Cole's Comments & Miller's Musings - Sept 07
Well here goes with the first in what is proposed to be a monthly Blog from Sid and Dusty, the Senior XV management team. It only seems like yesterday that we were again coming second to the Army in what was a great game for the neutral, but not so clever for those of us more intimately involved. As always at this time of the year, things are hectic with preparations for the forthcoming campaign. There has been a complete change in the coaching and analysis area, but unfortunately for the players, the backroom staff remains the same. Coupled with a new Director of Rugby, we are now looking for a new secretary. Paul Dunn was made an offer, which he really could not refuse; we wish him all the luck in the world for his future life in South Africa. The summer has seen some highs and lows on the playing front. Josh Drauniniu has gone to Exeter Chiefs to join Dan Parkes; who sadly for us, left the RN in June. Dan left the Navy having won 23 Caps, which placed him second in the all time Navy list of capped players to Bob Armstrong (31), one ahead of former centre and now coach, Dave Sibson(22) and three ahead of two other great navy props, John Ackerman and Nick Bartlett . Dan was also the last Navy captain to lift the Inter Services trophy in 2001. Greg Barden is currently at Bristol, in the latter stages of his rehab from a shoulder operation and is hoping to be back playing in October. Matt Rhodes has now featured 3 times for Harlequins in their Pre-Season and 7’s matches. The RN 7’s boys have been turning in solid performances in preparation for Dubai with Sharks captain Rob Lloyd grabbing many of the headlines. Unfortunately Rob will not be joined in Dubai by powerful wing Carl Saunders. A recent accident means he misses the next three months of the season. All in Navy Rugby wish him a full recovery and look forward to his powerful runs in the New Year. Though deployed on Monmouth, Jamie Caruana, has ensured that the ship boasts a thriving rugby team and has promised the conditioners that he is working hard on his fitness. Whilst Bulwark's pair of props, Kyle Mason and Robbie Roberts continue their rehab from ankle ligament damage and a deep rooted groin injury respectively. The Argyll Bowl and Command championships are just around the corner and we look forward to getting around and seeing all last year’s squad turning out and helping to nurture the new talent which we are convinced is out there. On the domestic front, the launch of the new RN playing and leisure wear range is planned for October; so no doubt the RN supermodels will again be parading on the catwalk. So by the next blog, the U23s, under new captain Cowboy John, will have started their campaign, the Argyll Bowl will have been contested and we will all be a month closer to the Inter-Services.