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RMA Sandhurst’s pitches welcomed a diverse audience in rare September rain recently, as the Army Rugby Union hosted a first Leadership in Union event to showcase rugby’s place as the Army’s pre-eminent team sport.

The guest list comprised senior management from the Rugby Football Union, including former President and Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces, Jeff Blackett, a range of senior Army officers, representatives from Mitie, the ARU’s main sponsor and ARU management, coaches and players.

The day included several games of Walking Rugby, which enabled the players of all ages, genders and experience to play alongside and against each other, and individuals sharing the benefits which rugby has brought to their professional and personal lives.

ARU Chair, Maj Gen Jez Bennett CBE, was an eager participant in all the activities.

“I returned to the rugby community a few years ago and was welcomed back with open arms,” he said. “The sport offers so much, and not just in terms of physical exercise.

“Young recent recruits can play alongside more experienced officers, and learn leadership and social skills, all representing their Units and Corps with pride, whether against their peers in the Army or against civilian clubs.

“It was fantastic to welcome our guests to RMA Sandhurst for what was a very enjoyable afternoon and listening to everyone’s stories and experiences was a reminder that rugby can still play a big part in the lived experience of soldiers and officers alike throughout the Army.”

The Army Rugby Union is always keen to hear from individuals who would like to be involved within the administrative structure, especially organising teams and fixtures within Units, or to become qualified coaches or referees. To find out more visit

Words and Images © New Dogs, Old Tricks