RUGBY UNION: Cho hopes to make history

Hee-Won Cho makes a break for Oxford University

Hee-Won Cho makes a break for Oxford University

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Hee-Won Cho hopes to make history today by becoming the first Korean to appear in the Varsity Match (2).

But the 23-year-old, who is on the bench for Oxford University, revealed he almost gave up playing this term.

If he gets the call from head coach James Wade, Cho will come on at wing or centre – and he is itching for some action.

“Last year I played a few games for the Blues,” said Cho, who comes from Incheon, near Seoul.

“This year is my last at the university, so I was quite keen to get involved. “I almost didn’t play as my results weren’t as good as I hoped last year, but I decided to give it a go and am very happy I did. “It is one huge final game and then I will concentrate on my studies.”

Aside from Japan, rugby is not very big in Asia and Cho does not expect his potential Varsity appearance will have a big impact back home.

But the maths student is still very keen to fly the flag for Korea at Twickenham. “I am quite passionate about it,” said Cho. “I know it shouldn’t, but it means a lot to me.

“I have been going to school in England, but I am not someone who lives over here all the time.”

He added: “Rugby is not big in Asia. Maybe it is because we don’t have the physical size for the game.

“In Korea it is a very low profile sport. “I have got a friend who works for the Korean RFU, who may be able to spread the word.”

As for making the Dark Blues’s squad, Cho said: “It was great. “I have been at Oxford since 2008. I have played for the Whippets and the under 21s and worked my way up.

“I am very grateful to the Blues for developing me.

“I always go back to Korea for the holidays, so I don’t play for another club. “I am just a schoolboy rugby player and am delighted to have made it this far.”

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