Army Navy Match

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For the similar annual event in American football, see Army–Navy Game.
The Army Navy Match
Part of the Inter-Services Competition
Twickenham Stadium - May 2012.jpg
Contested by
Principal
Principal
ARU RNRU
Official website
First match 13 February 1878
Annual event since 6 March 1909
Current champion Army
Largest margin of victory Army, 50-3 (2009)
Smallest margin of victory Navy, 9-8 (1948)
Venue Twickenham Stadium
London
Current sponsor Babcock International
Trophy The Babcock Trophy
Number of wins
Army Navy
58 36
Note: There have been three draws: 1939, 1969 and 1980

The Army Navy Match is the annual rugby union match played between the senior XV teams of the Royal Navy and British Army. It marks the culmination of the annual Inter-Services Competition. Although a match was played between the officers of the British Army and the officers of the Royal Navy at Kennington Oval, London on 13 February 1878, it was not until 1909 that the Army Navy Match became an annual fixture, when it was jointly administered by the newly formed Royal Navy Rugby Union (RNRU - 1906) and the Army Rugby Union (ARU - 1906). Since then it has been played every year, with the exception of during the world wars (1914-1919 and 1940–45) when the matches were suspended. The 2013 Army Navy match saw another new record crowd of 72471 watch the Army Navy match which was one of the most compelling ever. The Navy took an early 19 - 0 lead before the Army pegged them back to be all square at half time. The Army then went on to a 43 - 26 victory with their captain, Darrell Ball, being named Man of the Match. This season's match reverts to the first weekend in May and will be played on Saturday 3 May 2014.[1]

Note: The table of wins on the right does not include the matches of 1905 or 1906. 1907 was the first official Army Navy match played after the formation of the two respective Unions.[2]

The First Army Navy game 1878[edit]

The first Army vs Navy game was held on 13 February 1878. A contemporary newspaper The Broad Arrow gave the following account of the match:

A fine exhibition of football delighted the somewhat small number of spectators. Bush scored the first try for the Navy from a scrummage near the line. The goal was kicked by Orford. A band of naval spectators who had taken up their position beneath a white ensign mounted on the roof of a drag greeted this score with great cheering. The greasy state of the ground was not favourable for any great display of running. Encouraged by a cry from their supporters 'Come on Navy, Force the Passage of the Straights' the Navy mounted great pressure and scored a touch down. In the second half the Navy scored a second try. Wrench of the Army took advantage of some bad passing by the Navy and scored the Army try: The goal was kicked but this ended the scoring and the Navy deservedly won the first match between the Services.

The full version of the report from the Broad Arrow seems to suggest that the correct quote of 'Force the Passage of the Straits' was used.[3]

The Army selectors made a generous contribution towards the Navy victory by selecting a Royal Artillery officer, R Bannatyne, as Team Captain. He was serving overseas at the time and received no notification of his selection. As a result he was absent for the game. The situation was further confounded by the fact that another Army player arrived late and missed a good part of the match.

The teams were:

Overall results for the Army Navy Match
Army Ties Navy
(58) (3) (36)
1911 1914 1924
1925 1926 1928
1929 1930 1932
1933 1934 1935
1936 1937 1946
1947 1949 1950
1952 1953 1956
1957 1960 1962
1963 1964 1965
1967 1968 1972
1976 1979 1982
1983 1984 1985
1988 1989 1990
1991 1992 1993
1994 1997 1998
1999 2000 2002
2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008
2009 2011 2012
2013
1939 1969 1980 1878 1907 1907
1909 1910 1912
1913 1920 1921
1922 1923 1927
1931 1938 1948
1951 1954 1955
1958 1959 1961
1966 1970 1971
1973 1974 1975
1977 1978 1981
1986 1987 1995
1996 2001 2010
British Army Royal Navy
Name Regiment/Corps Name
R. A. Bannatyne (Capt.) Royal Artillery F. Campbell
C. F. Crombie 37th North Hampshire Regiment C. Bishop
C. H. Coke 86th Royal County Down Regiment E. Daniells
J. N. Cowan Royal Engineers C. Hart
F. C. Heath Royal Engineers P. Bush
A. J. C. French 76th Regiment of Foot J. Startin
A. R. Barker Royal Artillery G. Henderson (Capt)
A. J. Street Unidentified J. Orford
J. Spens 85th King’s Light Infantry C. Trower
I. M. Urquhart 108th Regiment of Foot (Madras Infantry) R. Montgomerie
G. Campbell 77th Regiment (East Middlesex) J. Bennett
I. G. Adamson 108th Foot F. Thring
Gould-Adams 1st Royal Scots Regiment H. Goldfinch
T. H. Manser Army Hospital Corps C. Bayly
S. Ogilvie Unidentified C. Walters


The First 'Official' Army Navy game 1907[edit]

Both the Royal navy Rugby Union and the Army Rugby Union were formed in 1906. February 1907 was when the first match organised by the two Unions was played. The match was held at the Queen's Club, West Kensington and was won by the Officers of the Royal Navy 15-14. [4] The match was played at Queen's Club until 1914. After the First World War the first match was hosted by Twickenham in 1920 and the game has been played there ever since.[5]

Team colours[edit]

Navy - Navy blue shorts, socks and shirt.

Army - White shorts, red shirt and socks.

In the first match of 1878 the Army played in white. The Navy have always played in blue jerseys though for a time their shorts were white.[6]

Match Results[edit]

Inter-Services Championship (1878–1914)[edit]

Year Winner Points Loser Points
1878 Royal Navy 1G1T Army 1G
1907 Royal Navy 15 Army 14
1907 Royal Navy 15 Army 0
1909 Royal Navy 25 Army 0
1910 Royal Navy 19 Army 10
1911 Army 22 Royal Navy 13
1912 Royal Navy 16 Army 8
1913 Royal Navy 18 Army 8
1914 Army 26 Royal Navy 14
1915-1919 No matches played due to First World War[7]

Inter-Services Championship (1920 to present day)[edit]

In 1920 a Tri-Service competition was created to include the newly formed Royal Air Force (RAF). However, the great rivalry between the Army and Navy has continued and their match, now held at the home of the English Rugby Football Union (Twickenham Stadium), remains the highlight of the annual inter-services rugby competition.[8][9]

Inter-Services Championship
Teams: Army Rugby Union
Royal Navy Rugby Union
Royal Air Force Rugby Union
Originated: 1920
Championship Series: Army leads with 43 outright championships[10]
Recent Winner: Army
Army (43)
1926 1928 1929
1930 1932 1933
1934 1936 1937
1946 1950 1952
1953 1957 1960
1963 1964 1965
1967 1968 1969
1972 1976 1980
1983 1988 1989
1990 1997 1998
1999 2000 2002
2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008
2009 2011 2012
2013
Royal Navy (19)
1920 1921 1922
1927 1931 1938
1939 1951 1961
1966 1970 1973
1974 1977 1981
1987 1995 2001
2010
Royal Air Force (13)
1923 1947 1955
1958 1959 1962
1971 1979 1985
1986 1991 1993
1994
Three Way Ties (10)
1924 1935 1948 1954 1956 1975 1978 1984 1992 1996
Two Way Ties (2)
1925 1949
Both Between Army and Royal Air Force

Yearly Results[edit]

Army victories are shown in ██ red, Royal Navy victories in ██ navy, Royal Air Force victories in ██ light blue. Tied games and tied seasons are shown in ██ white.

Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1920 Royal Navy 32-11 21-9 12-3
1921 Royal Navy 11-10 26-3 33-3
1922 Royal Navy 7-3 23-8 9-6
1923 Royal Air Force 16-11 13-5 3-0
1924 Tie 19-5 8-3 16-9
1925 Army & Royal Air Force 11-8 6-6 3-0
1926 Army 24-10 11-0 8-3
1927 Royal Navy 6-3 22-0 8-3
1928 Army 11-5 18-6 5-0
1929 Army 17-11 27-0 8-3
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1930 Army 16-10 14-8 8-3
1931 Royal Navy 6-0 16-5 16-0
1932 Army 11-0 21-4 22-5
1933 Army 19-0 12-3 14-3
1934 Army 16-8 14-3 36-0
1935 Tie 11-8 6-3 13-8
1936 Army 12-3 16-3 3-0
1937 Army 14-3 29-9 3-3
1938 Royal Navy 10-9 15-7 10-6
1939 Royal Navy 6-6 18-3 8-3
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1940-45 No matches played due to Second World War[11]
1946 Army 11-6 11-6 9-6
1947 Royal Air Force 19-11 8-0 5-5
1948 Tie 9-8 15-8 16-11
1949 Army & Royal Air Force 23-3 3-3 11-0
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1950 Army 16-6 11-3 6-6
1951 Royal Navy 11-0 14-0 6-5
1952 Army 11-3 9-6 6-0
1953 Army 3-0 11-3 3-3
1954 Tie 8-6 16-3 12-6
1955 Royal Air Force 8-3 6-6 6-3
1956 Tie 6-3 26-9 11-9
1957 Army 6-3 14-9 8-6
1958 Royal Air Force 14-0 3-3 14-3
1959 Royal Air Force 6-0 11-3 12-9
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1960 Army 12-3 6-3 8-0
1961 Royal Navy 6-3 19-11 9-3
1962 Royal Air Force 9-6 19-14 12-6
1963 Army 11-3 8-6 3-0
1964 Army 8-0 19-6 5-3
1965 Army 5-3 11-11 15-6
1966 Royal Navy 10-9 12-3 11-3
1967 Army 6-3 17-6 5-3
1968 Army 9-6 3-3 17-15
1969 Army 3-3 26-21 9-5
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1970 Royal Navy 15-9 15-12 13-6
1971 Royal Air Force 11-9 6-6 17-6
1972 Army 13-3 14-6 18-4
1973 Royal Navy 10-7 19-9 15-0
1974 Royal Navy 25-3 9-4 23-13
1975 Tie 19-0 41-13 20-7
1976 Army 15-6 6-3 21-13
1977 Royal Navy 16-0 19-13 15-9
1978 Tie 17-16 16-6 15-8
1979 Royal Air Force 10-3 10-3 23-6
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1980 Army 0-0 26-7 16-7
1981 Royal Navy 7-3 6-4 15-12
1982 Royal Air Force 11-7 10-6 16-14
1983 Army 10-9 16-7 8-4
1984 Tie 13-6 15-9 10-9
1985 Royal Air Force 11-6 15-12 29-23
1986 Royal Air Force 13-3 16-13 20-9
1987 Royal Navy 21-10 12-12 13-6
1988 Army 35-3 26-3 10-7
1989 Army 21-9 42-10 30-23
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
1990 Army 16-7 32-14 22-14
1991 Royal Air Force 10-0 32-12 22-13
1992 Tie 16-9 18-6 22-13
1993 Royal Air Force 37-15 20-17 23-7
1994 Royal Air Force 18-6 28-22 22-12
1995 Royal Navy 34-17 28-26 43-19
1996 Tie 9-6 31-23 14-12
1997 Army 18-16 35-35 24-24
1998 Army 36-22 23-7 11-8
1999 Army 24-13 43-8 28-7
Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
2000 Army 32-14 13-11 23-5
2001 Royal Navy 31-20 13-8 23-3
2002 Army 18-13 74-3 24-19
2003 Army 53-16 52-13 34-27
2004 Army 32-16 46-6 49-5
2005 Army 41-15 55-12 24-16
2006 Army 9-3 82-10 34-6
2007 Army 39-25 54-10 57-3
2008 Army 22-11 42-6 67-12
2009 Army 50-7 67-11 34-20
2010 Royal Navy 24-22 No Match 73-3
Year Champion Army - Navy score Army - RAF score Navy - RAF score
2011 Army 44-10 52-0 52-3
2012 Army 48-9 59-0 13-6
2013[12] Army 43-26 33-18 55-26
Year Champion Army - Navy score Army - RAF score Navy - RAF score

2010 is the only occasion that an Inter Service match has not taken place for a reason apart from World War. The RAF v Army match was cancelled as the Army were stranded in their overseas training camp in South Africa due to flight disruptions caused by the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull.

Ladies Inter-Services Championship (2003-)[edit]

Since 2003 the women from the three Armed Services have been fielding their own rugby teams and have been competing in an annual inter-service competition.[13][14][15]

Ladies Inter-Services Championship
Teams: Army Rugby Union
Royal Navy Rugby Union
Royal Air Force Rugby Union
Originated: 2003
Championship Series: Army leads with 11 outright championships
Recent Winner: Army
Army (11)
2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008
2009 2010 2011
2012 2013
Royal Navy (0) Royal Air Force (0)
Three Way Ties (0)
Two Way Ties (0)

Ladies Yearly Results[edit]

Army victories are shown in ██ red, Royal Navy victories in ██ navy, Royal Air Force victories in ██ light blue. Tied games and tied seasons are shown in ██ white.

Year Champion Army – Navy score Army – RAF score Navy – RAF score
2003 Army 35-5 Unknown Unknown
2004 Army 39-3 17-3 Unknown
2005 Army 61-5 34-0 10-5
2006 Army 47-7 38-0 13-5
2007 Army 36-3 36-0 17-10
2008 Army 75-0 56-0 23-10
2009 Army 60-0 72-0 36-0
2010 Army 25-11 35-12 14-11
Year Champion Army - Navy score Army - RAF score Navy - RAF score
2011 Army 52 - 0 44-10 26-0
2012 Army 41-5 24-7 7-5
2013[16] Army 54-12 62-0 10-3
Year Champion Army - Navy score Army - RAF score Navy - RAF score

References[edit]

  • McLaren Col Lt J:The History of Army Rugby (Aldershot, The Army RFU, 1986)

External links[edit]