Navy winger flying high
Josh Drauniniu (HM Naval Base Portsmouth) celebrated his selection for Combined Services with a four-try haul as London Welsh comfortably beat Moseley 68 - 22. The scoring spree also means that Navy Chef Josh is currently the leading try scorer in the RFU Championship, with nine tries from just eight games.
For much of last season Josh was troubled by a series of injuries that restricted his appearances on the pitch. Although Josh recovered to contribute fully in the Navy's matches against the RAF and the Army, he was not quite at his sharpest. However with a good pre-season under his belt and playing for a resurgent London Welsh team, Josh has started the season in sparkling form. This bodes well for the Combined Services when they face the Barbarians at Aldershot on Tuesday 9 November and when they step up to meet the international challenge of Samoa, at Gloucester's Kingsholm on Wednesday 17 November.
However for Navy supporters it also means a return to the all court game where Josh has regularly demonstrated his skills as one of the most dangerous broken field runners in the game. Josh's early season form has been matched by that of Scott Llewellyn (Cdo Log Regt RM), another Navy player selected for the Combined Services. Last seen leaving the pitch at Twickenham with his eye closing rapidly due to a nasty cut, the centre has thrown down the gauntlet to the Navy's centre pairing of Dale Sleeman (HMS Cumberland) and Calum MacRae (CTCRM) that he will be a real threat to their places over the coming season. However, the three of them should also be aware that HMS Chatham's Jon Marlin has completed training and is now available to present a serious challenge for one of the starting places in the Navy's back line. Finally, just to show how the strength in depth is gradually growing, young U23 centre Setaraki Raumakita (42 Cdo RM, playing in the recent win against Havant, demonstrated the ability to make the breaks and produce the offloads from which players like Josh can thrive. He is a young player with talent that bodes well for the future.
Scott Llewellyn will be in action for the Royal Marines against Plymouth in the first round of the Inter Commands Competition - Wed 20 Oct at Devonport Services, KO 1800.