Chris Alcock elected as RNRU's most recent life member
It is with great pleasure that the Royal Navy Rugby Union announces the election of Chris Alcock as its newest life member. The announcement was made on the occasion of the inaugural RNRU Annual Dinner held at Fort Blockhouse in July where Chris was congratulated by the President, members of the Executive Committee, players, former team mates and the wider RNRU family.
Chris's commitment to Navy Rugby began soon after he joined the Fleet Air Arm as an Observer. Based at RNAS Culdrose he managed to split his time between his naval duties and playing rugby. He made his debut for the Senior XV in 1982 and became the RN's 481st capped player. His playing career spanned 11 seasons, and he won 18 caps along the way, including 1986/7 when he captained the Navy side during an unbeaten season. Such was his playing prowess that he was also selected to play for the Combined Services team, and captained them for 4 seasons. In parallel to his Service Rugby career, Chris also found time to play for his local team, Cambourne and to represent Cornwall County, including during their County Championship win in 1991.
This was only the start of Chris's involvement with the RNRU. Once he retired from playing, he then went on to become a selector, before becoming the Union's first Director of Rugby. In 2011, he took over as Chairman.
Now that he has retired from the RN, Chris has joined BAE Systems to work on the carrier project. We wish him all the best in his new job and we look forward to seeing him in the stand at Burnaby Road when the 2016/17 rugby season begins.
The inaugural dinner was also chosen as the perfect opportunity to present a new award 'The Chris Alcock Award for Outstanding Contribution to Royal Navy Rugby'. The award was presented by Chris to the first recipient - RNRU Senior XV Head Coach, Ash Coates.
Chris said "…Although he has an undeniably soft and amiable exterior, don’t be fooled - underneath there is a much harder edge and a very firm resolve with which Ash has driven his output. His emotion and passion for the RNRU is clearly evident, and no one this season can doubt his total and utter commitment as he has driven towards the RNRU end game."
On receiving the award Ash said “I feel humbled but at the same time delighted to receive the award, especially being the first recipient. I am thoroughly enjoying my time as Head Coach, working with a great training support group and an equally great bunch of players so to be given this award is a reflection on those people I have had the pleasure of creating a winning ethos with. I am excited about my next season in charge and will be working hard to realise the aspiration of back-to-back Inter-Service wins for the Senior XV. ”
Article by J Campbell-Baldwin
Image by Mark Giles