Steady hand on the helm

Chris Roberts will be the new Director of Rugby with effect from 5 May 2019

The Royal Navy Rugby Union is delighted to announce that Lieutenant Commander Chris Roberts MSM RN has been selected as the new Director of Rugby to replace Captain Roger Readwin RN.  Chris will take up his new position of Director of Rugby on 5 May 2019 on completion of the Army v Navy Game at Twickenham.

On being informed of his selection, Chris said "It is an honour and a privilege to be selected as the Director of Rugby and being responsible for the 5 Representatives sides gives me a great sense of pride", he continued, "Playing representative rugby for the Royal Navy is the pinnacle of many rugby players' careers, it is special and only a few people achieve the goal.  I am very conscious that we need to continue to offer a pathway for any player to fulfil their potential".

Chris Roberts has made a significant contribution to Navy Rugby for over 33 years, initially as a player and in later years as a volunteer and Executive Committee member. Capped at Under 18 level before his playing career was cut short by injury, he maintained his commitment to Navy Rugby through appointments as Team Manager for the both the Royal Navy Mariners and Senior XV teams.

His strong leadership and management qualities have been in evidence throughout his involvement with Navy Rugby and these qualities combined with his extensive knowledge of Navy Rugby were recognised by his appointment as the Director of Community Rugby in 2012 and more recently as Special Projects Officer, where he has taken the lead in organising fixtures including the Army v Navy match, RN v RAF match and the annual fixture against the French Navy.

Chris has also overseen and delivered 8 overseas tours and assisted with the UK hosting of the International Defence Rugby Cup, the military tournament that ran in parallel with the Rugby World Cup in 2015.  

In his day job, Chris works in the Aviation sphere, and recently was the Commanding Officer of Maritime Aviation Support Force, based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall.  He was selected for promotion to Commander earlier this year and will take Command of HMS Excellent in January 2019.    The Royal Navy Rugby Union sends Chris our sincere congratulations and we wish him every success in his new post.

Image: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland