Double Delight at Devonport Services

Not only did Devonport Services host a great Navy Cup Final on Wednesday evening but also they were presented with their prestigious Rugby Football Union Accredited Club award.  Further club achievement was publically acknowledge when Kieran Leach was presented with a Royal Navy Rugby Union Valuing the Volunteer Award.  On a night of doubles, Britannia Royal Navy College won the Navy Cup for the second time, match referee, Duncan McClement, became the first double recipient of the Admiral Royds Trophy.  The Navy’s rugby referees award this trophy, to their referee of the year.

The RFU Accredited Club scheme is the RFU’s flagship programme for community rugby clubs throughout England.  As an accredited club Devonport Services RFC have demonstrated that they have rugby’s core values at the heart of all they do.  It also acknowledges that they have processes in place to be a vibrant part of the local community, to retain existing players, coaches and administrators and as importantly to recruit new ones.

In accepting the award from RNRU Vice President RAdm Keith Beckett, Devonport Services RFC Chairman, Capt Peter Coulson, paid tribute to the huge amount of work that went on behind the scenes, by many club members, to reach Accredited Club status.  It was therefore fitting, that on the same evening, Kieran Leach was presented with his RNRU Valuing the Volunteer Award.  His selfless support of the club and drive to ensure that the administration of getting the right players, to the right match at the right time is both efficient and effective was acknowledged with the Award.  He became the third recipient of the Valuing the Volunteer Award from the Devonport Services Club.

The final presentation was of the Admiral Royds Trophy, which is awarded to the Royal Navy Rugby Union Referees’ Society’s referee of the year.  As last season it went to Cdr Duncan McClement.  Duncan continues to progress with the Scottish Rugby Union and is soon to make his European Challenge Cup debut as a match official.  Though clearly established as the number one referee in the Services he has yet to referee a senior Inter Service match, the pre requisite to receive his Referee’s Colours.  Operational commitments and injury have denied him the last two years but hopefully this will be rectified at the Army v RAF match later in the season.

Images Alligin Photography © Geraint Ashton Jones

Chairman of Devonport Services RFC, Capt Peter Coulson, receives the RFU Accredited Club award from RNRU Vice President RAdm Keith Beckett
Kieran Leach was a deserving recipient of a Royal Navy Rugby Union Valuing the Volunteer Award
Duncan McClement not only refereed the final but afterwards was presented with the Admiral Royds Trophy becoming the first referee to receive it twice