Rugby Union

Army Women Set For Clash With French Marine Nationale

The Army side are looking to rebuild after losing the Inter Services title in April.

Army Women’s Head Coach Major Gemma Stonebridge-Smith is expecting a “brutal game” against the French Marine Nationale.

The former Inter Services champions are set to face off with the French team with a much-changed line-up from the team that lost to the RAF in April.

The game comes on the week of the 75th anniversary of D-day, but the head coach expects a physical test.

She said: “It’s a brutal game. The French are a real physical, dominant side and we fully expect them to be the same again this year.”

Maj Stonebridge-Smith is proud that the players can be part of the D-Day commemorations with the match: “It shows what actually motivates service rugby players. It isn’t always the silverware or the competitions.

“It’s about doing your duty and being able to pay respect to those that have gone before.”

The game is being seen as a chance to start again for the Army after losing the Inter Services title with some new starts ready to come through.

“A lot of the senior team or Inter Services team are now deployed on exercise or operations.

“We’ve had the opportunity to bring up some girls from the A squad and also some brand new girls in anticipation for next season.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to blood some new players.”