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About the Army Rugby Union

The Army Rugby Union (ARU) was formed in 1906 and has continued for over a hundred years to provide an infrastructure for the playing of rugby union within the British Army. Its aim is to promote and foster the game of Rugby Union within the Army and its local communities in accordance with the Laws of the Game promulgated by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The ARU is a Registered Charity (Number 245517) and its day-to-day administration is conducted by a small secretariat based at Aldershot. There are several committees responsible for the various aspects of the management of Army Rugby. The ARU is part of the Army Sport Control Board (ASCB).

We encourage membership of the ARU under the Individual Membership Scheme (IMS).

Chairman’s Foreword

Major General WJF Bramble CBE (Late RA)

Maj Gen WF Bramble

Welcome to the Army Rugby Union 2016/17 Season.

Having just returned from a lengthy tour overseas I am very much looking forward to getting my teeth back into the day to day matters of Army Rugby Union.

Your Management Board is committed to developing Rugby at all levels throughout the Army. As a Union, we strive to ensure that soldiers and officers are given the opportunity to exploit their potential as a player, a coach, an official or in an administrative or medical capacity. The ARU works hard to ensure that the conditions are set for success this season and in the future. Whatever role we have, we should ensure that we endeavour to leave Army Rugby in a better place than where we found it.

The ARU is developing each year and the considerable investment in Community Rugby over the last few years is having a huge impact; we now have over 90 units playing regular rugby on a Wednesday afternoon. Credit must go the unit rugby officers and our grass root players for committing to ensure our Community Premiership and Championship leagues are recognised widely as highly successful events. Our Chair of Community Rugby and his Premiership and Corps Chairmen have worked tirelessly to ensure we get the best possible competitions available.

The Army Rugby Union Referee Society has put considerable effort into developing our match officials. High quality trainers and appointers ensure we get the right referee and assistants to the right level of matches. Our Coaching team with the RDO leading the way, have ensured we have trained over 75 unit level coaches so far this year in the UK, Germany and Cyprus, and pitch side first aid courses have ensured we remain SHEP compliant in line with the Governing Body guidelines.

The representative teams have had mixed fortunes over the last season. The Women’s fifteen have capped off a truly remarkable season with victories over the Belgian National team and in the USA over their National U23 Academy, and winning the Liberty Cup at both XVs and 7s. Our Masters team have defied their age level and played highly entertaining games to win the Masters Inter Services Championship. Our Academy have produced the stepping stones for the young players to gain valuable experience before they move to the A and senior team. The 7s team have again travelled the length and breadth of the UK at numerous sevens events.

The Senior XV Inter Service Competition continues to be highly competitive with both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy closing the performance gap over the last few years. A defeat to the RAF and a draw with the RN in front of a capacity crowd at Twickenham clearly tells us that we need to find the margin to up our game. This season Twickenham hosts the 100th Army v Navy match, which must provide the catalyst for the Army to win the Championship.

Together the Army Rugby Union is heading in the right direction with pride and passion. We have a very good foundation, strongly contested competitions, a well-structured coaching organisation and a dedicated group of referees. We look forward to playing a style of rugby that represents the true ethos of soldiering, combining team work, selfless commitment, courage and respect for our opposition. Please get engaged and follow the progress of our teams on their relevant pages.

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