With 2014 already proving to be a very big year for Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union (RANRU), a function was held at HMAS Kuttabul last week to send off the men’s team, who will participate in the Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup in New Zealand.
The event also celebrated Navy Rugby’s many successes in the 2014 season, and marked the dedication of the ‘RAN Rugby Heritage Room’ within Kuttabul’s Blue Room.
Organiser for the event, Commander Adam Allica, was pleased with the event, and that RANRU has gained a permanent home to display its collection of memorabilia, collected over the 100 years of the organisation.
“The RAN Rugby Heritage Room has resulted from the ongoing efforts of many tireless supporters of Navy Rugby.
“The RANRU President, Commodore Elizabeth Rushbrook, formally recognised these efforts with the presentation of a plaque of special thanks and acknowledgement to Mike Dowsett, Ron Giveen, Geoff Stokes, Mike Rayment and everyone who ever laced up boots for Ship and Service,” Commander Allica said.
Retired Warrant Officer Ron Giveen said he was also pleased the RANRU had a new home, and a place to house the collection of memorabilia.
“The collection consists primarily of photos, trophies, jerseys and ties of Navy Rugby, including from ship’s rugby through to players representing Navy at all levels.
“All exhibits have been photographed, and will shortly be available to everyone through the RANRU website,” Warrant Officer Giveen said.
With the evening also celebrating the departure of the team for the Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup in New Zealand, RANRU’s Director of Rugby, Commander Pete Armitage, reflected on a year that kicked off with the Queanbeyan Rugby 7s in February.
“Undoubtedly the Australian Services Rugby Championships in May was the pivotal event, with the men’s team not having beaten Army for a number of years.
“The finale lived up to expectations with the Navy men coming from behind to win a thriller after the siren, while the women, fielding a team of 15 for the first time also performed admirably, beating an Air Force outfit equipped with a number of representative players.
“The Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup promises to be a watershed opportunity for RANRU to perform on an international stage,” Commander Armitage said.
The Royal Australian Navy team consists of a number of debutants, which, coupled with the Gold Coast International Women’s 7s tournament in October, augers well for the future of Navy Rugby.
RANRU welcomes support from across the Navy, and is keen to hear from women and men who are interested in playing.
More information can be found at the RAN Rugby website at http://www.navyrugby.asn.au.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142782.