Navy U23 Captain Mne Dennis Scotthorne Awarded U23 Player of the Year
Brian Weeks Memorial Trophy
Having led his team through an undefeated U23 season including an Inter Service win and victory in the Army's Home of Rugby in Aldershot, Mne Dennis Scotthorne (42 Cdo RM) was awarded the Brian Weeks Memorial Trophy as U23 player of the year.
Now in its 4th year the Brian Weeks Trophy keeps alive the memory of a great stalwart of Navy Rugby and the champion of aspiring young talent, for who nothing was too much trouble. This support ensured that the Navy players of the future were given the best start to their representative rugby careers.
Mne Dennis Scotthorne in Action
In presenting the award the team management of the U23s rightly acknowledged Mne Scotthorne's contribution and leadership both on and off the field. Dennis was also capped against the RAF at Senior Level and Combined Services U23 in last season. Already acknowledged as one of the best lineout exponents in Navy Rugby, he has also added a penetrative ball carrying role to his armoury. These two attributes ensure that he always stands out in matches, but careful observers will also note his work rate and high tackle count, which ensures that coaches can play him more like a traditional ‘6' than the lock position.
Appointed as captain at the start of the season he worked well with the coaching staff to ensure that the entire playing group remained on message and prepared to uphold the proud heritage of Navy Rugby. All told he clearly demonstrated that he was a worthy winner of the Brian Weeks Trophy. Commenting on the award Navy Director of Rugby, Lt Cdr Geraint Ashton Jones said: "Dennis was the clear choice of both coaches (CPOPT Clayton Patilla (HMS Nelson), POCIS Neil Evans (HMS Collingwood)) and the team manager (CPO Jim Hunter (845 NAS)). He led the front on all occasions and brought the best out of the players around him, whilst also ensuring that the whole squad bought into the team ethos and was prepared to commit fully to achieving success. He is a player with a very promising future."
Mne Scotthorne was challenged for the trophy by a number of players. AET Jon Humphries (RNAS Yeovilton) had an accomplished season at fullback, bringing a composure and the desire to counter attack to the back three. His goal kicking throughout the season kept the U23s in a number of games, whilst his broken field running was often instrumental in his team mates crossing for tries. MA Sam Laird (Keogh Barracks) was another who has stood out this season. A typical all action flanker, he has made an immediate impact within Navy Rugby at Unit, Command and U23 level. His huge work rate in defence prevented any team from dominating the Navy U23s this year or indeed being able to sustain long periods of pressure in attack. However it was not only his defence that caught the eye but also his subtle running lines as a ball carrier and his deft passing which often ensured that continuity was maintained.
Previous winners of the award are as follows:
2007 Wayne ‘Cowboy' John
2008 Ed Gaught
2009 John Stephens