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Hooker Rgr George Coen (R Irish) will skipper Army Under 23s as they begin their Inter-Services campaign at defending champions the Royal Navy tomorrow (Wednesday, 7pm).

Head Coach Maj Gareth Slade-Jones’ men head to United Services Portsmouth RFC in encouraging form, having racked up fine five victories against RMAS (13-0), REME Development (32-0), Camberley U22s (26-15), Berkshire U20s (69-3) and the RA Development (68-8) last time out.

Skipper Coen will be joined in the front row by two Royal Engineers, loose-head Spr Eastley and Spr Buchanan on the other side of the scrum.

The engine room will be filled by Pte Fishwick (Mercian) and Lt Jones (Rifles), with flankers Kgn Daveta (Lancs) and Fus Isaac (R Welsh) joined by No. 8 LBdr Tokaduadua in the back row.

Looking to get the three-quarters flowing, scrum-half AirTpr Murphy (AAC) is partnered by stand-off 2Lt Lapslie (Scots), Vice-Captain Rfn Diamond (Rifles) and Tpr Ravonakula (QDG) in midfield.

Out wide, Spr Sevodi (RE) and Gnr Cobitu (RA) are on the wings, with the starting XV rounded out by Sig Ratubavalu (R Sigs) at full-back.

Ready to make an impact off a 6-2 bench split are a front row of Spr Watts (RE), Pte Saumaka (Scots) and Pte Yabaki (R Yorks), while LBdr Beales (RA), LCpl Finnis (R Sigs) and Tpr Tabua (HCMR) provide further muscle for the forwards

Completing the 23-man squad are fly-half Sig Van der Leest (R Sigs) and Spr Raiqeu (RE), both looking to provide a further spark out wide as their side look to gain revenge for last season’s 44-3 home reverse.

The Royal Navy meanwhile, have also played five warm-up games, losing 24-19 to a Havant Select XV and 49-5 to Bristol University before overcoming a Cardiff Met Uni 3s/4s side 41-24 and Ivybridge 18-16.

They then beat Portsmouth University 27-0 before their first Inter-Services fixture at RAF was postponed last Wednesday due to a fire near the Witney ground.

Words © Richard Ashton

Images © Army Rugby Union