The Royal Navy amphibious landing ship HMS Albion hosted Plymouth Albion Rugby Club onboard for a tour and an award ceremony.
The Devonport-based assault ship has a strong affiliation with the rugby football club that shares its name and on Thursday (6 January) the team was invited on board with its head coach, Graham Dawe, and director, Graham Stirling. The visitors were looked after by members of the ship’s rugby team.
The event also staged the presentation of the Plymouth Albion RFC ‘Player of the Year’ award to Kieran Hallett and to highlight forthcoming matches, including the postponed Boxing Day match against the Cornish Pirates – re-scheduled for Wednesday 12 January.
The visit allowed the two teams to compare tips and tactics and was an eye-opener for members of Plymouth Albion RFC who had not been onboard. Graham Dawe said: “It has been an exhilarating day out and provided an in-depth look round the ship to see the modern Royal Navy behind the scenes.”
Following the ship tour, both teams enjoyed a buffet lunch in the officers’ communal wardroom with plenty of energy-giving carbohydrates. HMS Albion’s rugby club was presented with a set of Plymouth Albion RFC kit which members will wear with pride to show their close link with and support for their city’s club.
A member of the ship’s rugby team, Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Luke Monnington, said: “We’d love the opportunity to train with Albion RFC, or maybe just their Colt side…!”
All onboard look forward to supporting the Plymouth club on their home turf – ship’s programme allowing.
HMS Albion sails this week for a month-long intensive period of assessed sea training to prepare for her next deployment. The ship is an 18,000-ton amphibious assault ship and the current flagship of the Royal Navy. The ship is at the vanguard of the UK’s maritime contingent capability and held at very high readiness to respond to unexpected global events. Her current role highlights the need for the armed forces to plan and train for unexpected events occurring in parallel with the defence main effort in Afghanistan.