RNRU Senior Men aim to Square up 'Le Crunch'

Photo Credit - Mark Andrews 2019

The Royal Navy Senior Men travel to Vannes this weekend thinking only of squaring the score of 'Le Crunch' wins with Marine Nationale.

After a 2 year hiatus enforced by the global pandemic the Royal Navy travel to Brittany aiming to tie the overall wins in their annual fixture with Marine Nationale to 8 a piece. There is little love lost during the 80 minutes on field between the two Navies and the fixture in France is always guaranteed to have a partisan and raucous atmosphere. This year sees the match played in the Walled city of Vannes for the first time, previously it has been in the Mediterranean port city of Toulon and the capital, Paris.

The match is not only an opportunity for the players to represent their nation but for the sailors and marines of the Royal Navy it is the third opportunity to earn a cap, and the only one outside of the Inter-Service Championship. And the leadership of the Royal Navy side will not be short of caps, Head Coach CPO Dave Pascoe in the Royal Navy's most capped player (37 caps) and was the captain for the first cap match in 2011 (in Plymouth where the Royal Navy were victorious) and the Captain for this year's fixture will be LPT Ben Priddey who will be winning his 32nd cap (Ben also played in the 2011 Royal Navy win).

The match also signals the end of the warm up matches and the business end of the season. Competition for places has been fierce with the coaches given plenty of headaches. Coach Pascoe said "We cannot wait for this Test, we have only returned victorious once from France. All of the history that’s involved with social and historical context, there is a long seated rivalry that breeds excitement. Everything that’s done around the game is going to be coordinated, all coordinated to help the French win. We’ve got to be good enough to control what we can control."

And a passionate Captain Ben Priddey can't wait to run out in Vannes saying  "This will probably be my last chance to lead the boys out in a capped game, which I didn't think would happen and I'm delighted because there is no better feeling. The hostility and atmosphere in France, and with a lot of factors against you makes the game even more emotional. I cant wait to use them to bring the best out of me and the team and get victory in Vannes."

One thing can always be guaranteed with this fixture, it's always heated!

Line Up 

1. LET(ME) Richie Ives
2. LPT Ben Priddey (Captain)
3. LAET Chris Warner
4 LS(HM) John Kirwan
5. MNE Josh Williams
6. MNE Toby Papp
7. Lt Mitchell Spencer RN
8. AB(D) Gav Hughan
9. AB Gar Rees
10. AET Jordan Gott
11. POAET Ben Chambers (VC)
12. LCpl Kai Baker
13. MNE Seta Raumakita
14. AET Jerome Rudder
15. Lt Rory O’Brien RM

16. Lt Louis Frankland RN
17. LAET Kye Beasley
18. LA(AH) Ben Watson
19. PO(SET) Ashley Wakefield
20. MNE Rory Mitchell
21. LAET Sam Carter
22. AET Dan Rutter
23. AB(SEA) Jesse Lowe