This Is Our Year

"This is our year to beat the French!" stated John Manners, RNRU Women's Head Coach, as the squad went into their training camp prior to facing the Marine Nationale Feminines.  Women’s rugby within the Royal Navy has continued to grow in strength and confidence, following a second successful season running a development side.

Rose Dixon will Captain the squad, and whilst she only joined the team during the Army Navy game 2018 having joined the Royal Navy only 14 months ago, this is her first full season with the RNRU Women. However, playing her weekly rugby at Wasps, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience onto the pitch during training and in games.  Playing at Full Back, she will be joined in the back line with Poppy Stillman, also new to the squad, on one wing, and Rachel Carragher, who last year played second row and is now out on the other wing.  Emily Park, playing hooker, is Vice Captain, and will be joined in the front row, with seasoned player and prop Katie Ives and Lucy Honeybell, another new member stepping up from the development side.

 “Our squad grows from strength to strength” said the Assistant Director of Women’s rugby Paula Bennett-Smith "and whilst we are the under dogs going into this game and haven’t beaten the French since this fixture started at HMS Drake in 2011, I am confident that we are strong enough this year to get our first win against them on home soil.” 

Mr Gary Street, CO Head Coach for Harlequins Ladies and former England Women’s Head Coach, is assisting the RNRU Women by providing mentoring advice to the RNRU Women's Coaching Team and delivering some on-field coaching sessions. The mentoring has already played dividends for the RNRU Women's Head Coach, “Whilst I have only met with Gary a few times, I have already learnt so much from him, and it gives me a real confidence boost when we do our video analysis that I am recognising the same issues as Gary has seen, with all his experience!” said John Manners RNRU Women's Head Coach.

The Royal Navy Women take on the Marine Nationale Feminines this Wednesday 20th March at HMS Drake.

Words: Paula Bennett-Smith
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton