Rugby Union

'New' Navy Side Preparing For Inter Services Opener

After defeats in both games last year, the Navy rugby side are looking to put in a good showing against the RAF at Twickenham Stoop,

The Navy will play their first Inter Services game of the season when they come up against reigning champions the RAF at the Twickenham Stoop.

After last season’s disappointment of losing both matches, the Navy have changed a lot about their side including their captain.

Scott Makepeace has replaced the outgoing Ben Priddey and believes the new mentality the Navy have adopted will get results.

He said: "Being the senior service, we always want to be on top. It’s always something we want to win and we strive to win.

“It always motivates but we don’t want to dwell too much on last year.

“It’s a new challenge this year with new players and a new team ethos. We are just looking forward to this and looking forward to bringing something new."

Scott Makepeace Navy Captain 04042019 Credit BFBS.jpg
Scott Makepeace is the new Navy captain after replacing Ben Priddey.

Ben 'Bubba' Watson has played for the team for a number of years, but recently recovered from a serious leg break that kept him out since 2016. He has noticed a major difference in the camp.

"Coming back from that injury, it is quite a massive shock to see how much the set-up has improved with the people they have brought in and the leadership structure," he said.

"The overall morale in the camp is completely different to what it was before.

“There is more of a friendship environment and you can tell everyone is playing for each other."

As well as the men’s game, the Navy Women team open up their Inter Services campaign against the RAF counterparts at the Stoop.

The players are aware of how difficult the challenge will be, as squad member Emily Park explained.

“I really think it is important that we aim higher,” she said, “The biggest improvement we can make is fitness, strength and conditioning.

“We are really working hard and I think if you watch the Navy team over the last two years, our fitness is now 80 minutes rather than 60 minutes as it was before.

“We know the other services are probably bigger and stronger than us, but that is where we want to go.

“Hopefully, in three of four years, that won’t be the case.”

The team captain Rose Dixon agreed with Park’s mentality.

She said: “It’s the really little things. It’s the things like morale and getting people in the gym to teach them how to lift if they haven’t before.

“It’s teaching them the basic levels so in three or four years, you can become a stellar rugby player."

You can watch both games LIVE by visiting either the Forces Sports Show YouTube channel, right here on forces.net or on the Forces News Facebook.