The Royal Navy rugby team

Rugby ball and leg

Victory through determination - the Royal Navy rugby team discusses the tactics and mentality that finally allowed them to reclaim the Inter Services Championship title in 2010.

Teamwork makes the dream work

  • Jonny Stephens: For the last eight years we've had the expectation of turning up and losing. The Army always came away with the win. However, in this year's Inter Services Championship, teamwork was massive and we had such a tight group of lads that were all best pals going into the day. The Navy as a whole did the job.
  • AB Marc Roberts: It took three months of preparation and we've never had the opportunity in previous years to have that amount of time together. For those three months we trained together, lived together and ate together. I think that contributed a lot to our success.
  • Cpl Damien Chambers: Our fitness and our mentality was a huge factor in us winning. Even when we were losing, we knew we were the better team. I'm not taking anything away from the Army here, they're world class, but I thought that we as individuals played well as a group. We knew everything about each other and we knew what each of us were going to do on the pitch.

A winning mindset

  • AB Marc Roberts: You can't go into a game like the Army and Navy game and think you're not going to win otherwise there'd be no point in turning up. We had an inner belief at the start of the season and with the hard work we put in, we knew we could do it. The Army thought they'd won, but we stepped up a gear and managed to get the win at the end.
  • Ben Priddey: Everyone enjoyed each other's company and we all pulled together. It's having the belief that you can win and the belief that you can do well.
  • Kyle Mason: It's all about positive thinking. We knew that it was going to be a hard game and if we did win it would be close. We had a 'never give up' attitude and a close bond as a team due to those three months of training.

Reap the rewards

  • AB Marc Roberts: The Royal Navy is a great career for travelling. I joined up predominantly to see the world and there aren't many places I haven't been with the Navy. Rugby is an added bonus and getting to play at Twickenham in front of 50,000 people was an amazing experience. For anyone who's thinking about joining up, I would definitely recommend it.
  • Jonny Stephens: There's nothing in the world quite like this job. You have to go through strict military training when you join, but this changed me from a boy into a man. You're grown up, you're responsible and you have a laugh!
  • Damien Chambers: I'd tell everyone to join the military. It's amazing! There are so many benefits. You make friendships which will last forever. Training is tough, but it makes you stronger. You've just got to get your head down and go through it which is the same with rugby.

Winning the battle

  • Ben Priddey: I don't think anyone thought we could win apart from us. It was good to get the win after nine years. It was an excellent day, an excellent evening and it was awesome to score the try that got the ball rolling for us to win.
  • Kyle Mason: We hadn't won against the Army in a long time so some of us had developed an attitude of losing. Winning was a new thing to us. It took a lot of hard work and the new strategy of training for three months together paid off. It's still one of the best moments of my life.
  • Damien Chambers: It's the old adage that we get taught in week one of training in the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines, "If you go down, or your friends go down, the unit goes down." You can draw sport as close to war and war as close to sport.

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