse.”
Ed has been captain of the university lacrosse team for 2022/23, and says he sees much to be hopeful for, in a season full of change for the club.
“The lacrosse win was very emotional for me. As captain of the team, you train them all year round and to see the hard work pay off was lovely. To clinch a win after all the hard work you’ve put in is certainly an emotional one.”
But it was only after the game ended, that Ed received an unlikely pat on the shoulder from a Lion representative.
“The referee pulled me aside at the end of the game and invited me to try out for the Lions team, which is the best mixed lacrosse players in the UK, the elite lacrosse team in the UK. She invited me for trails at oxford, the teams currently playing out in Portugal for the euro sixes tournament, so I’m hopefully going to head out there at the end of March, and see if I can get a slot on the team.”
But who are the Lions? They’re one of the only mixed teams that play at a national level, playing against international teams such as Italy, Poland, Scotland and England.
Ran Zmigrod, secretary of the Lions, said. “We strive to be an elite mixed lacrosse team and so believe we play a high level of lacrosse. Having said this, many of our players have greatly improved since joining (myself very much included). Mixed lacrosse is still in its foundations and as such we are the only mixed team in the world at the moment who train at our level.”
Ed will be taking part in a trial next month, when the team are back from their latest game in Portugal.