army v navy 
Saturday 4th May 2024


Navy setting sights on Twickenham

Both the Royal Navy’s Senior Men and Senior Women are setting their sights on improved performances when they take on the British Army at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, May 4.

The Senior Men head to the home of England Rugby just 80 minutes away from their first back-to-back Inter Service Championship titles in 50 years, while the Senior Women are seeking to show how much they have improved year-on-year against the highly rated red shirts.

For the Senior Men, the Twickenham Stadium clash is an opportunity to put right some of the wrongs which saw them turn an eight-point half-time lead into a defeat to the Royal Air Force. The RAF did not just fight back in the second half, they also restricted the Navy to just three points, a stark contrast to the first period in which the reigning champions had scored three stunning tries.

Sam Matavesi’s effort was the standout, the Fijian international taking Kristan Dobson’s offload at full pace, before chipping the final defender and dotting down in the corner.

“I don’t think the RAF get enough credit,” he said. “My first year they won the title, and they’re a hell of a team. I thought we were good in patches, and the take on that is that we finished the game frustrated, which is a good sign. We have to be better if we’re going to beat the Army.

“In the first half we had the wind, and in the second half we found it a bit tougher. I thought we were going to shoot ourselves in the foot by overplaying in the middle third a bit too much. The boys worked hard, we got a few good breaks, our lineout and maul were good, and we got our foot back into the game.

“Army Navy will be fantastic. It’s going to be an awesome game and I think that if we can cut out a few mistakes – especially without the ball – then we’ll be in a great position.”

Senior Men’s captain, Jarrard Hayler, hailed the commitment of the whole squad in his post-match interview with BFBS, sentiments which were echoed by his Senior Women’s counterpart, Rose Dixon.

“For me I’m incredibly proud of the girls,” she said. “There were so many moments where we had opportunities, more so than last year, and that’s what we’re all about, building and closing that gap.

“We’re going to take into camp ahead of the Army match the working on that extra five percent, that last pass. It can be hard when you’re in camp because you don’t want to smash into each other, but running against a hard defence that’s putting the pressure on makes a difference.

“Last year the scoreline was similar to 2022, but we put points on them. That’s what we want to build on – we want to make it harder for them to score points and we want to score points. It can be really hard in the moment to recognise that as success, but realising that and seeing how far we’ve come is a success story in itself.”

This will be Dixon’s third time leading the Royal Navy out at Twickenham, and she said that it will never be taken for granted.

“It’s huge,” she added. “Something I said before our first game at Twickenham was that it is every rugby player’s dream to play there. For me, for the girls, it’s a momentous occasion, and no matter the scoreline you have to treasure the moment. For Navy Rugby and Military Rugby to give us that opportunity is huge and we want to seize that moment.

“When I started playing rugby I never thought I would say that years later I’m running out with my best friends to play at Twickenham to play against the Army. It’s just huge.”

Tickets remain available for Army Navy 2024 via

Prices start at just £10 for Under-16s and £25 for adults.

Pic: Pinnacle Photography

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