Royal Navy rugby star heading to Challenge Cup final

Royal Navy rugby star Josh Coupland will represent the Armed Forces Rugby League at the 2019 Challenge Cup final tomorrow.

The marine engineer from HMS Sultan is part of a tri-service team who will be wreath bearers, trophy carriers and make up a ceremonial party as Warrington Wolves and St Helens go head to head at Wembley Stadium in the showpiece final.

They will also assist The Duke of Sussex – patron of the Rugby Football League – in handing the trophy to the winners.

The matelot, a Leading Engineer Technician,  is a big Hull fan and had dreamed of handing them the silverware before they lost to Warrington in the last four of the competition.

“I went to the semi-final already knowing that I had been selected. I was just sat there so nervous, thinking how much it would mean to hand out the medals to members of my own team, but I guess I won’t need to worry about the result so much now. I can just relax a little more now and enjoy seeing two great teams going head-to-head. he said.

“I’ve recently been promoted to Leading Engineering Technician, so it will be nice for all my friends and family to see me show that off. I really can’t wait for the big day.”

I honestly can’t wait to represent the Royal Navy. I’ve got friends who have done it before and to walk out in a sport that you love and to be wearing the Royal Navy uniform means so much to so many people and makes me feel proud of what we do.

LET Josh Coupland

In addition, the servicepeople will also assist chief guest and patron of the Rugby Football League, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex, in presenting the trophy to the Challenge Cup winners.

LET Coupland was selected to perform the honour in recognition of his own sporting achievements, having represented both the Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces in both domestic and international military competitions since joining the Royal Navy in 2015.