Two Changes as Royal Navy Prepare for New Zealand Challenge

Ben Priddey moves from hooker to flanker as the Navy reshuffle their pack
Josh Terry has joined the squad. His return gives a better balance to the replacements bench
Harry Collins (supporting Jarrad Hayler) makes a rare start in the Navy shirt but will bring a lot of energy to the side
Matt Tichias has recovered from his knock which saw him depart the match against Fiji early
Kyle Mason is joined by his fellow international Harry Collins against New Zealand. He will be looking to get more opportunities to run strongly at the opposition
Greg Welling was the pick of the backs against Fiji making good yardage with a number of powerful runs

The Royal Navy have moved captain Ben Priddey in to the back row for the challenge of the Defence Blacks.  Seta Raumakita makes way with Harry Collins starting as hooker.  On the bench Josh Terry comes in, having joined the squad late, with Joe Burton dropping out of the match twenty three.  Having won their first match New Zealand will approach Monday’s game with confidence but will face a Royal Navy team determined to rectify some of the unforced errors from their reversal against Fiji and get their IDRC campaign back on track.

With the availability of Josh Terry the overall Royal Navy pack probably has a better balance to it, a balance that was not an option last Thursday.  Seta Raumakita has certainly shown what a handful he can be late in a game when he comes on as a replacement and with Harry Collins starting, the Navy side does not lose anything in the set piece.  Similarly, Ben Priddey regularly plays as flanker for his club and though the dynamic of the Navy’s backrow is altered it still has plenty of capability to be both competitive at the breakdown and also to provide continuity in attack.  The return of Josh Terry also gives a more solid feel to the tight head side of the scrum with the Royal Navy being able to utilise two specialists if required.  Against Fiji they lost a little of the scrum platform late on and Terry should certainly ensure that the Navy’s scrum remains competitive for the eighty minutes.

Behind the scrum is same again, with no changes from the Fiji match.  With Matt Bowden and Josh Jones not considered for selection the decision to leave the back line unchanged became straight forward when influential centre, Matt Tichias, was declared fit.  Tichias’ early departure on Thursday was clearly a set back for the Royal Navy’s backline, a backline who will be keen to show a little more of what they are capable of with ball in hand.

Royal Navy Starting XV:  Mason, Collins, Court, Lamsin, Pascoe, Priddey (C), Hayler, Fairbrother, Stephen, Huntley, Chambers, Tichias, Buinimasi, Welling, Humphrey

Replacements: Blackburn, Terry, Cooper I, Raumakita, Fox, Cadywould, Bamford, Davies T

Round 2 US Portsmouth Monday 12th October
Japan v Fiji - KO15:00
Royal Navy v New Zealand - KO 19:00

Round 3 US Portsmouth Thursday 15th October
Fiji v New Zealand - KO15:00
Royal Navy v Japan - KO 19:00

Article by Geraint Ashton Jones
Images by Alligin Photography / © G Ashton Jones