Joshua Navarajasegaran - Photo: © John Cairns - www.johncairns.co.uk

Sports: Rugby - Joshua Navarajasegaran

  • Year: Third*
  • Subject: Medicine
  • Sport: Rugby
  • Position: Hooker

Details of your sporting career at Merton and Oxford
During 2016/2017 I played for OURFC Whippets (3rd XV); and for OURFC U20s, beating Cambridge in the U20 Varsity Match. I currently play for OURFC Greyhounds (2nd XV).

What got you started in your sport?
I wanted to try a different sport to football when I started secondary school, and fell in love with rugby—especially the physicality. Also I had two great coaches throughout my years at school, Mr McIntosh and Mr Metcalfe.

How do you manage to stay competitive in your chosen sport while maintaining the level of academic work required?
I personally think that playing rugby (or any sport) and being competitive helps with the academic work required. For me, playing rugby provides me with a stress release from the academic side of life, especially with medicine. It gives me a couple of hours every other day when I can forget about everything else and focus on doing something that I really enjoy with a great group of people.

What’s special about the sporting side of life at Merton and Oxford?
The fact that we play our main sports—rugby, football and cricket—with Mansfield College, forming the M&Ms alliance. The team spirit and friendships formed between the two colleges have been one of the highlights of my time at Merton/Oxford.

Who is your sporting hero?
Richie McCaw.

What’s been your greatest moment on the field of play so far?
Beating Cambridge in the U20s Varsity Match. I'm hoping to go one better and get another Varsity win with the Greyhounds (2nd XV) at the end of Michaelmas 2017.

…the worst...?
Knocking on the ball 5 metres out from the try line in the final of a 7s tournament, denying my school the chance to win the tournament for the first time in 50 years.

...and the funniest?
Thinking I had won a game against our close rivals at school after scoring a try - only to realise I had placed the ball past the 5m line, not the try line!

Finally, what word, phrase or mental picture do you use to get yourself through the tough times in your sport?
'I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength' - Philippians 4:13

[*2019/20 update: Josh is still at Merton, now studying Medicine as a graduate]