Royal Navy Senior XV Selected for Army v Navy Match
Following the end of their preparation with the match against RGC1404, at Parc Erias, Colwyn Bay on Wednesday, the Royal Navy team selected to play the Army is as follows:
1. NA Kyle Mason * (845 NAS, RNAS Yeovilton)
2. NA Ben Priddey * (RNAS Culdrose)
3. AB(WS) Marc Roberts * (HMS Bulwark)
4. Capt Stu McLaren RM * (DMOC Halton)
5. POAET Marsh Cormack * (854NAS, RNAS Culdrose)
6. MA Sam Laird * (HMS Collingwood)
7. Cpl Greg Barden * (HMNB Portsmouth)
8. Cpl Gaz Evans * (539ASRM)
9. POAET Dave Pascoe * (771NAS, RNAS Culdrose) (Capt)
10. CPOET (WE) Wayne John * (HMS Liverpool)
11. Mne Scott Llewellyn * (Cdo Logs RM)
12. ET (ME) Dale Sleeman * (HMS Cumberland)
13. Cpl Calum MacRae * (CTCRM)
14. ET (ME) Jon Marlin * (HMS Chatham)
15. Lt Andy Vance * (HMS Ocean)
16. POAET John Court * (829NAS, RNAS Culdrose/HMS Westminster)
17. Mne Dennis Scotthorne * (42 Cdo RM)
18. AB (WS) Will Cairns * (CFPS)
19. ET (WE) (SM) Ian Cooper * (HMS Ambush)
20. LPT Gareth Cadmore * (HMS Raleigh)
21. Mne Jonny Stephen * (CTCRM)
22. CPOET (WE) Dane Smallbone * (HMS Collingwood)
The most notable omission from the team is Log (CS) (Josh) Drauniniu (HMNB Portsmouth). Josh suffered a finger injury on Monday and had an operation on Tuesday 26 April. He is out of rugby for at least six weeks but will be staying with the squad in a coaching capacity. Commenting on this Navy Director of Rugby, Lt Cdr Geraint Ashton Jones RN said "Naturally the whole squad felt for Josh when we received the news. The amount of preparation that all the Navy players put in to be part of the Inter Services is immense and of course they all wish to be part of the final game at Twickenham. We are losing a player who everyone involved with Service rugby respects and a player who can turn a match. However, that's rugby and Josh will be working with the back three to ensure that the excitement and width which is a key part of our game remains". Geraint went on to say "For all my personal disappointment for Josh I am also pleased for Scott in what will be his last game in the Service. Scott has been a stalwart of his unit and the Corps. He has produced many excellent performances when wearing the Navy shirt and but for Josh would have started a number of cap games. I am sure he will surprise anyone who underestimates his talents."
Apart from the omission of Josh the team has a familiar feel to it for those who have followed the progress this year. Ben Priddey's form forces Gaz Evans to drop in the backrow where he forms an exciting partnership with Navy newcomer, Sam Laird and England Sevens regular, Greg Barden. In front of them Stu McLaren has returned from the Operational deployment which forced him to miss the RAF game to once more partner Marsh Cormack, who becomes the Navy's most capped lock forward.
Behind the scrum the midfield as been an almost ever present this season with a back three marshalled by Andy Vance who though having missed most of the season due to professional training has quickly integrated with the new look side.
The replacements bench sees the welcome return of U23 Captain, Dennis Scotthorne. A dislocated shoulder in the win over the Irish Defence Forces looked to have ended his season prematurely, more poignant in so much as he also leaves the Royal Marines at the end of this campaign. However, through his own hard work and massive support from the medical team he forces himself on to the bench and hopefully a Twickenham run out.
The match will once more be the culmination of a very hard season. As ever, everyone involved with Navy Rugby and the Senior XV thank the support they have received from their mess mates, line managers and Commanding Officers. It is appreciated.