Army Rugby will be represented on the international stage once again this weekend, with Spr Michael McDonald (RE) and Pte Michael Todd (Royal Scots) both being involved in the Rugby Europe Championship.
Spr McDonald, who made his international debut for Germany in their last match and who started the red shirts’ trip to Oxford University on Wednesday night, has been included in the German squad for Sunday’s trip to Poland.
Germany have found things tough in the Rugby Europe Championship so far, having played the more experienced Spain and Georgia in their opening two matches. However they fought back from a 15-26 deficit against the Netherlands last weekend to earn a losing bonus point from the 29-33 final result and will be looking to go one better in Gdynia on Sunday evening.
For their part, Poland beat Belgium last time out but were heavily beaten by Portugal and Romania in their opening two matches.
Spr McDonald came off the bench in both the games against Spain and the Netherlands and will be hoping for more game time for this match, which will decide who goes into the match that will decide 5th and 6th place in the competition.
Pte Todd will be making his own debut on Saturday lunchtime, Central European Time, as he takes control of his first senior international match, having been awarded the role of referee for the derby match between the Netherlands and Belgium in Amsterdam.
This is the second time that Pte Todd will be shaking hands with the Belgium team management during the 2023 Rugby Europe Championship, having been Assistant Referee for their trip to Portugal in Round 1.
Domestically, the red shirts will be represented in both the Premier 15s and Championship.
On Saturday afternoon, Spr Lauren Brooks (RE) will have an early taste of running out at Twickenham when she lines up for Harlequins against Exeter Chiefs in the Premier 15s.
Harlequins have made their Womens team an integral part of The Big Game experience, and this will be the first game in the Premier 15s/Premiership double-header.
Spr Brooks wears the number 6 shirt which she also wore in Harlequins’ last game, a 31-21 win away to Sale Sharks. However they will find things tough against Exeter, who head to the capital sitting pretty at the top of the Premier 15s table and who have won each of their last four games against the Londoners.
“We’re proud to be the only team in the Premier 15s to host an event like this, putting Womens rugby on the biggest stage,” commented Quins head coach, Amy Turner. “There’s definitely a buzz around the group; the players can’t wait to get out in front of the fans and put on a show.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1415hrs, with live coverage on BT Sport.
Also on Saturday afternoon, at Butts Park Arena Gnr Senitiki Nayalo (7 Para RHA) will line up at number eight for Coventry, who welcome London Scottish to the West Midlands.
Coventry have lost just the one game since the beginning of October, a run which included a memorable win away to Ealing in their last league outing and has seen them march up to third in the table.
There have also been four wins on the bounce in the Championship Cup, with Gnr Nayalo scoring when Cov won 47-31 away to London Scottish in their last game on February 17th.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1500hrs.