A unique Presidential Occasion
A unique Presidential Occasion: the launch of the RNRU Centenary On Monday 09th January 2006 Admiral Sir Jonathon Band KCB First Sea Lord (Desig) and President of the Royal Navy Rugby Union hosted a unique gathering of the Presidents of the Home Unions, Mr Keith Rowlands WRU, Mr Lee Angel RFU, Mr Andy Irvine SRU, and Mr Andy Crawford IRFU. The Presidents mustered, fittingly, on board HMS PRESIDENT, home of London RNR, before transiting down the Thames on P2000 Patrol boats to HMS GRAFTON alongside at the Royal Albert Dock. In the company of illustrious Partners and representative players from all the Navy Teams, the RNRU President launched the centenary year with a look back to 1906 when the Union was established, although he did venture as far back as 1878, to celebrate the first Inter Service encounter on 13 February when the Officers of the Army played the Officers of the Royal Navy at Kennington Oval, a match the Royal Navy won by a goal and a try to a goal! The Royal Navy Union was formed to: "Promote, Develop, Administer and Finance Rugby Football in the Royal Navy throughout the world in support of the Rugby Football Union". A role it has most successfully prosecuted to the current day against a constantly changing backdrop of evolutions in the game, the service and indeed the world. The launch of the centenary year heralds an ambitious programme of fixtures and events that celebrates the Royal Navy and its contribution to Rugby. During the year the Navy will play the Barbarians, The Irish Defence Force, the French Navy, will participate in 7s tournaments in Scotland and Wales, will participate in the Commonwealth Cup, a tournament in South Africa against the Navies of the Australians the Kiwis and the South Africans and will play the RAF and the Army. The reasons for the success of Royal Navy Rugby can be found not only in the ethos determination and spirit of the players, coaching staff, referees and administrators, but also in the generosity of the broad spectrum of Partners who support our endeavours. We look forward to enjoying your support as the Royal Navy Rugby Union celebrates its centenary, and looks forward to the next one with undimmed enthusiasm for this magnificent sport.