Navy Ring Changes for Tricky Taunton Trip

Jon Humphrey, currently in prolific try scoring form, misses this year’s match v South West Select after picking up a knock against the RAF
Tom Cowley will have to burden quick a bit of the ball carrying role in the absence of Dave Fairbrother, Marsh Cormack and Matt Harvey
Ben Priddey returns to hooker after starting at openside against the RAF
The fast, open game suited Johnny Stephen last year and following an impressive display against the RAF he should again be a handful around the base of the ruck
Ratu ‘ Toot’ Vakalutukali starts at flanker having made a big impact from the bench last year
Greg Welling is another who misses the game due to an injury picked up during Wednesday’s opening Inter Service match against the RAF

The Royal Navy make a number of changes for Wednesday’s game against a South West Select XV; as the whole squad looks to get the team in the right shape and frame of mind for the season defining game against the Army at Twickenham on 9th May. Only four of the players who started against the RAF are retained although two other starters are bench. With last season’s game played at a breath-taking tempo for the full eighty minutes the match should prove the perfect run out to put the RAF draw behind them and ensure that the traditional lightening starts of the Army Navy game do not catch them unawares.

With Harry Collins and Kyle Mason both away on International duty with Malta, Harry scoring the decisive try against Israel on Saturday, Captain Ben Priddey returns to hooker with Kye Beasley and Tom Blackburn making it a Fleet Air Arm front row. Tom Cowley is joined in the second row by Edd Pascoe with Scott Purleston returning at six and Ratu Vakalutukali given the starting openside jersey in a match where last season he made a big impact from the bench. Finally Chris Thompson returns from the Mariners to anchor the scrum at Number 8.

Josh Jones returns at fly half to partner Johnny Stephen whilst Darren Bamford and Sam Davies form the centre pairing. Matt Bowden is retained after winning his first cap against the RAF and will be hoping to see a little more ball getting out to the left wing. Jon marlin and Tom Davies replace Greg Welling and John Humphrey respectively, both of whom were forced off in the RAF game by injury.

Josh Terry, Seta Raumakita and Nathan Huntley provide capped experience on the bench. They are joined by Mark Jones and Jarred Hayler covering the forwards with Cory Moore, Richard Cadywould and Roko Kurusasa provide further cover for the backline.

Royal Navy: K Beasley *, B Priddey (Capt) *, T Blackburn *, T Cowley *, E Pascoe *, S Puleston *, R Vakalutkali *, C Thompson *, J Stephen *, J Jones *, M Bowden *, D Bamford *, S Davies *, J Marlin *, T Davies *

Reps: M Jones, J Terry *, S Raumakita *, J Hayler, C Moore, N Huntley *, R Cadywould, R Kurusasa

South West Select XV v Royal Navy, Taunton RFC, Wed 22 Apr, KO 19:45

Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones