Mixing with the Hooligans
During their recent tour to the East Coast of the United States coaches and players from the Royal Navy Rugby Union took time out from their touring schedule to support a 'grass roots' development and training session for local US club the Quantico Hooligans.
The Hooligans are a mix of civilian and military personal stationed in Quantico, the home of the United States Marine Corps. The club have very limited rugby experience but this is countered by their vast experience in a variety of other sports and amongst their number they boast a State Mixed Martial Art champion.
Navy Coaches Ash Coates and Sean Hammond supported by players Harry Collins, Ed Pascoe and Jarrard Hayler, put the team through their paces, working on technical aspects of their game play in what was a welcome break from the Navy's own game preparation. Reflecting on the experience tour captain Harry Collins said:
“It's been great to coach such a welcoming and receptive group of players and hopefully they can learn from this session and build on it throughout the rest of the season."
Head Coach Ash Coates added:
"The hospitality we have received during our tour has been second to none and this has been a fantastic opportunity for us to give back to the community that have hosted us so well whilst we’ve been here.”
The Royal Navy Rugby Union were delighted to be able to assist with the growth of the sport of rugby around the World, which was one of the main reasons for their tour to the United States, helping to support the aims and objectives of the Rugby Football Union. In addition, by playing matches against the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and the United States Marine Corps in Quantico they were also able to strengthen relationships with fellow servicemen. The other match of the tour was played against the Potomac Exiles.
Words by A Coates
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union/© Ash Coates