Portsmouth Hosts International Defence Rugby Competition Opening Ceremony
HMS Victory and the Portsmouth Guildhall was the backdrop as the 2015 International Defence Rugby Competition final got underway. Despite the inclement weather all the teams were in optimistic mood as they were shown around HMS Victory before moving to the Guildhall where General Lorimar formally welcomed all the teams.
For the Royal Navy it was a first opportunity to get a look at the other three sides that will compete in Pool1; Japan, New Zealand and their first opponents Fiji. All the matches will be played at US Portsmouth RFC with the other two pools being hosted by the Army and the RAF at Aldershot and RAF Halton respectively.
At the Guildhall each team was presented with souvenir medals to commemorate the second edition of the IDRC along with the sponsors, without whose generous support the event would not be feasible. The Guildhall was also the first occasion that many of the players will have had to see the gleaming new Lt Cdr Arthur Harrison VC cup that they are playing for. Named after Lt Cdr Arthur Harrison VC, a former Navy player and England International, the trophy, in Harrison’s name, symbolises the deep link between rugby and the armed forces from all around the world who share the values of courage, selflessness and team spirit.
The three Royal Navy pool matches all kick off at 19:00 and are as follows:-
Thursday 8th October Royal Navy v Fiji
Monday 12th October Royal Navy v New Zealand
Thursday 15th October Royal Navy v Japan
On each day the other pool members will also play with the second match kick off being at 15:00:-
Thursday 8th October Japan v New Zealand
Monday 12th October Japan v Fiji
Thursday 15th October Fiji v New Zealand
Images by Alligin Photography / © G Ashton Jones