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International Defence Rugby Championship 2015

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The International Defence Rugby Competition 2015 (IDRC 15) will be contested in England from 6th until 29th October.

The inaugural competition took place in Australia and New Zealand in 2011. While that was certainly a landmark in the organisation of ‘Defence’ rugby it was not the beginning of the story.

Following the First World War the New Zealand Army came together to play in the King’s Cup. The five other teams were British Army, Australian Forces, Canada, South African Forces, Royal Air Force and France.

A league produced two top teams, British Army and the eventual winners New Zealand. Skipper James Ryan was presented with the King’s Cup by King George V.

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Following World War 2 the British Army and Royal Air Force encamped in Northern Germany played the French Armed Forces annually. The Royal Navy continued to sail the high seas spreading the word.

Seeking a broader selection of fixtures both the Army and the RAF turned to embryonic clubs in Germany. The Hamburg Police never seemed to be short of fixtures! There followed matches in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland once the ‘Curtain’ was raised.

In 2015 we welcome Georgia and Romania—how times have changed!

After almost 100 years since the King’s Cup, with Armed Forces rugby teams criss-crossing the Globe, the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces proposed a competition for a dozen teams to be run in parallel with the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The twelve invited teams each played three league matches in the area of Sydney and Canberra. The semi-finals were hosted in Auckland before the Rugby World Cup Final.

The British Army, Samoa, Australian Defence Forces and Tonga travelled to the City of Sails. After titanic struggles and tight scores the Army and Australia met in the final. Shades of Jonny Wilkinson and 2003 all over again! The Army won an excellent match with a display of attacking rugby—but, as they say, that is now history.

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IDRC 2015 has retained much of the successful blueprint used during the 2011 competition. Each of the Home Unions, the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force will host a four team league at Portsmouth, Aldershot and Halton respectively.

The expectation is fiercely challenging rugby. ‘ANZ’ can be expected to show well but the French Armed Forces could be awesome and the Republic of South Africa a very hard nut. Dark horses are Romania and of course Fiji.

The Defence Rugby Final will be staged on 29th October at the Stoop, just two days before the Rugby World Cup Final across the road at ‘HQ’. New Zealand v Fiji– THAT would be a
14,000 sell out as would a British team v Australia.

CHALLENGE — TWO TICKETS FOR THE STOOP FINAL

The IDRC Committee wants to find a name for the Competition Trophy, a truly handsome silver cup. An example might be:

The Britannia Cup
or
The Queen’s Cup
or
The Auckland Cup

Suggestions to to arrive by Monday 29th June at 0900 hrs

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