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Many congratulations to Capt Nikki O’Donnell (QARANC), Pte Michael Todd (Scots) and Capt Gemma Rowland (RA) on their selection to the Army Sport Control Board Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for the 2021/22 season.

Nikki and Gemma will look to build on their success from the 2020/21 season where they both featured regularly in the Allianz Premier 15s, Nikki as an official and Gemma with Wasps before a move to Bristol Bears.  They both also featured in the Women’s 6 Nations competition.  Nikki refereeing two fixtures in the pool stages and Gemma representing Wales against France and Scotland.

Michael has also previously been involved in the Women’s 6 Nations competition as well as International age grade and Service fixtures, regularly being appointed as either an Assistant Referee or Referee.  He has been on the Scottish Rugby Union high performance panel since 2018 which includes being regularly appointed to Scottish Super 6 (semi-professional) and Scottish Premiership matches.

Image © Craig Watson

Image provided by Flt Lt AM Reynolds – RAF Rugby Union Men’s XV Media Officer

Image © Neil Kennedy

TASS is an initiative that receives funding from Sport England with the following mission:

A world leading partnership between education and sport to help talented athletes in England fulfil their potential and balance their sporting development with their education and training.

TASS supports athletes who are currently unfunded by UK Sport and who sit somewhere close to the standard required for entry into Podium/World Class Development programmes.

The Army has established a strong relationship with TASS and selects and funds, through the ASCB, talented Army athletes for placements regionally at universities or in the Aldershot hub to receive TASS support.

We wish all three athletes well for their seasons ahead.

Header and Featured Images ©

Nikki O’Donnell – Alligin Photography, Neil Kennedy

Michael Todd – Flt Lt AM Reynolds – RAF Rugby Union Men’s XV Media Officer

Gemma Rowland – Alligin Photography, Neil Kennedy