Bulwark’s Rhodes Leads to Twickenham
Having missed the chance, through injury, of renewing his acquaintance with the hallowed turf of Twickenham in May Mne Matt Rhodes (HMS Bulwark) was delighted when the opportunity to represent Harlequins at the Middlesex Sevens came his way. With two scrum halves on World Cup duty and a mini injury crisis at the club Harlequins Director of Rugby, Dean Richards, asked the Navy whether there were a couple of players available to help out. “Having seen the Army game in May I was impressed by the style the Navy players approached the game. This along with the time we spent earlier in the year at HMS Collingwood assured me that the Navy had players who had both the ability and also the attitude we look for at Harlequins. It proved ironic that the only player who was available had missed the game earlier in the season.” Coming straight off summer leave Matt was naturally short of a little match sharpness but did not let himself, the Bulwark or Navy Rugby down. Though the under strength Harlequin’s team was unsuccessful on Saturday Matt made a good impression on both his new found team mates and also Head Coach, Andy Friend. “We saw enough of Matt to see his talent. He was reading the game well and possesses a great step.” From Matt’s point of view it was an earlier and unexpected way to start the season. “I was delighted to be asked and though we lost both matches, it was a great experience. Although my time with the team was brief I learnt a few things that I will hope to bring, through my game, to Navy Rugby during the coming season.” Matt’s next run out may also be in the sevens game. He is hopeful of being part of the Navy Sharks squad that take part in the Harpenden Sevens on Sunday 2 September. The Sharks will be looking to build on their Plate Final at Cwmtawe and it is also the last chance for the seven’s specialists to book a place in the squad for the Dubai Sevens in November.