South African sailor to raise flag at rugby semi final

There is at least one Royal Navy sailor with a home country still in the Rugby World Cup – and he will be leading South Africa out onto the pitch for their semi final game on Saturday

Leading Engineering Technician Quinten Van Eeden of HMS Quorn is one of the military flagbearers allocated to the match which will see South Africa take on New Zealand.

Quinten, who now lives in Gosport but was born in South Africa and went to school in Muizenberg, was allocated duty for the match before it was announced it would be his home country playing.

It’s brilliant to be able to see them play. I went to see South Africa at the Prince of Wales cup with HMS Kent and to be picked again to see them in the semi-final is fantastic

Leading Engineering Technician Quinten Van Eeden, HMS Quorn

“I was extremely surprised and humbled,” he said. “It’s brilliant to be able to see them play. I went to see South Africa at the Prince of Wales cup with HMS Kent and to be picked again to see them in the semi-final is fantastic.”

Quinten’s main role is the Leading Hand for the electrical section on board HMS Quorn – a minehunter based at Portsmouth Naval base. He joined the Royal Navy in 2007, five years after moving to the UK and is married with two children.

“I’ve had a great time on the Royal Navy,” he said. “My favourite deployment so far was the Far East with HMS Kent, which was also my first. We travelled through the whole of the Far East with a mid-deployment stop in Hong Kong.”

Quinten, whose parents Kim Julia Van Eeden-Greenhough and Garry Greenhough still live in South Africa in Durban, lists his favourite sports as rugby – not surprisingly – plus cricket and cycling.

Images taken by Leading (Phot) Paul Hall.