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Two Cities Varsity rugby: Salford and Manchester gear up for historic clash

The AJ Bell Stadium will play host to one of the most hotly anticipated fixtures in the university rugby league calendar when Salford and Manchester face off in the annual Two Cities challenge.

The game will take place on Monday 25 April and promises to continue the history of high scoring, entertaining rugby league.

The fixture represents a long standing committment by Salford Red Devils to support the development of rugby league in the local area.

The current Varsity series dates back to 2009 with Salford leading with five wins to Manchester’s two, but university archives show that the fixture can be traced back to the 1960s.

Manchester are the reigning champions, winning last year’s game 32-12, ending a period of Salford dominance, who before had taken the title for four years in a row.

Despite Manchester plying their trade in the division above Salford, this year’s fixture promises to be a close encounter as Salford finished the league season as Champions, earning them promotion into the same division.

The game annually attracts a healthy crowd of over 1,000 and in the past has featured a number of players who have turned pro including Rochdale Hornets forward Samir Tahraoui and Gloucestershire All Golds’ Alex Davidson.

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