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

CompetitionNo of WinsWinnersRunners Up
Bath Charity Sevens120092017
Bournemouth Sevens32010, 2011, 20122014, 2017
Bury St Edmunds12017
Cayman 7's-2003
Cwmtawe 7's72002, 2003, 2007, 0208, 2011, 2012, 20132015
Edinburgh Rugby Rocks22012, 2013
Floodlight Sevens12008
Harpenden32003, 2013, 2014
Henley22002, 2003
International Defence 7s12012
Ledbury Charity Sevens12008
Middlesex Sevens22001, 20042005, 2008
Middlesex Club Sevens-2011
Manchester Sevens12010
Newquay Surf Sevens72008, 2009, 2010, 2012,2011
2013, 2014, 2015
Royal Scots 7s12011
Safari Kenya22001, 20022006
Sunshine Charity Sevens12007
Roma Sevens120082009
Rosslyn Park12017
Richmond Rugby Rocks22012, 20152011
West Country 7s22012, 20132010
World Club 7s22013, 2014
Worthing42005, 2006, 2009, 2011
Zambia International12003

International Representation

YearArmy PlayerCountryRegt/Corps
H GrahamEnglandColdstream Guards
A DawlingEnglandRoyal Artillery
B GreenWest IndiesRoyal Engineers
2003S RokoFijiRGBW
2003B BulumakauFijiR Scots
2004E NaisaramakiFijiR Scots
2004A Satala *Fiji1 Scots
2006M LeeScotland (Capt)1 Scots/AGC (ALS)
2006I DamudamuEngland4 Scots
2007K RawalaiFiji1 Scots
2010J PasardFiji1 Scots
2013J NayacavouScotland2 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

Sevens caps are awarded to players playing a minimum of 4 tournaments in the UK during a season and 1 overseas tournament or 10 accumulated tournaments over 3 seasons.

Cap NoRankNameUnitIssued
1LCplGerhard Wessels101 Engr Regt2012
2LCplJosefa Kava23 Pnr Regt RLC2012
3LCplSemesa RokoduguniScots DG2012
4LBdrRatu Speight12 Regt RA2012
5LCplMalaki Magnus17 P&M Regt RLC2012
6LCplPeniasi Seru39 Engr Regt2012
7LCplJoseva Nayacavou2 Scots2012
8PteSave Bainivalu1 PWRR2012
9LcplPate Vakasawaqa39 Engr Regt2012
10LCplMeli Bosenitikina17 P&M Regt RLC2012
11CplSeremaia Cataki1 Royal Irish2012
12CplTuvita Tamatawale25 Regt RLC2012
13PteIgnatius Putty3 Log Sp Regt2012
14SprInosi Laqekoro32 Engr Regt2012
15CplAlex Swan23 Pnr Regt RLC2013
16CplSamisoni Raloka17 P&M Regt RLC2013
17CPLTimoci TuitubouScots DG2013
18LCplRaymond Bishop1 R Welsh2013
19LCplKolinio KapaiwaiScots DG2013
20LCplMatereti KomaiyasaScots DG2013
21LCplMakulusio Koroiyadi62 Wksp Gp2013
22LBdrPeni Naiyaga12 Regt RA2013
23LCplRusiate Vuetanatotoka2 R Welsh2013
24PteJack Prasad1 Scots2013
25LtLike Robinson29 Regt RA2014
26TprAvolosi SokiaScots DG2014
27CplVasa Bai4 Med Regt2014
28PteRatu Bulumakau1 Scots2014
29LCplNetani Tawake4 Rifles2014
30LCplWaisale Navunidakua1 R Welsh2014
31LCplIfereimi Vukinavanua3 AAC2014
32PteMaika Burenivalu17 P&M Regt RLC2014
33CplUnaia BalekinasigaR Sigs2017
34CplIsaia BoboQDG2017
35LBRCraig Edwards1RHA2017
36LCplRupeni Rokoduguni3 SCOTS2017
37PteJone DavetaPWRR2017
38LBdrSailasa Vunivesilevu7 RHA2017
39SgtBen FultonRHA2018
40LCplJoe Vimataki4 SCOTS2018

Army 7s Team Awards

2010Player of the SeasonLance Corporal G Wessels, Royal Engineers
New Player of the SeasonSapper I Laqekoro, Royal Engineers
"RFU Valued Volunteer Award"Sergeant Daz Percy, Royal Logistics CorpsCorporal Alfred Vanua, Scots Guards
2011Player of the SeasonLance Corporal Sikeli Ratubuli, 1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
New Player of the SeasonLance Corporal Morgan Evans, 2 Royal Welsh
2012Player of the SeasonLance Corporal Alipate Vakasawaqa, Royal Engineers
New Player of the SeasonLance 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 TeamKimberley Fowke, Army Rugby Union
2013Player of the SeasonCorporal Alex Swann, Royal Logistic Corps
New Player of the SeasonLance Corporal Raymond Bishop, 1 Royal Welsh
2014Player of the SeasonSergeant Tuvita Tamatawale, Royal Logistic Corps
New Player of the SeasonLance 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

20091 SCOTS4217 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC12
201017 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC ¥311 SCOTS21
201117 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC19R Welsh12
2012Scots Dragoon Guards2817 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC7
2013Scots Dragoon Guards332 Royal Welsh5
20141 YORKS1417 Port & Maritime7

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

Plate Competition

20092 Welsh243 Yorks10
201023 Pioneer Regiment RLC223 SCOTS10
20111 Royal Irish21Def Sch of Tpt19
20122 Rifles262 PWRR7
2013ATR Pirbright24RMAS20
201432 Engr Regt171 Scots14