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Women’s Rugby History

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
13
AGC (RMP)
Private K Mayze Wales
Captain M Magowan Ireland
1997 Captain A O’Flynn England
23
RAVC
Private S Buckingham England
Corporal S Wilkinson England QARANC
Captain M Hodge Scotland QARANC
2007 Lance Corporal J Leonard England
1
Royal Engineers

Women’s Corps Competitions

Corps Championship

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.

Year Winners Runners Up Score
2007 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Army Medical Services
2008
2009
2010

 

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.

Year Winners Runners Up Score
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
2008
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

 

Year Winners Points Runners-up Points
2009 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 29 Royal Logistics Corps 12
2010 Royal Logistics Corps ?

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