Navy Lineout Deploys3 of the Navy's best lineout forwards have just or are about to deploy to Afghanistan as part of Operation HERRICK 13/14.
The first to deploy and by the far the most experienced is POAET Marsh Cormack who is already in theatre with 854NAS, RNAS Culdrose. With 14 caps under his belt he is 2 short from equalling former Royal Marine Del Cross as the Navy's most capped 2nd row forward. Although Marsh has spent sometime with the 2011 Navy squad it has mainly been in an advisory capacity to the new players looking to step in to his boots and take on the running of the Navy lineout. A busy sequence of pre-deployment courses has meant that the Navy supporters have not had the opportunity to see him on the pitch since last year.
The same can not be said for Cpl Damo Chambers (30 Cdo RM (IX Gp)) who turned out for his first and only time this year when the Navy took on Plymouth Albion Warriors. All the team were naturally pleased and lifted to have in back in their midst and as one of the squads 'characters' he will be missed when he deploys with 3 Cdo Brigade RM.
By co-incidence he will meet up with the player whose position he filled for part of 2010, Capt Tom O'Keeffe (HQ 3 Cdo Brigade) has not been seen in the Navy colours since 2009, again due to operations. Successive deployments first with 40 Cdo RM (OP HERRICK 12) and now with the Brigade (Op HERRICK 14) have kept his rugby appearances to a minimum. Tom was forced to follow last season's Inter Services through the excellent broadcasts provided by BFBS so he will know what to expect especially with the inter service rivalry and banter in the build up. From a Navy squad's point of view they will be doing everything in their power to ensure that BFBS will be transmitting them good news on the 13 Apr and 7 May.
All involved with Navy Rugby wish them a safe deployment and look forward to their swift return to the Navy colours.