Loydall Leads RN in Inter Service Opener
Greg Loydall will lead the team out, later today, at RAF Halton, for the opening match in the 2015 U23 Inter Services Championship. Along with Harrison Marsh and Rory Penfold he is one of only three players who started in last year’s match in a much changed Royal Navy squad. There are two further returnees on the bench in Ben Roberts and Luke Cooper, whose two tries last season, helped secure the 24-20 win.
Up front Harrison Marsh is joined in the front row by Mark Dowds and Chris Robinson. Ben Watson gets the nod over Alex Cragg to partner Dan Mason in the second row with Cragg being joined on the bench by front row cover in Sam Norton, Isaac Salt and Chris Bennett.
The backrow is an exciting one and includes Gavin Elsam at blindside, Jarrard Hayler on the openside with Lewis Cooper at Number 8. Elsam was the stand out forward for the U23s in the early matches and his paring with Hayler, fresh from his debut with UK Armed Forces at Bath on Monday is an exciting one. Ben Roberts provides the backrow cover in the replacements.
The midfield three again pairs Gareth John Rees with Nick Burgess at scrum and fly half respectively with Greg Loydall captaining from inside centre. Luke Warrington lines up at outside centre with full back Rhys Dimmock-Williams looking to continue his try scoring form. Rory Penfold, started last year’s match at fullback but he starts on the left wing with Harry Bates on the right wing. James Griggs, Rob McGregor and Luke Cooper provide the cover in the backs.
The team will be looking for a strong start away from home before they host the Army at USSG Portsmouth, next week, in the second round of the Inter Service Championship.
The full team is as follows:
Royal Navy U23 XV: Harrison Marsh, Mark Dowds, Chris Robinson, Ben Watson, Dan Mason, Gavin Elsam, Jarred Hayler, Luke Cooper, Gareth John Rees, Nick Burgess, Rory Penfold, Greg Loydall (C), Luke Warrington, Harry Bates, Rhys Dimmock-Williams
Replacements: Sam Norton, Isaac Salt, Chris Bennett, Alex Cragg, Ben Roberts, James Griggs, Rob McGregor, Luke Cooper
Royal Air Force U23 XV v Royal Navy U23 XV, RAF Halton, KO 14:00
Next U23 Match
Royal Navy U23 XV v Army U23, USSG Portsmouth RFC, Wed 18 Nov 15 KO 19:00. Free entry come along and enjoy.
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones and © John Walton