Grassroots competitive rugby returns to HMS Sultan.

The last time HMS Sultan saw any competitive rugby was Feb 2020 against RNAS Yeovilton in the Eastern Region league.

Since then, England RFU Return To Rugby Road Map has allowed rugby training to take place in order to assist with introducing new players to the game and maintain fitness, both mental and physical.

Wed 13 May 21 saw a momentous occasion with the recommencement of Air Engineers v Marine Engineers sporting challenge trophy. A natural choice was to start with rugby. Male and female trainees took to the rugby field again playing the England RFU Ready4Rugby touch game. This is a fun and adaptive game which encourages players back to the sport post a challenging period of inactivity.  This fixture demonstrated a mixture of abilities, from the complete female novice who has only attended a couple of sessions, to males and females who have played representative rugby at County and RNRU level, all conducted under strict England RFU safety guidelines.

Some excellent talent was displayed during the three games, in a bid to ensure female participation was catered for, the rules stipulated that each team must field a minimum of 2 females, one must be on the pitch for their team at any one time. Both teams were made up of mostly Phase 2 Trainees who thoroughly enjoyed the experience with a number of players identified for potential recommendations to the RNRU U23 and RNRU(W) Development squads. Overall winners were the Air Engineers with a score of 10 V 7.

Events such as these are essential for the growth of the game and as we transition to more relaxed guidelines and RNRU Community rugby events continue to increase, the future of Community rugby at HMS Sultan is bright. Outgoing coach CPOAET Lorry Osman, has successfully coached the side for over two years and secured a place in the Navy Cup Final for the team, hands over the reins to POETME Nick Davis who will continue the positive trend for Sultans Senior XV. Meanwhile, Lorry Osman will transition across to HMS COLLINGWOOD and continue with her commitment to delivering rugby at the Community level.

Thank you to HMS Sultan Command, SARC and Hampshire referee society for enabling this to significant event to take place.

Words CPO Lorry Osman

Photo credit PO(Phot) Nicola Harper.