Out with the old and in with the new—but only maybe and maybe not quite yet. After two highly significant pre IDRC matches against a London Scottish XV at Aldershot and an Esher XV away Head coach Andy Sanger has got a nice little problem to whittle down to thirty players his chosen squad for the Arthur Harrison VC Cup.
In three weeks’ time teams from nine different countries will be in the air heading for Aldershot, Portsmouth and RAF Halton. There is little doubt the likes of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and France will not have come to see the Crown Jewels or drink warm English beer—not even solely to cheer on their National teams in the RWC.
London Scottish turned out a young side but they were up to the brim with skills and enthusiasm. The result was a clear points advantage to the Army but this was more about who was able to impress. A few may have tried a little too hard but of the rest, forwards Knoxy Laqekoro (RE), Craig Fillier (RMP) and back three Chris Leathem (R Irish) each made their case.
Against Esher RLC’s Matt Lamont playing at No 7 alongside the encrusted Maccu Koroiyadi (RE) caught the eye as did returning lock Dave Bates (Royal Signals). The club had produced a strong ‘tester’ XV with bags of punch and pace. For the Army Sapper scrum half Aporosa Vata and Gunner front row forward Kenny Dowding lifted their hands to be counted. Wing Sami Sema feeding on the great work of Gerhard Wessels and Peceli Nacamavuto (all RE) ran like the wind. All good stuff for the faithful who had travelled from Aldershot.
This has been a very solid period of preparation for the IDRC. Everyone in the Army knows this is the big one and is not a time for cruising, so, a couple more turns of the screw and the IDRC starts at Aldershot on 8 October—Army v Australia. KO 1600 hrs. BE THERE !!