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LCpl Semesa Rokoduguni (SCOTS DG) is eagerly anticipating a return to red shirt action when the Army takes on the RAF in the opening round of the 2022 Inter-Services Championship in Gloucester this Saturday (KO 1515hrs).

The winger, who has been in fine form for Bath in the Premiership this season, was in camp with the Army squad in the build-up to the final warm-up match against BUCS Super Rugby outfit Cardiff Met, re-joining the group ahead of the Kingsholm clash.

And while he has been a regular in the Inter-Services Championship over the years, LCpl Rokoduguni says that he never takes selection for granted.

“This is where everything started for me, where I began my rugby journey,” he says. “So to represent the Army is a massive thing for me, an honour and a privilege to be picked.

“Most of the guys I’ve talked to, they say that I’m lucky to be given the opportunity, and I never take it for granted.

“It’s been two years since I was in the team, so getting back together with them has been good.

“There was a great energy in the squad, the training was tough, but it was enjoyable.”

Rocco in action v the RAF in Aldershot in 2017.

Image © Alligin Photography, Lee Crabb

If there is one unfortunate aspect for Saturday’s match for the former England international it is the enforced absence of Bath teammate and RAF rival Josh McNally, whose recent injury has ruled him out for the entire Inter-Services Championship.

“It is a shame that he won’t be there to represent the RAF,” LCpl Rokoduguni says. “Ever since we’ve been together it’s been Army versus RAF every day, so there’s plenty of banter in training sessions. We watch the RAF games and the Army games together as well, so compare each other’s teams.”

With a three-year absence in Forces rivalry there will be a number of new faces in the RAF ranks to come to terms with. But the Army team has been concentrating on improving itself throughout the build-up, and it is the same attitude which LCpl Rokoduguni has had this season within his club.

“Personally the only thing I can control is my performance, so to help the team you have to being your ‘A’ game as an individual,” he says. “The Bath coaches have helped me work on my individual skills as well, which helps.

“We didn’t start the season the way we wanted to, so to come away from games after Christmas with a couple of wins has been good, and we can take that into next season.”

However for the time being Bath’s Premiership run-in can wait, and like the rest of his red shirt teammates LCpl Rokoduguni will be setting his sights on retaining the Inter-Services Championship title they have held on to since 2019.

Tickets for the 2022 Inter-Services Championship matches against the RAF (March 26th, Kingsholm) and the Navy (April 30th, Twickenham) are now available.

CLICK HERE for information about the RAF game

CLICK HERE for information about Army Navy

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks.  Header and Featured Image © Alligin Photography, Lee Crabb