The annual Army Navy Match returns to Twickenham with a crowd of over 80,000 people expected for what is the largest annual amateur sporting event in the UK. Kick-off is 2pm.
The Babcock Trophy is on the line today with the Navy trying to end a losing streak that has endured ever since they last won the Army Navy Match in 2010.
Last year’s match proved a fiery encounter with the Navy’s former Fiji flanker Sam Matavesi sent off for a head butt. That proved the turning point as the went on to win the match 22-14 at Twickenham. Up until Matavesi’s red card the Navy had led courtesy of two early penalties from Jon Humphrey penalties but three first-half tries in quick succession from Chris Leathem, Junior Bulumakau and Jamie Miller handed the Army team the initiative they retained to the final whistle.
The 2018 victory was the Army’s 62nd. Will it be 63 by early evening today or can the Navy end a nine year wait to get their hands on the trophy?
About the Army Navy Match: The Army v Navy match is the final fixture on the Senior XV Rugby Union calendars of the Royal Navy & the Army and the last of three matches that together construct the Inter-Services Championship. This has been an annual fixture since 1907 which was then held at the Queen’s Club in West Kensington.
The fixture has taken place every year since 1907, with two exceptions: There was a break in play between 1915-1919
due to the first world war, and then again between 1940-1945 due to the second world war. The 100th match therefore took place in 2017. The match has grown significantly in popularity in recent years and in 2015 the event saw its first ‘sell out’ crowd with tickets to the event increasingly sought after.
The Army Navy Match has become a reunion event, a day for members of the armed forces both currently serving and veterans to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Proceeds from the match go to the Royal Navy Rugby Union (registered charity 1165153) and the Army Rugby Union Trust (registered charity 1149105).
(Army Navy Match information courtesy of the Army Navy Match website).
Kick-off is at 2pm.
Tickets in advance are sold out for the Army Navy Match website. Occasional availability can be found on the ‘Twickets’ platform which is a ‘face value or less’ resale website for fans. Checking periodically is advised as tickets come and go.