For new Navy Women’s Head Coach, Dominic ‘Bali’ Salisbury, there could not have been a harder start to his tenure. A match against the experienced touring Australians at a time when a number of senior players were unavailable for selection. The hospital pass from predecessor Sam Cuff was clearly not intended but this week Bali has the chance to start the developing processes he wishes for the coming season.
To be fair, being the former coach of the Navy Medics, Bali should be used to coping with emergencies. However it takes a certain strength of character to bounce back from a heavy defeat and also a training block where nearly all of you time is spent trying to a get a team on to the pitch – a goal he managed to achieve.
Bali is clearly looking forward and has arranged an excellent training and development opportunity for the Navy Women’s team. Having worked with the current coach of the Wales’s Women’s team on his coaching award Bali has put together a training package that includes a visit to the Millennium Stadium but more importantly (and excitingly) a shared training session with the Welsh squad within the Welsh Rugby Union’s elite training facility at the Vale of Glamorgan.
The aims of the day are two fold. First and foremost it gives the team time together to start planning their 2013 campaign and for Bali to get some of his ideas across. Already in his short tenure he has identified a need to broaden the leadership base in the playing group which can only help the ongoing development of the women’s game in the Navy. Secondly he wants the individual players to be inspired and, even if it is only one thing, to take something away from talking with their opposite number that will add to their understanding as to what is required to play at the highest levels.
The following day the Navy Women play against Bristol Ladies. The match is at Bristol’s Portway Rugby Centre, Portway Bristol, Avon BS9 2HS. KO 19:30 Thursday 29th November 2012.
A note of caution. At the moment this match is subject to a pitch inspection which will take place either Wednesday or Thursday. Bristol are due to train at Portway tomorrow (Tuesday) but at the moment there is standing water on the pitch and it is raining – so speaks the Portway Rugby Centre Manager.
Royal Air Force Twickenham Shirt Launch
The RAF Rugby Union capitalised on their shirt supplier, Canterbury, also being the shirt supplier to England, with the launch of their latest design at Twickenham, prior to the England v South Africa test match. Senior XV captain, John Hall and their Welsh International Sian Williams braved a very wet morning to model the new kit. The shirt stays with the long standing Air Force tradition of their Sky (Cronulla) Blue with Maroon trim. However they have added the Royal Air Force’s iconic roundels on the shoulders to give a more modern twist. With the roaring success of their Spitfire shirt design’s the RAFRU will no doubt hep that the designers have hit upon another winner. For me it is another sign that the RAF are stirring from their slumber and will surely be looking to make further progress on the field this season.
Images of the launch can be viewed here.
Official images of new shirt are here.
Anyone in the Northampton area on Wednesday afternoon? The RAF Seniors are playing against a Northampton Saints XV at 14:00 as part of their 2013 Inter Service preparations. The match is at Franklin Gardens.
Royal Air Force Spitfires in Dubai
Whilst their Union was launching the new XV-a-side playing strips the Spitfires were well away from London’s rain enjoying their preparations for the DUbai Sevens, where they play in the International Mens Open event. This is the same category that the Navy Sharks won in 2007. The Spitfires start their campaign against Olymp Men on Thursday 29 Nov before playing Exeter Baa Baas and Moosa-Daly Wild Geese on the Friday. The last matches on Friday will be the quarter finals. Last season the Spitfires won the Plate competition and will be targeting success in the Cup for 2012. The holders of the trophy are Pyrenees 7 who Navy Rugby followers will remember the Sharks having a number of battles with.
International Duty for Navy Referee
When England play the New Zealand Black Ferns in the second of their three test series the military connection is not just the Army’s Aldershot Stadium venue. Navy Referee Tim Bailey has been appointed as the one of the Assistant Referees by the RFU. I believe tickets are still available for the match and are available via Ticketmaster. The game kicks off at 19:30, Tuesday 27th November, Aldershot Rugby Stadium. England are 1-0 up and can clinch the series tomorrow night. The third match is at Twickenham after the men’s international.