CANADIAN Malcolm Howard, the man leading Oxford University’s attempt to win the 160th Boat Race, is a man of international renown, writes MIKE ROSEWELL.

The club’s president, Howard is with his men at a training camp in France in Lot this week.

Howard posesses a squad, who have already shown considerable form at the Fours Head of the River, but did not, undertake the usual trial eights in the run-up to Christmas, due to illness.

A member of last year’s winning Oxford crew, the medical student is at 31, one of the elders of the squad.

Howard, who weighs in at 17st and is 6ft 7ins tall, began winning world international medals for Canada as a junior in 2001 and continued at under 23 level in 2003 before maturing to the Canadian senior eight in 2006.

Subsequently, he has been in several World Championships, winning silver and bronze medals in 2009 and 2011.

On top of this, he won an Olympic gold in 2008 and a silver at London 2012, just ahead of Oxford squadmate and GB rower Constantine Louloudis.

His closest age rival is Storm Uru, 29, from New Zealand, who has world and Olympic medals to his credit.

Sean Bowden, Oxford’s coach, will be doing his renowned “cross training” of his squad before they return for their rescheduled trial eights on January 19.