You are here: Home » ARU Info » History » Army Sevens Rugby History

Army Sevens Rugby History

History

The Army has a long history of playing Sevens at club level and annually holds a major tournament culminating in a finals day at Aldershot. The competition used to be the largest sevens competition in the world and still attracts over 80 teams.

The British Army Sevens team was formed on the initiative of three players sitting in a London hotel having just defeated the RAF to win the Inter Services Championship at Twickenham in April 1999. Captain Howard Graham (7 RHA) raised the question with Barbarians Sevens player Captain Brian Johnston (Royal Signals) and Lt Rob Abernethey (RGR).

The ARU sanctioned ‘representative sevens’ later that month with the proviso that there would be no extra ARU funding. This in effect meant that until the team was established, and attracting sponsorship, it had to go ‘bounty hunting’.

Sadly through injury Johnston and Abernethey were never to play British Army Sevens but Graham, rightly deemed the father of British Army sevens, went on to coach and captain a team that was probably the best in the UK. In 2000 the ARU agreed to an RFU request to play a series of ‘trials’ against a resurgent England Seven—who were soundly beaten over a four match ‘round robin’ at the Harlequins Stoop. This led to the first invitation to play at the Middlesex 7s in 2000.

The core of the first teams fielded by the Army were largely made up by Fijian rugby players, who had been recruited into the British Army to help stem the shortfall of British recruits in the 1990’s. The Army was fortunate to have new Fijian recruits Alfred Vakacakavanua (Scots Gds) and Apolosi Satala (R Scots), both Fijian internationals, plus a number of young players who were later to make their mark on the international sevens stage.

It is worth noting that the team was titled the ‘British Army’ sevens team to distinguish it from other local military teams when it played abroad, which it did frequently in the early days.

Since the early days of the Sevens, the game has moved on and developed over the years displaying a fine filed of sporting talent. With the strong core values of the British Army and Rugby in general, the team is highly respected around the world and at home. In 2012 under the management of Capt John Voss and LSgt Alfred Vanua, the team set the unprecedented standard of wining every game in the demanding season capping it with a splendid win of the International Defence Rugby 7s Cup in Denver, Colorado.

The game has developed each year and it welcomes all members of the public to support the team, they look forward to seeing you on the circuit soon, please do drop by and say hello.

Authors: R Thompson and J Voss

Army 7s Results

Updated: 11 Aug 2015

Competition No of Wins Winners Runners Up
Bangkok 1 2003
Bath Charity Sevens 1 2009
Bournemouth Sevens 3 2010, 2011, 2012 2014
Cayman 7’s 2003
Cwmtawe 7’s 7 2002, 2003, 2007, 0208, 2011, 2012, 2013 2015
Dubai 2 2003
Edinburgh Rugby Rocks 2 2012, 3013
Floodlight Sevens 1 2008
Harpenden 3 2003, 2013, 2014
Henley 2 2002, 2003
International Defence 7s 1 2012
Ledbury Charity Sevens 1 2008
Middlesex Sevens 2 2001, 2004 2005, 2008
Middlesex Club Sevens 2011
Manchester Sevens 1 2010
Newquay Surf Sevens 7 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015
2011
Royal Scots 7s 1 2011
Safari Kenya 2 2001, 2002 2006
Singapore 1 2004
Sunshine Charity Sevens 1 2007
Roma Sevens 1 2008 2009
Richmond Rugby Rocks 2 2012, 2015 2011
West Country 7s 2 2012, 2013 2010
World Club 7s 2 2013, 2014
Worthing 4 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011
Zambia International 1 2003

International Representation

Updated: 12 Sept, 12

Year Army Player Country Regt/Corps
H Graham England Coldstream Guards
A Dawling England Royal Artillery
B Green West Indies Royal Engineers
2003 S Roko Fiji RGBW
2003 B Bulumakau Fiji R Scots
2004 E Naisaramaki Fiji R Scots
2004 A Satala * Fiji 1 Scots
2006 M Lee Scotland (Capt) 1 Scots/AGC (ALS)
2006 I Damudamu England 4 Scots
2007 K Rawalai Fiji 1 Scots
2010 J Pasard Fiji 1 Scots

* Satala was already a Fijian 7s international when he joined the British Army but was ‘re-capped’ in 2004 at Twickenham

