Hamilton and Packer meet the players
The eve of the Army v Navy match is a rare occasion for the Royal Navy Rugby Union, the one night in the year when all three teams - Senior XV, Women and Veterans, are gathered together in the same place. Joined by the RNRU President, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, Chairman Colonel Ewen Murchison, the Executive Committee, family, friends and other essential members of the organisation, they shared the excitement and anticipation ahead of match day.
A fleeting visit by Scotland and Saracens player Jim Hamilton and his team mate Kelly Brown, was sufficient time for Jim to present the Senior XV with their shirts and to share a few stories about his playing career and his long-time friend, Kelly, before they had to dash of to prepare for their match against Bristol. The game will be Kelly's last match for Saracens as he recently announced his retirement. Kelly Brown is now in his second year as Assistant Coach with the RNRU.
Then it was time to meet Marlie Packer, legendary England flanker. At 27 years old, Marlie already has 45 England caps and the tally looks set to rise this summer. Taking time out of her busy schedule with Bristol Women's Rugby team, she spoke of how proud she feels when she wears her team shirt - whether that be for England or Bristol, and hopes the Navy players relish the same feeling. She presented the Women's team with their shirts and the RNRU President presented the Mariners with their shirts.
Before everyone proceeded outside for the group photograph, some of the annual RNRU achievement awards were presented (more information and photos to follow) and then the teams continued their preparation for the big day ahead.
The Mariners and Women's teams kick off at 1030 at Kneller Hall and the Senior XV kick off at 1500 at Twickenham. All tickets for the match are sold out but you can watch on Sky Sports 3 or Forces TV.
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland