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All eyes on the Army v Navy decider

27 April 2012

  • Army head coach looking for "red and blue thunder and lightning"
  • Both teams bringing strong sides to Twickenham
Army vs Navy

Photo: RFU Archive

The Army and Navy arrive at Twickenham tomorrow (Saturday) all square and with everything to play for in the three-game series for the Babcock torphy.

The Army won the opening match of the 2012 Babcock Inter Service Championship by a clear 59-0.  In brilliant sunshine the Royal Air Force mounted a brave defence and might be counted unlucky to have lost by such a wide margin.

It was very different at Portsmouth.  Swirling winds and horizontal rain swept the United Services ground as the Royal Navy beat the Royal Air Force 13-6.

Army Head Coach Captain Andy Sanger said: "Both the Army and Navy beat the best RAF team seen in many years, but Twickenham’s match for the Babcock Trophy is very different and anything can happen. The occasion, tradition and history come into play—as does the crowd of over 60,000."

He added "Until 1500 hrs tomorrow the score will be nil all—and that is where the Red and Blue thunder and lightning begins!".

The Army won the Defence World Cup in Auckland in 2011 but half a dozen players and a coach who featured in Auckland have deployed on operations and Sanger said: "Our players are soldiers first.  Indeed, captain of Fiji Apo Satala, the only person to be crowned Player of the Match twice, is currently in Afghanistan and unavailable."

The Army will be reintroducing England 7s international Isoa Damudamu and Ifereimi Boladau a Fiji 7s international to their back row operations which will also contain Mark Lee former captain of Scotland 7s.

The Navy will be led out by captain and scrum half Dave Pascoe, and look out for Josh Drauniniu whose England Sevens and Premiership credentials and scoring ability make him a real threat. Veterans Gaz Evans and Marsh Cormack form the spine of an exciting pack.

This is the biggest sporting event in the Services calendar and Forces Broadcasting in conjunction with SKY broadcasts the contest live to Afghanistan and ships overseas.

Tickets are available on the day from the Twickenham Ticket Office from 11am, with kick off 3pm