Leading by EXAMPLE

It isn't known if Duke of Wellington actually did say that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. But it is an accepted fact that the game of rugby helps to develop leadership qualities and team spirit that can prove useful outside of the sport in military and civilian walks of life.

So it was with the playing fields of the Northumberland RFU headquarters, Druid Park, where the action was on Wednesday 10th February; everyone, including future servicemen and women, enjoyed a successful 10-a-side and tag tournament.

There were teams from the Northumbrian Universities Royal Naval Unit, RAF Boulmer, Northumbrian Universities Officer Training Corps, the Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron, the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme - Trojan Squadron, and Gosforth Rugby Club.

"The tournament was our way of using sport to project the Armed Forces into the Northumbrian community.  It was an excellent day out for everyone involved," said organiser Lieutenant Nelson McMillan, Captain of HMS Example. "We will certainly stage our again tournament next year - but on a weekend when more North East clubs will have players available."

Almost 120 players, men and women, took part and there was a large body of supporters led by Northumberland RFU President Andy Thompson. Commodore Dickie Baum and Commander David Wilson attended as Royal Navy senior representatives and were delighted to see the positive impact the tournament (which originally started as a Royal Navy led outreach project) had for all involved.

Some of those who were in action on Wednesday will take part in the Inter-University Royal Naval Unit games at Portsmouth this month. (Ed Note: this took place last weekend and a report will follow).

Northumberland RFU Club and Coach Development Officer Tom Wilkinson said: "There was a good standard of rugby on display and everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed themselves".

The Battle of Druid Park was won by the side from the Defence Technical Undergraduates Scheme - Trojan Squadron