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December 08, 2004
"… I might get bored in the City …"

BenDurham.jpgIt's alright for some:

… Ben Durham, the 21-year-old blind-side flanker, was the beating heart of Oxford's dominant forward effort, both with ball and in the tackle. Still, despite Oxford's attempts to keep him, Durham’s brain is even more sought after, and next September he heads for the City to work for Goldman Sachs, eschewing a professional rugby career with Gloucester.

"I’ve been at Oxford four years now and I should probably think about leaving," Durham, who earned a first class degree in economics and management and is studying for an MSc in economic history, said. "I played as a professional with Gloucester until my second year (at Oxford) and I found it quite dull. I should imagine if you are Jonny Wilkinson it's fantastic, but being a professional in the Premiership does not appeal.

"With an Oxford degree behind me I think I should go and explore some wider options. Besides, they (professional clubs) won't pay me enough."

Durham, who was educated at Pate's Grammar School in Cheltenham and studies at Keble College, won his third Blue and enjoyed a first win. "I'm glad we won, or I might never have left Oxford," he said. Instead of making hay in the mud at Kingsholm come September, Durham aims to start his job in UK mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs, the American investment bank. This may even have been his last game.

"If I play I want to play good rugby, not just kickabout stuff, but you never know, I might get bored in the City," he said.

Steve Hill, Oxford's director of rugby, has not given up hope of keeping Durham. "Ben is one of the brightest boys we’ve had in the team," Hill said. "He's expressed an interest in being captain and he has secured serious funding from research bodies at Oxford to stay for another three years if he wants it. Maybe his bank will defer until after next Christmas."

Decisions, decisions.

Good to remind ourselves that for some, education still manages to work out quite well.

Oxford won 18-11.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 06:32 PM
Category: Higher educationSport
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