The Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union women’s team departed Sydney this week to embark on a much anticipated overseas tour to Bangkok, Thailand.
On arrival, the team immediately made preparations for their first encounter today against the Royal Thai Air Force women’s team. This fixture will serve as a trial match in preparation for the Royal Australian Navy's participation in the Bangkok International Rugby Seven’s tournament, which takes place this weekend.
This tour is only the second that the Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union women have conducted since inception of the club 15 years ago; the first taking place in 2002.
Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Nicolle Palmer is the only member of the current touring team that was also part of the first tour (in which the ladies placed a credible second).
Tour Manager, Lieutenant Commander Rose Apikotoa, said the inclusion of such an experienced player added a valuable leadership component to the group.
"Petty Officer Palmer will be well placed to guide and mentor the range of experience levels in the team," she said.
"Alongside the more seasoned players, Seaman Star Sarah Madden-Johnson will play her first game of rugby sevens against the Royal Thai Air Force."
Warrant Officer Chris Boardman, the Men's Team Manager said the progress of womens rugby in the Navy over the last 15 years had been nothing short of impressive.
"In the last two years has seen them field their own team at the national carnival against Army and Air Force (previously Navy combined with Air Force), and this year, HMAS Canberra were the first unit to field a single ship's team at Mons Cup," he said.
"We know they will leave everything out on the field and continue the succesful traditions of Australian Navy Rugby Union."
The tour of Bangkok supports the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Commander’s intent to build resilience in Navy members through sporting participation and other initiatives. The team hopes to return to Australia victorious, having made Navy proud, and Australia proud.
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