England Ladies Scrum Half proudly presents RNRU Women's Shirts

England Ladies Scrum Half, Leanne Riley, took time out of her busy schedule to present the Royal Navy Rugby Union (Women) with their match shirts prior to their Inter Service match with the Army (Women).

Leanne, who hails from Coventry, was first capped by England Ladies against South Africa Ladies in 2013 and since has been capped a further 6 times for England Ladies.  She has played for Lichfield, Worcester and Saracens and is now a regular on the Richmond RFC team sheet.  Leanne said ahead of the presentation.

"I was really honoured to be invited to present the shirts to the RN Women.  Managing a career in the Royal Navy and still managing to find time to train and play rugby is pretty impressive.  Playing for a representative team is a great honour and they should all feel justifiably proud to pull on the shirt.  The team appear calm, focussed and ready for the biggest game of their season, I wish them the very best of luck!"

Leanne was invited to present the shirts by the Assistant Director of Rugby, Lieutenant Commander Lynne Martin.  A former Royal Navy player herself, Lynne knows how the players feel on the night before such an important match.

"I wanted to mark the occasion in a special way.  Having Leanne present the shirts is something the whole team will remember for years to come.  She has represented her country numerous times and knows exactly what it is like ahead of such a big match.  It has been great to see her mingling with the RN Women and trading experiences with them both about rugby and life in the service; I am so glad she agreed to join us for the evening."

The RN Women have had an exciting season so far, with comprehensive wins against Yeovil Barbarians RFC Ladies, the HM Prison Service Ladies and Portsmouth RFC Ladies.  They suffered defeats to Plymouth Albion RFC Ladies, the French Navy Women's team in Toulon and their first Inter Service match against the RAF (Women) on 13 April.  The first Inter Services match was always going to be a tough, as they lined up against five established international rugby and sevens' players.  However the RN Women remained collected, never giving up, and probably displayed some of their best defensive play of the season.  Nonetheless the RAF (Women) were victorious, and the Inter Service Championship stands at 1 win to the Army (Women) and 1 win to the RAF (Women).  With the RN Women playing some of their best rugby of late, the scene is set for a thrilling final to the Women’s Inter Service Championship.  The RN Women take on the Army (Women) at Kneller Hall on Saturday morning.  The match kicks off at 1030.

Article by David Martin (RNRU(W) Communication Manager)
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones