Army Navy – Le Premier Edition

The now traditional marking of Remembrance Day through rugby with the annual Combined Services match has crossed the English Channel to France.  On Monday, 11 November, the French Army will be playing the Marine Nationale in the inaugural Foch-Ronarc’h challenge.

Though the two sides meet in the annual four-way French Inter Services the two sides have instigated a second challenge, with the aim of building the fixture as an event to equate to our own Army Navy match.  The trophy is named after General Foch and Admiral Ronarc’h who served shoulder to shoulder, for France, in the First World War.  The choice of trophy name is perfect for the encounter.  General Foch, has already been honoured by the French Navy, whose flagship carries his name, whilst the land fighting exploits of Ronarch in Flanders during 1914 ensure he is well respected by the ‘biffins’ [squaddies] of the French Army.

Of course the match will also give the Marine Nationale the opportunity for another high intensity match as part of their preparations for the International Babcock Challenge against the RN Senior XV, to be hosted in Toulon, in March.

By Geraint Ashton Jones
Images by Alligin Photography / © G Ashton Jones


Royal Navy vs British Army
Tickets for the Annual Army vs Navy match which will be played at Twickenham on 3 May 2014 are on sale now.  Tickets can be purchased at