|Location||Army Rugby Stadium Queens Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire|
|Ground(s)||The Army Rugby Stadium, Aldershot|
|Captain(s)||TBC for 2018 / 19|
The Army Rugby Union (ARU) is the governing body for rugby union in the British Army and a constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The ARU was formed on 31 December 1906 and marked the fulfilment of Lieutenant J. E. C. "Birdie" Partridge's (Welch Regiment) idea to have a body to administer the playing of rugby union in the British Army.
Since the game's earliest years, members of the army have been keen players, but it was not until the Crimean War (1854–56) that a record was made of a game being played. Thereafter regiments of the British Army played wherever they were stationed in the British Empire spreading its popularity around the globe. It was a result of the game being played in British India in the 1870s that led to the 3rd (East Kent) Regiment and the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment having a hand in the creation of the Calcutta Cup, the oldest international trophy. Many English rugby union clubs such as Leicester were also formed by soldiers.
The Army were represented in the very first international by two England players, Lieutenant Charles Arthur Crompton RE and Lieutenant Charles William Sherrard RE.
Shortly after the ARU was formed the RFU donated the Army Cup, which was to be competed for at inter-unit level. Over the years there have been some ferocious contests for cup and from those contests the reputation of the Army’s great rugby units have been made. Those units include; the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, the Welch Regiment, the Royal Signals and 7 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.
The highlight of the ARU season is the annual Army Navy Match held at Twickenham. The first of these matches took place in 1878 at the Kennington Oval, but it was not until 1907 that the match became an annual fixture as part of the Inter-Service Competition. In 1919, an Inter-Service Championship was arranged by the Army Rugby Union, which included Service teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as a Royal Air Force team and a British Army team playing under the name "Mother Country". The Mother Country and New Zealand Army reached the final at Twickenham, with New Zealand winning the encounter to lift the King's Cup. In 1920 the Army–Navy competition was expanded to include the Royal Air Force, the same year that CSM C. W. Jones (Welch Regiment) was to become the first "other rank" to be picked to represent the army.
Between the wars (1920–39) the ARU arranged matches against the French Army, the last of which was played shortly before the Nazi German invasion of France in 1940. The period also saw Army players being selected for British Lions teams. In 1931 the Army Rugby Union Referees Society (ARURS) was formed and continues to provide professional refereeing for all games.
Although the activities of the ARU were curtailed during the Second World War (1939–45), as they had been during the First World War (1914–18), a series of Service International matches were played around the country by teams drawn from rugby playing servicemen; these games drew large crowds and helped to maintain the nation's morale through the dark days of the war. An international team was formed shortly after the end of World War II, known as the British Empire Forces, who played a series of games against France. Although made up of internationals, with some from the professional code of rugby league, no caps were awarded to the Empire players in these matches, although the French Union recognised their players with caps.
After the war first class rugby union players brought in through National Service dominated army rugby. During the period 1948–62 more men played for the Army XV than in any other previous or subsequent era. It meant that thirty Army players were selected to represent their countries and from among those selected; Matthews, Hall, Cameron, Scotland, Mike Campbell-Lamerton and Fisher were given the added privilege of captaining their respective national teams. Also on a national front the ARU can boast of the fact that it has had appointed from its ranks Presidents for the English and Scottish RFUs. They were: Major General BA Hill CB, DSO (English RFU 1937–39), Colonel BC Hartley CB, OBE (English RFU 1947–48), Major General RGS Hobbs CB, DSO, OBE (English RFU 1961–62), Brigadier FH Coutts CBE, DL (Scottish RFU 1977–78), Brigadier DW Shuttleworth OBE, ADC (English RFU 1985–86)
A British Army Germany rugby union team regularly plays games against emerging nations like Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.In the last few years the operational tempo of Army units on British Army Germany have seen these fixtures reduced.
In September 2011 the Army Senior XV travelled to Australia to participate in the first ever International Defence Rugby World Cup. Teams from the UK (Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army), the French Defence Force, the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces, Tonga, Samoa, China and Papua New Guinea all took part. The Army beat Samoa and the French Defence Force to progress to the semi finals and were flown to Auckland New Zealand to play Tonga in the semi final at North Shore RFC. Army scored in the 79th minute to win 15–10. The final was played at Auckland Uni RFC against the Australian Defence Force. The Army ran away winners 62–17 to become the first International Defence Rugby Union World Champions.
The United Kingdom hosted the second International Defence Rugby Competition in October 2015 coinciding with England holding the Rugby World Cup.
In 1996, the ARU officially recognised women's rugby union, which had been played in the army since the late 1980s. A women's inter-service competition was introduced in 2003 and since its inauguration the army teams have been its undisputed champions. In Nov 2010 LCpl Jane Leonard (Royal Engineers) won international honours with England Women playing and winning her first cap against New Zealand at Twickenham.
In 2010 the women's inter corps competition started with corps playing against each other. This has been a great incentive in the strengthening of the women's game in the Army. Over 200 women regularly play rugby in the inter corps competition.
For many years units have played rugby sevens, but there was no representative side. In 2000 that changed after Army XV players were used to help the England national team prepare for the IRB Sevens. The occasion gave rise to the creation of an Army Sevens team, which has become a significant force in the game, winning some of the sport's major competitions – including the Middlesex Sevens in 2001 and 2004. There are several Fijians in the side.
In their centenary year (2006–07), the Army XV won the Inter-Services Competition, beating the RAF (54–10) and Royal Navy (39–25), for a record 6th successive time before they embarked on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, where they defeated teams fielded by the Australian Army (36–0) and the New Zealand Army (11–6).
Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at either end.
