Rugby Union

Rugby Union: Army Senior Men's to undergo 'massive refresh' ahead of new season

The first Army seniors rugby union campaign in two years – because of COVID – kicks off this month with a trials day.

The senior men's Army rugby union team will be starting again as they begin their new season this month.

At an Inter Corps event, Captain Mal Roberts was scouting talent ahead of a trials day later this month where he will start to shape his team.

The team's head coach has been in charge for nearly 18 months but is yet to lead his team into a match due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The two-year absence of rugby union in the military has seen a number of players retire or leave the service.

That means new opportunities for players to make the team for the Inter Services.

"It is a massive refresh," said Capt Roberts.

"I know the other two services have had people retire and stuff – and we're no different.

"We are looking for some key positions that I won't give away.

"It's a clean sheet and starting from afresh.

"Although we're Inter Services champions, there will be a little bit of pressure, but irrespective of whether we are champions or not, you go into it with that level of expectation putting on the red jersey.

"It's about managing that expectation and about managing the players back into playing rugby again after such a long break.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be a challenge," he added.

Watch: Army development rugby team suffer defeat after red card.

The Army are yet to take part in any training camps unlike their rivals in the RAF and Navy.

For the players, their preparations have been filled with Inter Corps and Inter Unit action – a vital tool for Capt Roberts and his coaching staff.

He said: "Events like this are crucial. I don't get an opportunity to watch every single unit play sport.

"We try and get out to watch as much corps rugby as we can but there's only four of us so it's very difficult to get and watch every single minute of every single game."

He says they need to put themselves out there "unearthing those gems".

"There will be some talents out there in units or the deepest, darkest regiments that we know nothing about and that's what we want to expose."