Cole's Column - October Round Up

October sees a change in the backroom staff with WO Don Shaw, the current Sharks manager, taking over from Sid Cole with the Senior XV post Christmas. The new Secretary is yet to be appointed and the office is currently being staffed by the Director of Finance, on a part time basis. The Argyll bowl, played at Sandy Park, Exeter, proved to be the physical encounter we were all expecting, with CTCRM prevailing 17-0 in the final against 45 CDORM. It did however witness the return to the playing field of Dave Heaney, a previous Navy Cap and identified a number of possible players for future consideration. The first Combined Services fixture saw a number of our guys perform with distinction. Greg Barden, returned to the fray from his shoulder operation and and it was good to see marsh Cormack back playing after his tour to Iraq. Unfortunately due to injury Josh Drauniniu, could not bring his silky skills to the field. The CS team was Captained by last season’s Navy Captain, Dave Pascoe from RFANSU, The Command championships are underway and the first round of matches saw victories for the Royals and the Fleet Air Arm. These games proved to be valuable in identifying new talent and confirming what was already known about other individuals. Already a number of players have staked a claim for the first RN fixture of the season on 5 December, at Birkenhead park, against the AA Wooden Spooners. The U23S continue their preparations towards the Army on 24 November including their recent outing against a strong Bath academy side. Though they lost a fixture when the opposition fell through their training continues on track and they have been bolstered by the welcome return to action of captain Wayne John, after a recent period of FOST training on HMS BULWARK. Overseas Jamie Caruana continues to drive the 'Black Duke's' rugby squad forward. Having played 4 recent matches in a number of exotic locations, our foreign reporter files copy on hard won victories and improving performances; even making himself Man of the Match in one game. So to the future. The 31 October sees the next round of command games with Plymouth looking to get back to near full strength for their visit to Yeovilton; with Portsmouth looking to capitalise on their forward power against the Royals.