OXFORD University captain John Carter is backing his bench to shine in today's Varsity Match at Twickenham (2).

Carter has gone for six forwards and two backs among his replacements, which he feels plays to the squad’s strengths.

“We have got a strong bench and every player has been picked to make an impact when they come on,” he said.

“We felt six-two was the way to go this year.”

Carter singled out Zandy Macdonald as one to watch among the replacements.

He said: “Zandy is an excellent rugby player, who will cover the third backs spot as well as the back row.”

Macdonald, Fraser Heathcote, Tom Reeson-Price and Graeme MacGilchrist could all appear in the back row if required.

One starting player who has made a big impact in his two seasons at the club is James Harris, but the flanker admitted it took him time to adapt from professional rugby with Wasps.

“It took me a long while last year to get what OURFC was all about,” said Harris.

“The build-up to one match is massively different to professional rugby where you have big games every week.

“But the progression that takes place from the start of September when we report for training to appearing at Twickenham is great to be involved in.”