army v navy 
Saturday 4th May 2024


Osman pleased with Army result in Cambridge

Army Men’s Head Coach, Tim Osman, was pleased with a job well done after his side recorded a convincing 31-17 win at Cambridge University.

The red shirts never looked back after Spr Jack Johnson (RE) scored a converted second-minute try, and they were 19-0 up inside the opening quarter after Sgt Connor O’Reilly (7 PARA RHA) and LCpl Jake Bamber (REME) also crossed the whitewash.

The Students reduced the deficit before the break as Ben Gompels went over from a maul before a similar set-piece yielded another, but Army regained control early in the second period through Pte Olly Butterworth (PARA).

A third line-out try for Cambridge, this time finished by Byron Hodge, made it 24-17, but LCpl Phil Graham (RE) landed the final blow for the visitors late on.

Following a successful evening, Tim said: “We came out the blocks well, got amongst it and went three tries ahead – arguably after that and some of the play in the second half we should have come out with a bigger margin on the scoreboard, but it was a good performance.

“We got what we wanted out of the game – we were working a lot on our game shape and how we want to play, there was an opportunity for a few guys to get a start and have a fair crack.

“There were a few who’ve been with us since the summer – and in one case two seasons – so I was very pleased they got a chance to have a run out. Across the board, most people impressed.”

He continued: “The second half, at this time of the season when we’re trying to get 10 changes in there, always causes a bit of a lack of continuity and cohesion, but everyone did well and apart from getting across the line at the end, we comfortably deserved the win.

“Some of the guys who stuck their hands up in the Development phase back in October and November have come through and got their start, and now we’ve got some tricky decisions to make.”

With the Inter-Services games against Royal Navy and the Air Force in May beginning to loom into view, the Head Coach will start trimming squad numbers in the next couple of months, but believes his side is coming together nicely.

He explained: “There’s a good cohort of players around and with a few more little tweaks – the guys will get another chance in camp in two weeks and the next fixture – we’ll be up and running.

“We’ve got an extended squad and part of the trick is keeping those guys who aren’t playing involved, at any time someone could be called up and the boys know the reasons when there are rotations.

“Everybody gets all the information so whether it’s slides or playbooks, they’re all expected to know their role so they can come and fit into it.

“The culture is so important, and we need guys who want to be there, adding value to the group, and it’s been great to see so far.”

Having taken over the Head Coach role midway through last season, Lt Col Osman is hoping to avenge last year’s defeat to Navy and feels he has benefitted from 18 months at the helm.

He ended: “I don’t know if I feel more comfortable, but certainly in terms of the environment and having the wrap around things and steering the ship, I feel I’ve learnt a lot in how to get the boys where they want to go in the last year.

“Hopefully they’ll feel like they’re getting more out of it too!”

Tickets are on sale now for the Army's two games in the 2024 Inter Service Championship.

For Army v Navy match tickets at Twickenham Stadium on Sat, 4 May, visit

For Royal Air Force v Army match tickets at Kingsholm Stadium on Sat, 11 May, visit

Pic: Alligin Photography

We got what we wanted out of the game – we were working a lot on our game shape and how we want to play, there was an opportunity for a few guys to get a start and have a fair crack.

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