Women’s Skipper Scoops Sherratt Award
When Loz Morton won the Roger Sherratt Memorial Trophy in 2012 it was for a series of battling performances at scrum half. Against the RAF Women she had bossed the backrow trio of Charlie Lewis, Freddie Fredrickson and Helen Leach all match constantly cajoling them to keep driving forward. Though it was Sarah Mitchell who scored the try, as the Navy secured a narrow and extremely tense 7-5 win, it was Morton who was the Navy’s stand out player. A couple of weeks later, against the Army and winning her RN Women’s Cap, she had little ball to work with but her defence marked her out as player with an all round game and one with a real future in women’s rugby.
Over the succeeding seasons that promise has been fulfilled. Her strong, powerful running with ball in hand saw her move to the centre where her talents soon caught the eye of others. Selection for the England Academy and also forcing her way in to the Saracen’s first team only confirmed to a wider audience, what those involved with Royal Navy Women’s rugby already knew, Lauren was going, indeed already is, a very talented rugby footballer.
However her winning of the Roger Sherratt Trophy in 2015 is not just a reflection of her performances on the pitch as those off it. Indeed it reflects the qualities that Roger Sherratt, whose name the trophy carries, held so dear. Roger, through his Navy Rugby playing daughter Clare, realised that the Women’s game in the Royal Navy had some pretty formidable hurdles to overcome and to compete at Inter Services level. As their first benefactor he enabled them to become established within Navy Rugby and the on going growth and success of the representative Women’s game will always remain indebted to his generosity.
This season Loz Morton has carried the responsibility of captain of the side lightly, in a year when many of the more senior players have been unavailable due to injury and deployments. Her commitment to nurturing the young talent, uncovering new talent and being prepared to play anywhere in the side for the good of the team would have undoubtedly have received Roger’s fulsome endorsement.
Loz is now only the second player to win one of the Royal Navy Rugby Union’s major awards twice. The other? The Royal Navy’s 28 capped lock forward Marsh Cormack; the only man to have been awarded the Cossack Sword twice.. They share very many qualities. Both are fiercely competitive on the pitch, hold the respect of the three Service sides and are held in high esteem within the Combined Services. And both are well aware of their responsibilities, as senior players, to put the team first and give of their time to develop the next generation.
Congratulation go to Lauren Morton who once more has been awarded the Roger Sherratt Memorial Trophy at the end of a hard season for the Women’s game.
Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones & © Lee Crabb