The Royal Navy Rugby Union Summer Sevens Season begins

New Sharks' team captain Seva Naulago (right) with Luke Cooper
The Stingrays at Abingdon 2017
Drew Powell playing for the Royal Navy Makos May 2017
Sam Benzie in action at Bury St Edmunds in 2017
The RNRU Women at Hartpury 7s 2017
The Sharks win the Cup at the Abingdon 7s 2017

The 15-a-side rugby season is drawing to a close but the good news is that along with the arrival of the sunshine the Rugby 7s season is about to get underway.  The Royal Navy Rugby Union elite 7s side, the Sharks, and the development side, the Stingrays, will soon be taking to the field.

The Royal Navy Rugby Union Sevens players and training support group will be getting on the road this weekend to take part in their first tournament of the 2018 summer season.  The Sharks and the Stingrays will travel to Gloucester for the Hartpury 7s competition this Saturday 19 May, looking for a strong start to their summer run.  Last year the Sharks were runners up in the cup final so they will be looking to go one better this year and lift the cup!  This is the first of five tournaments that the Royal Navy Sharks and the Royal Navy Stingrays will be taking part in; the team have entered one competition approximately every 3 or 4 weeks, picking the best of the events to attend.  Other favourites include the Abingdon 7s at the end of June where the Sharks will be looking to defend their title, the North Dorset 7s, hosted by North Dorset RFC in July and the Harpenden National Pub 7s at the end of August in Hertfordshire.  Keen to explore new venues, the teams have also entered the South West Bristol 7s at the beginning of June.  This event is hosted by Cleve RFC in Bristol.  Like the other tournaments the teams enter, it has been selected for the location, fairly central, to make it easier for players to travel to from wherever they are based in the UK.

The teams will be under the watchful eye of head coach, Sili Buinimasi, and team managers Guy Pallett and Nathan 'Pony' Moore.  The Sharks will be captained by experienced 7s player, Royal Marine Seva Naulago.  Having been part of the squad for several years now the training support group have selected him to lead the team because of his vast playing experience and superb skill set.  Seva will be joined by many familiar faces including Sam Benzie, Ben Jeacock and Luke Cooper.  Fresh from his participation in the RNRU Senior XV training camp, Ben Chambers is also looking forward to playing the fast paced 7s game.   

This will be the second season for the RNRU development side, the Stingrays.  The development team allows players new to 7s to come to try out the 7s game and enables the players to develop their skills and hopefully progress on to join the elite side in due course.  So if you are keen to get involved, please contact the team manager at for further information.

The Royal Navy Women also have a 7s team, the Makos, and they will be joining the Sharks and the Stingrays at two of the competitions this summer.  They will travel to Bristol on 2 June for the South West 7s and then finish the season at Harpenden RFC for the National Pub 7s on 26 August.  Like the men's teams, the RNRU Women are always on the look out for new players (and training support team members) so if you would like to get involved please contact them at the above email address.   

This Saturday at Hartpury the Royal Navy Sharks have been drawn in a group with the RAF Spitfires so it will make an interesting start to the season with both sides looking to defend the honour of their Service.  The tournament kicks off at 1000 and is open to spectators so please feel free to go along and support the team if you are in the Gloucestershire area. Go Navy!

For full details of the Sharks fixtures follow the link.

Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton