Succesful season for British Army 7s team
06 October, 2011
|The British Army 7s team dominated by Fijian players. |
Despite a season plagued by the unavailability of established players on operations in Afghanistan and on Army promotion/career courses, the British Army 7s team completed another successful 7s season.
One must not forget that Army players are soldiers first during the normal working week and sacrifice their weekends away from families and friends to compete in a number of rugby 7s tournaments over the British summer. But although these sacrifices are great, it is surpassed by the honour of representing the British Army at some of the best 7s tournaments in the United Kingdom and around the world.
The highlight of this season must have been the beating of Fijian Ambassadors and Ratu Filise in the Abbotsford 7s Canada (23/24 July) – two top quality 7s sides. The performance and strength of the Army Fijian players not only impressed Wasaile Serevi (coach and player to USA Old Pungent Sound participating in the tournament) and the other Fijian coaches, it also won the crowd over; whose vocal support for the Army team was immense.
A striking fact for the British Army 7s team is that wherever they go and whoever they play against, they always seem to have the generous support of the public. By beating the Fijian Ambassadors, Ratu Filise and other teams at Abbotsford, the British Army and their Fijian players once again proved their international playing standard.
Other season achievements include:
o Finalists in Middlesex Club 7s
o Winners of the Royal Regiment of Scotland 7s
o Winners of Bournemouth 7s
o 3rd in the UK National Super Sevens Series (4 tournaments across England)
o Semi finalists at the Abbotsford 7s Canada
o Quarter finalists at the Middlesex 7s (Twickenham)
o Winners Worthing 7s
o Winners Cwmtawe 7s
Head Coach Corporal Alfred Vakacokovanua Grenadier Guards (see The FRU Newsletter Volume 2/Issue 25/8 July 2011) has masterminded these successes and is relishing the thought of the 2012 season with a full squad. Moreover, he has earmarked players such as Lance Corporal Sikeli Ratubuli Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Player of the Season) and Lance Corporal Alosio Yamoyamo Queens Royal Lancers (top in speed and agility tests at the British Army International Defence Rugby Cup training day) as players to watch out for.
Putting playing to one side, key to this season was the 7s Management Staffs' encouragement to their Fijian soldiers to also focus on their careers in the British Army. Consequently, following extensive work by the Team Manager (Captain John Voss Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), the England player Lance Corporal Isoa Damudamu Royal Logistic Corps finally completed his Port Operator training. Of course the drawback of this was Isoa’s unavailability throughout the Army 7s Season.
The accolades for the British Army 7s team continues and their playing prowess to international standard has been once again been witnessed during the 2011 7s season. With the 2012 season already beckoning, Alfred and John are already planning. Article courtesy of Colonel Andrew A Allen MBE, Director of Senior Rugby, British Army Rugby Union