Attack of the Killer B’s
No this is not a homage to the acclaimed album from 1990’s thrash metal group, Anthrax, nor to Navy Rugby’s own “B”, Silivenusi Buinimasi. No it is to welcome Kelly Brown, once part of Scotland’s renowned (and feared) Killer B backrow, which included John Barclay and Johnnie Beattie, to Navy Rugby. After 64 caps for Scotland, and still a key member of Aviva Premiership leading side, Saracens, Kelly Brown has joined the Senior XV’s coaching team for the lead up to 2016 Inter Services where he will bring his wealth of experience to bare.
Having been invited to join the coaching team by Head Coach, Ash Coates, Kelly Brown’s first day with the squad, at Fort Blockhouse, will have taken him back to his early professional career with the Reivers, in the Scottish Borders. Driving rain coming off the Solent and a saturated pitch will have reminded him of those early seasons at Galashiels’ Netherdale pitch where he quickly established a reputation as a versatile flanker/Number 8 who was strong over the ball but also capable of a real pace in the open spaces. Now more use to the speed of Saracen’s artificial pitch, Brown has proven that he has the game for all conditions where he has continued to play alongside some of the best backrow players in world rugby, most recently the ferocious and fearless tackling machine, Jaques Burger, and England’s go to ball carrier, Billy Vunipola.
Brown will be looking to accelerate the development of some of the newer Navy forwards because more and more in the modern game, experience counts. Indeed he has not forgot some early lessons he learnt as a fresh face 21 year old at the hands of experienced Irish openside David Wallace. They were clearly lessons heeded and learned from, as Brown’s career flourished with a move to Glasgow before joining Saracens in 2010 and becoming Scotland’s captain on the day he won his fiftieth cap against New Zealand in 2012.
Kelly Brown will no doubt be a great asset to the Senior XV in their preparations for the 2016 Inter Services, hopefully played on firmer pitches come April. And anyone who selects two players in their all time dream XV on the strength of their beards is sure to fit naturally in to the family of Navy Rugby.
Article by Geraint Ashton Jones
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones