History of Army Women’s (ARUW) Rugby
As gender barriers within sports were broken down towards the end of the 20th century it became acceptable for women to play rugby, by the mid-1990’s servicewomen were regularly playing the game and in 1996 their efforts were officially recognised by the Army Rugby Union.
Women’s rugby grew under the guidance of one of its founders Lt Col EE Cunningham, Adjutants General’s Corps (AGC). Success was soon in coming – in 2001 during their tour of Cyprus the Women’s Tens Team lifted the Akrotiri Tens Cup and since then their triumphs on the pitch have continued. Lt Col EE Cunningham retired from the position of ARU (W) Chairwoman at the end of the 2007-08 season.
In 2003 a Women’s Inter-Service Competition was introduced to run alongside the men’s competition that had been in existence since 1920. The inaugural competition was won by the Army who, under the captaincy of Major S Butler, beat both the Royal Navy (35-5) and the Royal Air Force (RAF). Since its inception the Army has dominated the competition beating both Royal Navy and RAF teams in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The women made their first international tour to Canada in 2005 and followed it in 2007 with a tour to New Zealand.
The Corps Competition was extended to include women’s teams in the 2007-08 season and in its inaugural season it was won by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) women’s team who beat the Army Medical Services team.
Women’s Inter-Services Competition Champions
An official Women’s Inter-Services Competition began in 2003, although a match had been played against a Royal Air Force (RAF) team in 2001 and a Royal Navy team in 2002.
|Year||Champions||Army v RN||Army v RAF||RN v RAF|
|2003||Army||Army 35-5||Army||Royal Air Force|
|2004||Army||Army 39-3||Army 17-3||Royal Air Force|
|2005||Army||Army 61-5||Army 34-0||Royal Navy 10-5|
|2006||Army||Army 47-7||Army 38-0||Royal Navy 13-5|
|2007||Army||Army 36-3||Army 36-0||Royal Air Force 17-10|
|2008||Army||Army 75-0||Army 56-0||Royal Air Force 23-10|
|2009||Army||Army 60-0||Army 72-0||Royal Air Force 36-0|
|2010||Army||Army 25-11||Army 35-12||Royal Navy 14-11|
|2011||Army||Army 52 – 0||Army 44 – 10||Royal Air Force 26 – 0|
|2012||Army||Army 41 – 5||Army 24 – 7||Royal Navy 7 – 5|
|2013||Army||Army 54 – 12||Army 62 – 0||Royal Navy 10 – 3|
|2014||Army||Army 64 – 0||Army 93 – 3||Royal Navy 17 – 6|
|2015||Army||Army 65 – 0||Army 51 – 0||Royal Air Force 55 – 10|
Army Women’s International Players
|Year||Army Player||Country||No of Caps||Regt/Corps|
|Major S Butler||Wales|
|1996-99||Captain J Parke-Robinson||Wales||
|Private K Mayze||Wales|
|Captain M Magowan||Ireland|
|1997||Captain A O’Flynn||England||
|Private S Buckingham||England|
|Corporal S Wilkinson||England||QARANC|
|Captain M Hodge||Scotland||QARANC|
|2007||Lance Corporal J Leonard||England||
Women’s Corps Competitions
The Corps Championship was extended to include women’s teams in the Centenary season (2006-07) It is open to teams from the Corps of the Regular Army. Its objective is to provide a stepping-stone for players towards the elite Army Women sides and provides a platform for talented players to play above regimental level.
2007-08 season and in its inaugural season was won by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) women’s team who beat the Army Medical Services team.
|2007||Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||Army Medical Services|
Corps Festival Trophy
The Corps Festival Trophy competition is a one day event where seven-a-side or ten-a-side teams compete in knockout competition.
|2005||Army Medical Services||Royal Logistics Corps|
|2006||Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||Army Medical Services||10-5|
|2007||Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||Army Medical Services||17-5|
|2009||Royal Logistics Corps||Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||?|
|2010||Adjutant General’s Corps||Army Medical Services||26-22|
Army Womens Sevens Tournament Results Table
|2009||Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||29||Royal Logistics Corps||12|
|2010||Royal Logistics Corps||?|