Jarrard Hayler – A Player for Now and the Future
Coming off the bench at last season’s Army Navy match many were aware of the rich potential Jarrard Hayler had as both a ball carrying and scavenging flanker. His performances later in the year earned him his UKAF cap, again off the bench, to go with his Royal Navy Cap before two days later he finally was awarded his U23 XV colours when he took the field in the opening Inter Services U23 match against the RAF at Halton. His first Inter Services title was confirmed the following week with a win against the Army at Portsmouth followed 174 days later by a Senior Inter Services title. It is therefore easy to forget what a newcomer he still is to Navy Rugby and also to the Senior XV.
However his future talent has been acknowledged with the award of the Royal Navy Rugby Union’s Proud Heritage Exciting Future Trophy. First presented in 2010 the trophy is an acknowledgement of the young and emerging talent within Navy Rugby. This talent, if nurtured and developed, will ensure that the future of the Union will remain vibrant and exciting. The trophy was specially commissioned and fashioned from original oak and copper from HMS Victory. It symbolises the proud traditions and heritage upon which the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and Navy Rugby are founded.
The original oak represents the “Heart of Oak’ that is at the core of all Navy players who, down the ages, have worn the famous blue shirt; and Hayler is the latest in a long line of flank forwards that have ensured that the Navy pack has earned a tradition for abrasive and committed forward displays that can be traced back to Earnest Roberts in 1907. However he is also a very astute ball player who can both carry hard or link to bring others around him into the game. On the certificate that accompanies the trophy is a reference back to the Great Admiral himself, who was always keen to advance the tactics of conflict but always respected the value of agility and speed, two characteristics that Jarrard Hayler has in common.
The seventh recipient of the trophy since its inauguration in the Inter Service winning year of 2010 Jarrard Hayler is not only most deserving of the recognition but is sure to continue to develop and contribute more to the Navy Rugby cause. Congratulations to Jarrard Hayler the 2016 Proud Heritage Exciting Future Trophy winner. A full list of previous winners can be found by clicking here.
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones, © Andrew Fosker, © John Walton & © Nick Flexman