Inverdale Challenge Competition Kicks Off!
The second Royal Navy Rugby Union community rugby competition kicks off today with four of the five teams taking to the pitch. In Scotland, the RN North host the RN West, while in the West Country the Royal Marines travel to RNAS Yeovilton to take on the Fleet Air Arm. The teams compete for the trophy, named after Surgeon Captain (Dentist) John Inverdale, a former RNRU Secretary. Last year the Royal Marines were victorious in the final, convincingly beating the Fleet Air Arm 28-12, and the trophy was presented by Mrs Jendy Weekes and Mr John Inverdale, the daughter and son of the former RNRU executive committee member.
The aim of the competition is to provide rugby at the regional level, allowing players from Ships and units to play at a higher standard, and at the same time, it provides the opportunity for the representative team management to scout for potential talent for their representative sides which come together in the New Year.
This year there is an additional element to the competition; one of the matches will be played in the Netherlands, in commemoration of a match played by members of the Royal Naval Brigade who were interned in the Netherlands in 'HMS Timbertown' internment camp during World War One. During their time in the Netherlands the internees played rugby against each other and staged an exhibition rugby match, the first rugby ever played in the Netherlands. Teams of officers and men from the camp represented England and Scotland delighting Dutch spectators with the new game, never before seen on Dutch soil. Subsequent fixtures were played between the internees and local students from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague. The students' participation eventually led to the formation of the first rugby clubs in the Netherlands. The match, between RN East (representing England) and RN North (representing Scotland) will take place on Saturday 5th November at the Rugby Club Greate Pier, Langdeeslstraat 4, 8936 AW Leeuwarden.
The other matches will be played at approximately two week intervals throughout November, December and January with the final scheduled for Wednesday 25 January 2017 at USSG Portsmouth. Further details on the Inverdale Challenge fixtures can be found at the link www.navyrugbyunion.co.uk/fixtures/tables/inverdale-challenge and for more information about the commemorative match in the Netherlands go to www.rugbymad.nl or Facebook Timbertown Rugby: The Legacy
The Inverdale Challenge competition would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors. Individual sponsors support each of the regional teams and their logos are displayed on the team kit. The Royal Marines are sponsored by Aggreko, Peter Cooper Volkswagen support RN East, MBDA the Fleet Air Arm, SA Group RN North and Babcock RN West. For more information about Royal Navy Rugby follow us on Facebook @RoyalNavyRugbyUnion
Images Royal Navy rugby Union / © John Walton