England Rugby League have joined forces with the Royal Marines to promote leadership and mental strength among players involved at every level of the national team.
The partnership was launched at East Brunswick Dock, Liverpool, on St George’s Day when representatives from the England Elite Training Squad, England Knights, England Wheelchair team, England Women, England Under-20s and Under-16s met with Royal Marine personnel.
Marines from the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone also provided facilities for the England Academy Under-18s and England Youth Under-16s guided in February.
The Royal Marines have forged successful partnerships in recent years with the RFU and the Cambridge rowing team and now hope to propel England to the next level leading up to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup which is to be held in the UK.
Lt Col Matt Jackson (RM) said: “Our strategic partnership will maximise the potential recruiting angle for both organisations, with particular emphasis for us on recruiting young Royal Marine Officers.”
England International Eorl Crabtree is looking forward to the association with the Royal Marines and believes that it will give England the cutting edge needed to be successful on all fronts.
“Hopefully this partnership will give us something different. It’s something we really haven’t done before is the mental toughness side of it but not a physical point of view,” said the Huddersfield Giants prop.
“It’s really hard being flogged all the time but there’s this side of it, testing yourself out and challenging your own fears which is massively important and hopefully we can gain some confidence out of that.
“It’s something that’s going to add to the success and the future of England, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here. I think it’s massively important building that camaraderie between a team. We’re trying to do something good and special and the best way to do that is to get the right things in place and hopefully this is a step in this direction.”