Charlie Fredrickson leads her Royal Navy Women in what is surely the toughest task in Service rugby. How to prevent the unbeaten Army from recording their fourteenth consecutive Inter Services title? She could perhaps chat to the Royal Navy’s Netball captain, Megan Bailey, whose team in March ended a twenty-year wait for Inter service victory and showed that in sport anything can happen.
However the task will be a formidable one as Army captain, Jan Leonard, leads a team that includes six players with international experience and who against the RAF Women powered away in the last quarter to secure an opening day victory 29-7. In the pack Jane, a former England international, is joined by current England prop Bianca Dawson, whilst behind the scrum flyhalf Gemma Rowland and winger Bethan Dainton are both currently in the Wales squad. Whilst centre Chantelle Miller and fullback Kate Hancock are also former internationals. In fact only Heidi Silcox of the Army’s starting XV is not either a United Kingdom Armed Forces capped or International capped player; a daunting task for the women from the Senior Service.
The Royal Navy Women though have always contributed fully to what remains an often bruising encounter for both sides. Fredrickson will be buoyed that the Navy’s vastly experienced centre, Loz Morton, returns to play her first match of the season, allowing Sarah Jenkins to move to scrum half in a backline that also sees a new look back three with Drew Powell and Oli Critchley on the wings and Louise Worsfold continuing at fullback. The pack remains unchanged from that which started against the RAF last week.
Army Team: Maj Charlie Maxwell (AGC), Sgt Rae Metters (REME), Sgt Bianca Dawson * (REME), Pte Ellie Gattlin (RLC), LCpl Heidi Silcox (RAMC), Capt Erica Mills (RA), Cpl Jane Leonard * (Capt) (RE), Lt Jade Binskin-Barnes (RLC), Capt Gemma Stonebridge-Smith (AGC), Capt Gemma Rowland * (RA), Bdr Bethan Dainton * (RA), Sgt Sarah Mitchelson (RLC), Capt Chantelle Miller (AGC), Gnr Jess McAuley (RA), Lt Kate Hancock * (RE) Replacements: Cpl Natalie Lewis (RSigs), LCpl Sarah Batley (AGC), LCpl Chelsey Snead (REME), Capt Alex Hardy (RA), LCpl Paula Robinson (REME), LCpl Maz Claassens (AGC), Cpl Carrie Roberts (REME), Sgt Jolandi Joubert (RLC)
Royal Navy Team: SLt Pippa Hutchinson RN (HMS Dauntless), LAC Emily Park (825 NAS), KMA Kate Parkman (HMS Nelson), Lt Helen Stevenson RN (HMS Albion), POWtr Annemarie McIntyre (CTCRM), Mid Sam Bannard RN (BRNC Dartmouth), Lt Charlie Fredrickson RN (Capt) (PJHQ), AB Stacey Hargrave (HMS Richmond), POET(WE) Sarah Jenkins (HMS Kent), LS Sam Alderson (HMS Portland), ET(WE) Drew Powell (HMS Sultan), LS Feisha Greene (HMS Nelson), LWtr Loz Morton (HMS Nelson), Mid Oli Critchley RN (DTUS Trojan Sqn), LS Louise Worsfold (HMS King Alfred) Replacements: LET(ME) Sophia Dockerty (ESG Devonport), POAET Pam Williams-Wilson (Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force), Lt Cdr Kirsty Marlor RN (Wildcat PT), MA Rhiann Dilmore (RNAS Culdrose), CPO(AEA) Billi Staite (Sea King Support Authority), LNN Alice Kightley (DMG(S), ET(ME) Eileen Tuivaga (HMS Dauntless), ET(WE) Holly Greenaway (HMS Bulwark)
* denotes International
Images © Army Navy Match