Harlequins Army Training Day Cover15032019 Credit BFBS.jpg
Rugby Union

Premiership Rugby Side 'Out Of Their Comfort Zone' During Army Training

Harlequins were put through their paces at the Army Training Regiment in Winchester.

Harlequins Army Training Day Cover15032019 Credit BFBS.jpg

Premiership rugby union side Harlequins have been given a taste of the military lifestyle at the Army Training Regiment in Winchester.

The team has used the exercises to improve teamwork and leadership throughout the squad.

They started their day with the high jump, meaning the players would work together to climb up a structure before taking a leap of faith while fully harnessed.

George Hammond is an academy player with the team and for him, the challenge was a highlight of the day.

He said: "I thought it was really good fun. It’s something different as well.

"We don’t usually get to climb that high everyday so I thought that was pretty cool."

 

His teammate Luke James has a fear of heights, but felt the challenge was worth completing.

He said: “It’s good to have something that challenges you and takes you outside your comfort zone.

“Heights-wise, I’m not great with that so having to get up there on massive platform and jumping off, it’s good to challenge yourself."

For the club’s Head of Operations, James’ attitude is exactly the point of why they chose to do the exercise.

“A lot of people are frightened of heights,” said Graham Bowerbank. “They go up on the high wire and they are tested.

“One of the big purposes today was to see a few of them out of their comfort zone."

Following the high jump, the players went through a shooting training programme which is regularly used by new recruits.

While it may have been very different to their regular training session, the players did not hold back according to Player Development Manager, Andy Sanger.

He said: "The boys have really enjoyed it. They have bought into it and you have everything from seasoned internationals, the England rugby captain down to the academy boys.

"They’ve all had a great time."

Harlequins Army Jump 15032019 Credit BFBS.jpg
This is the site that many of the Harlequins players had as they made the jump from the top of the structure.

Sanger may be part of the Harlequins currently, but he has a military background. He was ranked as a major in the Royal Engineers and was a recent manager of the Army Rugby Team.

He played a big part in setting up the training day through his connections.

He said: “I’ve got a relationship with the Regimental Sergeant Major here and it just so happens that he is a season ticket holder at Harlequins.

“I think the relationship between the Army and professional sport is strong anyway," he said.

"I think it’s something which Harlequins and the Army Rugby Union are looking to strengthen.

“There’s so much that correlates directly between professional sport and the military.

"The quality that we ask of our soldiers whether they are male or female is similar to the qualities that you need to play professional sport."

Harlequins Army Training Exercise 15032019 Credit BFBS.jpg
The Army training staff created a challenge specifically for the Harlequins players.

The final exercise of the day was created specifically for the players.

The aim was to build a makeshift cannon and when it is ready to shoot, the players would kick a rugby ball towards the target from differing distances.

The constant resetting of the cannon meant the players had to work together in a system and relying on your team-mate to complete his role successfully.

“Everybody can be good at tactics,” said Bowerbank.

“Everybody can be big and strong. Ultimately, you want to be able to trust the guy that is stood on your left and on your right. If you can, that makes you a much stronger team.”

The Harlequins will be hoping their Army experience will impact their performance on the pitch when they visit Saracens next week.