A rower who is set to compete for Cambridge in this year's Boat Race has said the event's appeal is down to its "super primal" nature.

Luca Ferraro, a returning Cambridge rower, believes that people are drawn to the Boat Race to witness sport in its "purest form".

The 22-year-old classics student was part of the dominant light blue team that triumphed in last year's event.

Oxford Mail: Cambridge have won the four of the last five men's racesCambridge have won the four of the last five men's races (Image: PA)

This victory marked the fourth Cambridge win in the past five years.

Last summer, Mr Ferraro was part of the men's eight that won the world championship with Great Britain's Under-23s.

In the upcoming race, he will move from stroke to the seven seat, marking his third Boat Race.

He was among the 36 athletes named on Tuesday night to the crews for the 78th women's race and the 169th men's race which will take place on March 30.

Mr Ferraro said: "It really feels like a new race, a new group, the dynamic just changes so much every year and that's part of the fun.

"I’m super excited to see if we can get out there and see if we can defend our title.

"Anything can happen on the day, so it’s quite hard to prepare in that sense, other than just being prepared for anything, so I’m super excited to see what twists and turns will happen.

Oxford Mail: Luca Ferraro said the race is super primalLuca Ferraro said the race is super primal (Image: PA)

"Its appeal is so hard to pin down.

"It’s that iconic university rivalry; it’s Oxford, it’s Cambridge.

“I really think that in a world where sport is so flashy – it’s so high-profile these days, there’s so much money involved – the Boat Race is still sport at its purest form."

“It’s almost spartan. It’s just you and the other guys and you’ve got to go faster than them if you want to win. There’s something super primal about it.”

Mr Ferraro's Cambridge crew, who are defending their 2023 title, includes five returning men.

Oxford has only one man remaining from the crew that was defeated last year.

The rival teams are evenly matched in terms of the men's weigh-in, with Oxford achieving an average of 92kg, just half a kilogram heavier than Cambridge.

Despite Cambridge's six-year domination of the women's race, Oxford’s Annie Sharp expressed confidence in her crew.

Ms Sharp said: "We’ve had a really good season, really good vibes from day one.

"We are definitely excited to have the opportunity to go side by side and see what we can do."

This year, the Boat Race will launch a behind the scenes YouTube series, drawing inspiration from other sports documentaries.