A Date For Your Diary - Le Crunch 2015

On 01 April 2015 the Royal Navy Rugby Union will welcome the Rugby Club de la Marine Nationale to Burnaby Road in Portsmouth for the 11th meeting for the Babcock International Trophy.  This annual fixture has become very important in the rugby calendars of both Unions and is certainly not for the faint hearted on the pitch or on the sidelines.  We look forward to exciting rugby and fair play on the field of play and to renewing friendships and reaffirming the strong bonds between our two Navies off it.     

The Senior XV rugby fixture is now well established and 6 - 4 in the Royal Navy’s favour, although last year saw an impressive Marine Nationale performance.  This season the Royal Navy Senior XV’s preparation has gone extremely well with the squad and management having benefited from some tough games.  The Senior XV is now at a warm weather training camp in Malta as they finalise their preparations for the visit of the Marine Nationale and the forthcoming annual Inter Services fixtures.  Both the Royal Navy and Marine Nationale Senior teams will want to show passion, commitment and a determination to win with style and flair, knowing that rugby means a great deal to both Nations.  

We are also delighted to host the Marine Nationale Feminines in Portsmouth for another gripping game.  The Royal Navy Women are looking to turn round last year's comprehensive win by the Marine Nationale Feminines, who in turn will no doubt hope to extend their overall lead in this fixture.  It promises to be quite a day of attrition!

Looking ahead, 2015 is an exciting year for the Royal Navy Rugby Union.  In addition to hosting our Gallic friends, at the representative level the Senior XV, Mariners and RN Women are away to the RAF on the 15 April and we are again well on track to breaking the world record for the highest attendance at an amateur event against the Army at Twickenham on the 09 May. 

Looking still further ahead – Rugby World Cup 15 is a mouth watering prospect and the Royal Navy is the only Service that will be hosting National Teams as they prepare for the event.  The USA Eagles will be based here in Portsmouth at HMS Temeraire and Namibian Welwitschias (African Fish Eagle) will be down in Devonport.  Synchronised with RWC 15 will be the International Rugby Defence Competition.  The IRDC will consist of 12 national military teams from around the globe and will culminate with both semi-finals and the final hosted at Harlequins’ home ground, Twickenham Stoop.  So, a very exciting rugby year and we would like you to be part of the journey.

Join us at Burnaby Road to welcome the Marine Nationale on the 01 April for what promises to be a thrilling rugby encounter.  Bring on ‘Le Crunch’.


Article by Mark Walker
Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones