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Exeter Chiefs rugby team challenged by Navy in Dartmouth

THE Royal Navy put the Exeter Chiefs rugby team through their paces during two days of training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

The challenges faced by the Aviva Premiership rugby club’s squad and coaching staff included transporting equipment and the team across a mock chasm using ropes and wooden planks.

They were similar to the challenges given to Royal Navy officer cadets to develop their leadership skills during their 30-week initial naval training course.

Warrant officer Bill Bailey, BRNC’s physical development officer, said: “The idea of the sessions with the Chiefs was to move away from a physical challenge and to introduce them to various styles of leadership that tested them as individuals and as small teams that hopefully they can transfer onto the pitch.”

Keen to challenge his squad in different areas away from the training fields, the Exeter Chiefs’ head coach, Rob Baxter, said: “It’s always nice to get the squad into different environments, particularly those that you can use to challenge them in ways that we can’t achieve in normal rugby training.

“Going down to Dartmouth for a few days was not only one of those opportunities to test the guys at something a little bit different, but it got them thinking outside of the box, which you have to do at times on the pitch. It was nice to put the guys into a different environment, but at the same time let them make use of a great facility that is almost right on our doorstep.”

BRNC’s rugby team are the current holders of the Navy Cup. The team was established last year as the college reintroduced competitive sport into the curriculum.

Captain Henry Duffy, the commanding officer of BRNC, said: “During Initial Naval Training we are looking to develop the fighting spirit required to succeed on operations and a number of core values, which include courage, commitment and discipline.

“Sport is one way of doing this as these attributes are just as important in professional sportsmen and women. We were very pleased to share our training methods with the Exeter Chiefs and look forward to continuing our relationship with the club.”

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