Gareth John Rees Receives U23’s Highest Accolade
The ninth award of the Brian Weeks Trophy was another that would have made the shrewd judge of talent smile with anticipation for the future of Navy Rugby. Brian was always keen to unearth and then nurture the Royal Navy stars of the future and he would have approved of the high tempo, all action game that has deservedly been acknowledged by Gareth John Rees’ peers in making him the U23 Player of the Season, recognised through the Brian Weeks Memorial Trophy.
Rugby is and always will be a team sport. However, it often requires an individual or two to ensure that the team comes together and fully fires on all cylinders. On the field Rees was the heart beat of this season’s U23 team. In front of him he had forwards who were prepared to drive themselves to a stand still on two Inter Service occasions playing in to strong winds. Every time Rees looked for a short ball option there was a willing carrier. This allowed him to manage the game and exploit any opposition lapses in concentration because as soon as the opposition felt that the threat was the one out runner they found out how quick around the fringes Gareth John Rees is and how tactically aware he is of when to release his backline.
Rees becomes the third scrum half to have won the Brian Weeks Memorial Trophy and follows in the foot steps of Wayne John and current Senior XV scrum half, Johnny Stephen. And like the previous winners Gareth possesses the skill set that should see him win his Senior cap in the near future especially as the last goal kicking scrum half the Royal Navy had, Dave Pascoe, is now on the side lines with a coach’s whistle.
During the course of the two victories in the Inter Services the U23 XV also awarded a number of players their Royal Navy Rugby Union U23 Colours. Colours were awarded to: Mark Dowds, Chris Robinson, Ben Watson, Dan Mason, Gavin Elsam, Jarrard Hayler, Gareth John Rees, Nick Burgess, Harry Bates, Luke Warrington, Rhys Dimmock-Williams, Sam Norton, Issac Salt, Charlie Bennett, Ben Roberts, James Griggs and Rob McGregor
The final presentation that was made at the end of the season was to Head Coach, Scott Ashley, who after four years was standing down due to an impending operational appointment. If Gareth John Rees, had proved to be the on field conductor of the team then the winning Inter Services theme music had been composed by Scott. He was presented with a signed shirt as a thank you from the Inter Service winning squad of 2015.
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones