Operations cause late changes in Senior XV
Due to a short notice operational deployment, the Royal Navy Senior XV has been forced in to a late change to the team. Royal Marine lock forward Capt (Stu) McLaren RM (DMOC RAF Halton) was due to renew his partnership, from last season, with returning second row POAET (Marsh) Cormack (854NAS, RNAS Culdrose). However, professional duties now mean that his place will be taken by Lt (Niall) Copeland RN (HMS Collingwood). The match will be a first start for Weapon Engineering Officer, Niall, and his first Inter Service match. However, Niall was part of the starting XV that took the field in front of 10,000 partisan fans at the Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, and last season so he is well used to big match occasions. It has proved to be a successful end to the season for Niall who received a serious leg injury in the Navy's first game at Oxford University. He returned to Navy colours in thrilling end to end 48-45 victory over Wooden Spooners Anti Assassins, which certainly tested his overall fitness. He was selected for the bench and came on at the end of the Navy's victory over the Marine Nationale and now has the opportunity to showcase his talents in the 2011 Inter Services.