Whether you’re an England fan still reeling from the hosts’ early exit from the Rugby World Cup or just can’t get enough of the game at the moment, the International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC) offers an alternative that should be of interest to both current and ex-Forces personnel, as well as the average armchair sports fan.
The IDRC brings together teams from armed forces around the world. The British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Forces are all represented, as well as teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Fiji, France Canada, South Africa, Georgia, and Tonga.
Lieutenant General John Lorimer, President of the Army Rugby Union, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the unique links between sporting institutions and the Armed Forces.”
“It is a widely held view that Rugby Union and the Armed Forces go together hand in hand. Many of the characteristics required on the rugby field mirror exactly the attributes that are required in battle: physical courage, mental robustness, determination, commitment, teamwork and leadership. Rugby builds teams. To play the game well, you require discipline and self-motivation. Rugby fosters the will to win. These are prerequisite attributes and qualities which are invaluable to any sailor, soldier, airman, or marine.”
The competition is running alongside the Rugby World Cup and is well underway, with the group stages concluding on October 15th. Following the knock-out stages, the final will take place on October 29 at the Stoop in Twickenham, home of the Harlequins.
This is the second competition to take place, with the inaugural tournament having been held in Australia and New Zealand in 2011. The British Army won this first contest, beating the Australian Defence Force by 62-17 in the final. It’s not easy to predict who’s going to emerge victorious this year, but it’s certain to a blast finding out…