Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Commonwealth Navies Cup kicks off in Portsmouth

6 March 2018
The Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union were officially welcomed to the UK by the Royal Navy Rugby Union at a ceremony onboard Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory.

The historical surroundings were the ideal location for both sets of players to meet each other in a more friendly and relaxed situation than the one they will experience when they meet on the rugby pitch at United Services Sports Ground, Burnaby Road next Monday (12 March).

The team arrived in London from Australia as the snow was beginning to melt, after a brief stopover in France to play the French Navy - the Marine Nationale.

Royal Navy Rugby Union Director of Rugby Captain Roger Readwin took the lead during the Welcome Ceremony.  He said: "On behalf of Vice Admiral Ben Key President of the RNRU I am delighted to welcome the Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union team to the UK to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup.

“This is the eighth time the tournament has taken place and we value the opportunity to welcome our commonwealth colleagues to Portsmouth."

On behalf of Vice Admiral Ben Key President of the RNRU I am delighted to welcome the Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union team to the UK to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup.

Captain Roger Readwin

President of the Royal Australian Rugby Union Captain Nick Stoker responded “We are all very excited to be here in the UK.  This competition is all about the importance of building relationships both on and off the field that we can build upon in our military operations in the future.”

This year's competition will be different from the previous tournaments.  The Royal New Zealand Navy, the current holders of the cup, are unable to travel to the UK so will not be able to defend their title.

This leaves the Royal Australian Navy aiming to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Royal Navy Rugby Union in 2014 in Auckland and win the cup for the first time.

As part of their tour, the RANRU will be in action against the RNRU President's XV on Wednesday 7 March KO 1900 at Burnaby Road, before the highlight of the trip when they meet the RNRU Senior XV on Monday 12 March KO 1930.

Before they fly back to Australia there will be another rugby match, this time with the best (and fittest) of the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy Rugby Union players combining to form a CNRC Barbarians team to face Hampshire RFC on Wednesday 14 March again at Burnaby Road, kicking off at 1945.

All matches will be played at USSG, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth and entry is free so if you want to come along to see some thrilling rugby head down to cheer on the players.

Gates will be closed during the match so make sure you arrive in good time.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.