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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 SA Burley CB MBE

Welcome to the Army Rugby Union 2013/14 season.

Your Management Board has continued with its pledge to develop Rugby within the Army with notable successes from our representational squads, an increase in participation in rugby at Unit level and the opening of the Rugby Development Centre in Aldershot. We are moving in the right direction!

Last year our representational squads had highly successful seasons. Both the men’s and women’s senior XV and Academy U23 squads started a new era with completely new coaching and management set-ups aiming to follow in the footsteps of those that had gone before and retain the inter services titles. Perhaps the culmination was a resounding win over the Navy at Twickenham, watched by a record crowd.

Rugby at grass roots level is flourishing; the Premiership Cup has gone from strength to strength with twelve of the Army’s top unit teams fighting it out in a thrilling set of matches. Two sensational semi-finals played out in freezing conditions at Newbury Rugby Club back in February produced a final that saw an Engineer side compete for the first time in many a year with 39 Engr Regt based in Kinloss, Scotland take on 2010 Champions 1 WG who came back from POTL early to compete in this year’s competition. 80 minutes of pulsating rugby saw the Welsh run out winners 11-3.

The inaugural season of the ARU Championship saw 18 of the Army’s developing team’s battle it out in the second tier of a well structured competition. Following regional stages of pool competition the final saw SEAE beat ITC Catterick 22-0.

In a slight change to previous years’ Cup Finals, this season saw the Community Cup Final take place in Germany as the finalists, Scots DG and 28 Engr Regt both came from the BA(G) pool. These teams had battled through a mixed competition, with regional phases before the knock out rounds. This format will be extended next season with a formal third tier to the pyramid headed by the Premiership and Championship. The new Conference will be organised regionally with knock out phases in conjunction with the Championship and Premiership. This move will take us to more than 60 teams in a structure balanced to support all sizes and types of Unit, geographical dispersion and ability.

At Corps level a closely contested and very open season saw it go down to the final round of matches to decide the finalists, the REME faced the RE in the final seeing the REME run out winners 16-11 in a close match.

Future plans and development have been very much full steam ahead with the Management Board’s vision for a Rugby Development Centre in Aldershot next to the Army Stadium realised back in January this year. The facilities include a classroom with state of the art technology kindly supported by Panasonic which will see coaching and referee courses being held to increase, improve and develop rugby, as well as a five man office and walk in shop.

Together the Army Rugby Union is heading in the right direction with pride and passion. We have a good base at grass roots, 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. Follow the progress of our teams on their relevant pages.

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