Army 7’s Caps

Updated: 29 Jan 2015

Cap No Rank Name Unit Issued
1 LCpl Gerhard Wessels 101 Engr Regt 2012
2 LCpl Josefa Kava 23 Pnr Regt RLC 2012
3 LCpl Semesa Rokoduguni Scots DG 2012
4 LBdr Ratu Speight 12 Regt RA 2012
5 LCpl Malaki Magnus 17 P&M Regt RLC 2012
6 LCpl Peniasi Seru 39 Engr Regt 2012
7 LCpl Joseva Nayacavou 2 Scots 2012
8 Pte Save Bainivalu 1 PWRR 2012
9 Lcpl Pate Vakasawaqa 39 Engr Regt 2012
10 LCpl Meli Bosenitikina 17 P&M Regt RLC 2012
11 Cpl Seremaia Cataki 1 Royal Irish 2012
12 Cpl Tuvita Tamatawale 25 Regt RLC 2012
13 Pte Ignatius Putty 3 Log Sp Regt 2012
14 Spr Inosi Laqekoro 32 Engr Regt 2012
15 Cpl Alex Swan 23 Pnr Regt RLC 2013
16 Cpl Samisoni Raloka 17 P&M Regt RLC 2013
17 CPL Timoci Tuitubou Scots DG 2013
18 LCpl Raymond Bishop 1 R Welsh 2013
19 LCpl Kolinio Kapaiwai Scots DG 2013
20 LCpl Matereti Komaiyasa Scots DG 2013
21 LCpl Makulusio Koroiyadi 62 Wksp Gp 2013
22 LBdr Peni Naiyaga 12 Regt RA 2013
23 LCpl Rusiate Vuetanatotoka 2 R Welsh 2013
24 Pte Jack Prasad 1 Scots 2013
25 Lt Like Robinson 29 Regt RA 2014
26 Tpr Avolosi Sokia Scots DG 2014
27 Cpl Vasa Bai 4 Med Regt 2014
28 Pte Ratu Bulumakau 1 Scots 2014
29 LCpl Netani Tawake 4 Rifles 2014
30 LCpl Waisale Navunidakua 1 R Welsh 2014
31 LCpl Ifereimi Vukinavanua 3 AAC 2014
32 Pte Maika Burenivalu 17 P&M Regt RLC 2014

Army 7s Team Awards

Updated: 29 Jan 2015

Year Award Recipient(s)
2010
Player of the Season Lance Corporal G Wessels, Royal Engineers
New Player of the Season Sapper I Laqekoro, Royal Engineers
“RFU Valued Volunteer Award” Sergeant Daz Percy, Royal Logistics CorpsCorporal Alfred Vanua, Scots Guards
2011
Player of the Season Lance Corporal Sikeli Ratubuli, 1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
New Player of the Season Lance Corporal Morgan Evans, 2 Royal Welsh
2012
Player of the Season Lance Corporal Alipate Vakasawaqa, Royal Engineers
New Player of the Season Lance Corporal Joseva Nayacavou, 2 SCOTS
“Value the Volunteer Award” Colonel Andrew Alexander Allen MBE, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Lance Corporal Gerhard Wessels, Royal Engineers
Lance Corporal Josefa Kava, Royal Logistic Corps
Special Award for Supporting the Team Kimberley Fowke, Army Rugby Union
2013
Player of the Season Corporal Alex Swann, Royal Logistic Corps
New Player of the Season Lance Corporal Raymond Bishop, 1 Royal Welsh
2014
Player of the Season Sergeant Tuvita Tamatawale, Royal Logistic Corps
New Player of the Season Lance Corporal Ifereimi Vukinavanua, Army Air Corps
“Value the Volunteer Award” Captain Jon Lord, Royal Army Medical Corps
Warrant Officer Class 1 Stephen Smith, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Warrant Officer Class 2 Andrew Bonner, Adjutants General Corps
Staff Sergeant Colin Suffield, Royal Army Physical Training Corps

Army Sevens Tournament Results Table

Cup Competition

Updated: 15 May 14

Year Winners Points Runners-up Points
2009 1 SCOTS 42 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC 12
2010 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC ¥ 31 1 SCOTS 21
2011 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC 19 R Welsh 12
2012 Scots Dragoon Guards 28 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC 7
2013 Scots Dragoon Guards 33 2 Royal Welsh 5
2014 1 YORKS 14 17 Port & Maritime 7

¥ – 17 P&M Regt RLC withdrew from the competition – 1 SCOTS declared the winners

Plate Competition

Updated: 15 May 14

Year Winners Points Runners-up Points
2009 2 Welsh 24 3 Yorks 10
2010 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC 22 3 SCOTS 10
2011 1 Royal Irish 21 Def Sch of Tpt 19
2012 2 Rifles 26 2 PWRR 7
2013 ATR Pirbright 24 RMAS 20
2014 32 Engr Regt 17 1 Scots 14

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top