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September 1, 2011
Squash team struggles at titles
A SEVERELY depleted Navy squash team
was unable to stop a strong Army outfit at the
International Service Squash Nationals Tournament
from August 7-12. Army broke the nine-year
reign of Air Force to take out the title. Operational
commitments and injuries forced some of Navy's top
players out. Those who stepped up performed well,
with all players reaching the finals. Defence Squash
president LCDR Nick Barker lost his A-grade and
masters semi-finals to the eventual winners. LSCIS
Steve Mantovani was a joint winner in the mixed
doubles and narrowly missed a place in the B-grade
semi-finals. LSCK Reece Howen defeated AB Travis
Packanen in the C-grade final.
By LCPL Mark Doran
NEWLY appointed captain of the
Australian Services Rugby Union
(ASRU) team, PO Jason Harrington,
is confident the line-up can gel well in
the remaining weeks before taking on
PO Harrington was one of seven
Navy personnel selected to an initial
35-member ASRU squad to take on 11
other nations' forces at the International
Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC)
in Australia and New Zealand during
Another two Navy players were
named as reserves who could be called
upon to step up.
Selectors of the team had an excruci-
ating task of narrowing down a squad of
60 after a possibles-versus-probables trial
match in Canberra on August 17.
Hopefuls gave their all for a chance
of rugby glory in the match, held in wet
and windy conditions at the Australian
Defence Force Academy.
The 35-man squad will have until
the last week of September to impress
the selectors, with the final 27 players to
be announced for the IDRC starting on
PO Harrington, of HMAS Tobruk,
said it was exciting to be named captain
for the inaugural competition.
He was confident the squad -- also
made up of 22 Army and six Air Force
personnel -- would be ready for taking on
teams including the British, French, New
Zealand and Chinese forces.
"We have a lot of players in our team
who have been selected over the last
couple of years, so there will be a lot of
consistency as we have all played against
each other or in the same teams so we
will know each other's combinations,
moves and mannerisms," PO Harrington
Team coach CAPT Damien Cahill
said the "watch list" had been running
for seven months and the trial game gave
selectors an opportunity to have a closer
look at players in their primary and sec-
The squad will compete in three more
trial games ahead of its opening IDRC
encounter with Tonga on October 5.
"I couldn't have been happier with
the weather we had for the trial match,"
CAPT Cahill said.
"We will most likely encounter simi-
Seven win ASRU selection
PO Jason Harrington
SMN Aaron Louden
AB Tait O'Sullivan
AB Adam Powell
AB Dan Robertson
LS James Smith
PO Damien Tanaka
LS Jeffred Butta (reserve)
AB Daryl Seden (reserve)
GOLDEN CHANCE: Navy representa-
tives AB James Smith (above) and AB
Adam Powell (inset), both pictured dur-
ing the possibles-versus-probables trial
match in Canberra, will now push to
cement their spots in the final 27-mem-
ber ASRU team to take shape later
Photos: LAC Bill Solomou
IN THE MIX: One of those picked,
PO Damien Tanaka gets a clearing
kick in during the trial match.
lar spring, wet conditions when we play
in October -- especially if we are good
enough to play in the finals in New
"We now move into the domestic tour
phase for ASRU, which will provide an
excellent opportunity to be physically and
mentally prepared for the IDRC."
Patron CDF GEN David Hurley
launched the IDRC at the Royal Military
College on August 24 and said the IDRC
was the result of two years' hard work,
bringing the idea to fruition.
"The IDRC will be a fantastic occa-
sion, not only for us as spectators, but for
the sailors, soldiers and airmen who will
be participating in the competition.
"Our long-term ambition for the
IDRC is to align it with future World
Cup rugby competitions and I know the
British armed forces are keen to run it in
England in 2015."
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