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).
Brigadier WJF Bramble OBE
Your Management Board has continued with its pledge to develop Rugby within the Army with notable successes from our representational squads, and a large increase in participation in rugby at Unit level. 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 continued a new era with completely new coaching and management set-ups from the previous season and retained their inter services titles. Perhaps the culmination was a resounding win over the Navy at Twickenham, watched by another 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 Warminster back in February produced a final that saw an Artillery side compete for the first time in many a year with 12 Regt RA based in Thorney Island taking on 2010 Champions the Royal Welsh. 80 minutes of pulsating rugby saw the Gunners become the first Artillery Regiment since 7 RHA in 2004 to become Champions running out winners 13-10.
Following a very successful inaugural competition, the ARU Championship developed further with 51 teams competing in area leagues to progress to the knock out stages of the Championship Cup, Plate and Bowl. The Bowl final saw a tight contest between 14 Sig Regt and ATR Pirbirght with the Signallers clinching the title 24-20. The Plate Competition also saw another close match between 1 SCOTS and 26 Regt RA, the score changed hands several times before the SCOTS sealed the victory 30-28. There was further success for the SCOTS in the Cup final where the 2nd Battalion beat 1 Rifles 32-7.
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 Royal Engineers in the final seeing the Sappers run out winners for the first time since their glory days of 2010 28-10.
Future plans and development have been very much full steam ahead with the Management Board’s vision for improving our facilities The latest projects endorsed by the Board include the instillation of a 3 G Artificial Grass Pitch, planned to be ‘put down’ in the Army Rugby Stadium in May 2015, improved floodlights to give the stadium the necessary ‘Lux’ levels to facilitate professional teams the regulations to play in Aldershot and the planned redecoration of the home changing room and corridors will see the ‘home of Army rugby’ become a top class facility. Investment in Community Rugby has flourished considerably over the last few years, we now have over 70 units playing regular rugby; the Board has recognised this and considerable financial investment is reaping its rewards. Finally as we look ahead to England hosting the Rugby World Cup in the autumn of 2015 plans are now firming up to host the second International Defence World Cup at the same time with the support of England 2015.
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.