The England national rugby union team is the representative national team in the sport of rugby union for the nation of England. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. England have won the championship on a total of 28 occasions – winning the Grand Slam 13 times and the Triple Crown 25 times – making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. As of 18 November 2019, England are ranked third in the world by the International Rugby Board. They are currently the only team from the Northern Hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, having won the tournament in 2003, and have lost the final on three other occasions.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the governing body for rugby union in England. It was founded in 1871, and was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby (WR) in 1886. It promotes and runs the sport, organises international matches for the England national team, and educates and trains players and officials.
The Churchill Cup was an annual rugby union tournament, held in June, contested by representative men's teams from Canada, England, the United States, and other invited teams from a wide array of countries.
The history of rugby union follows from various football games long before the 19th century, but it was not until the middle of that century that the rules were formulated and codified. The code of football later known as rugby union can be traced to three events: the first set of written rules in 1845, the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The code was originally known simply as "rugby football". It was not until a schism in 1895, over the payment of players, which resulted in the formation of the separate code of rugby league, that the name "rugby union" was used to differentiate the original rugby code. For most of its history, rugby was a strictly amateur football code, and the sport's administrators frequently imposed bans and restrictions on players who they viewed as professional. It was not until 1995 that rugby union was declared an "open" game, and thus professionalism was sanctioned by the code's governing body, World Rugby—then known as the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB).
Twickenham Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Twickenham, south west London, England. Owned by the governing body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union, the stadium hosts home test matches for the England national rugby union team. Other rugby union games played at the stadium include the Middlesex Sevens, selected Premiership Rugby fixtures, selected Anglo-Welsh Cup matches, the Varsity Match between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and selected European Rugby Champions Cup matches. The RFU headquarters are in the stadium.
The Army Navy Match is the annual rugby union match played between the senior XV teams of the Royal Navy and British Army. It marks the culmination of the annual Inter-Services Competition. Although a match was played between the officers of the British Army and the officers of the Royal Navy at The Oval, London on 13 February 1878, it was not until 1907 that the Army Navy Match became an annual fixture. For the first fixture the match Secretary was Surg Lt George Levick RN. From 1909 it was jointly administered by the newly formed Royal Navy Rugby Union and the Army Rugby Union. Since then it has been played every season, with the exception of during the world wars when the matches were suspended.
The Auckland Rugby Union are a New Zealand governing body of rugby union in the New Zealand province of Auckland. The ARU governs the running of the Auckland representative team which have won New Zealand's first-tier domestic competition, National Provincial Championship 17 times—more than any other team. Their most recent victory was the 2018 competition. Auckland also acts as a primary feeder to the Blues, who play in the Super Rugby competition.
Rugby union is a moderately popular sport in Canada; it is quite strong as a participation sport, particularly in several hotspots like British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, and Ontario but does not attract the same level of spectator support yet, likely because the CFL's popular brand of Canadian Football is still similar to rugby in many ways, whilst also being the gridiron game. Rugby Canada is the administrative body for rugby union in Canada. Every province also has its own union.
Maurice John Colclough was an England international rugby union player. He was selected for the 1980 British Lions tour to South Africa and the 1983 British Lions tour to New Zealand, playing in all four internationals each tour. He was a member of the England team which won the Grand Slam in 1980. At the time he played club rugby for Angoulême and he also played for Wasps RFC and Swansea RFC.
Robert Wilson Shaw CBE was a Scottish rugby union footballer who played for Scotland in 19 tests between 1934 and 1939. Shaw played club for Glasgow High School Former Pupils, and could play in several positions in the backline; including wing, centre and fullback. He first represented Scotland in 1934 when he played all three of her Home International Championship matches. He scored his first try in the Calcutta Cup match against England that year. He is most famous however for guiding Scotland to their Triple Crown victory over England at Twickenham in 1938. Shaw's performance was central to Scotland's 21–16 victory and he was carried off the field on the shoulders of his team-mates. The match became known as "Wilson Shaw's match". In 2002 Shaw was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.
Rugby union in Sri Lanka is mainly played at a semi-professional and recreational level. It is a popular team sport with a history dating back to 1879. In 2012, according to International Rugby Board figures, there were over 103,000 registered rugby union players in Sri Lanka, making it the second largest rugby-playing nation in Asia, behind Japan.
The Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) was the governing body for women's rugby union in England. As of 2014 the RFUW and Rugby Football Union combined to be one National Governing Body. The headquarters are at Twickenham Stadium, London.
Ronald Francis Simson was a Scottish rugby union player for Scotland. Simson was the first Scottish rugby international to die in the First World War.
The New Zealand Army rugby team of 1919 was a rugby union team which represented New Zealand after the end of the First World War. Although spoken of as a single team, there were several New Zealand Services teams playing in Britain at the conclusion of the War. The most notable being the touring Army XV who played a series of games throughout Great Britain and France, including an internationally recognised match against the Wales national team. With the introduction of the King's Cup; a services tournament between forces from Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, the team split intself in two. The 'A' Team taking part in the King's Cup, while the 'B' team continued touring against club and county opponents.
Rugby union has a long history in Australia, with the first club being formed in 1863 at Sydney University. Today it holds tier one status with World Rugby and has over 82,000 players nationwide.
The Royal Navy Rugby Union (RNRU) was formed in 1907 to administer the playing of rugby union in the Royal Navy. It fields a representative side that competes in the Army Navy Match, although a side representing the Royal Navy predates the formation of the union by twenty-eight years. The RNRU also has had a number of international players within its representative squads in all forms of the game. In 2011 the RNRU produced its first women's international as well as providing the captain of England VIIs.
Lance corporal Semesa Rokoduguni is a Fijian-born English rugby union player currently playing for English club Bath, and soldier in the British Army, having served in Afghanistan.
The so-called "Victory Internationals" is a list of rugby union matches played in Europe from 1945 to 1946 between British, New Zealand and French rugby union representatives.