The RFL has hailed the success of Rugby League in the British Army following the staging of two highly successful and well attended tournaments in recent weeks.
The Yeoman Cup one-day festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with over 200 soldiers taking part in a four-tier final competition at Aldershot, which also hosted the annual Army Rugby League Naivalurua 9s Cup, a tournament featuring 15 teams.
RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “Rugby League in the Armed Forces continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted to see so many Army personnel playing the sport.
“The high standard of play was demonstrated by the performances of the Army, Royal Navy and RAF in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup earlier this year, which is a fantastic reflection of the hard work that has gone on to establish Rugby League in the Armed Forces.”
The Yeoman Cup was organised by Competition Secretary WO1 (ASM) Billy Hopkins REME and ended with a classic ‘War of the Roses’ Cup final between 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s.
The Yorkshire Regiment went into the final as holders and retained the Cup with a 16-6 victory. Other winners on the day were the 10 Training Battalion REME, who won in the Plate Final, whilst 11 Training Battalion REME claimed victory in the Shield Final and 21 Engineer Regiment were victors in the Bowl Final.
All eight teams who made the finals were presented with a bespoke 20th anniversary Army Rugby League T-shirt by the Director of Army Community Rugby League, Major Rich Naivalurua REME.
In a repeat of the 13-a-side tournament, 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment beat the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s 16-4. 10 Training Bn REME claimed victory in the Plate Final, 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (B) won in the Shield Final and 4 Medical Regiment were victors in the Bowl Final.
It has been a busy period for Army Rugby League which, alongside the success of the two tournaments, also now has another group of Level 2-qualified Rugby League coaches, after a number of participants completed the course earlier in the month.
The Army School of PT, Aldershot hosted the course, with participants travelling from as far as Germany to attend. Following on from the coaching course, there is also a planned Play Touch Rugby League event for the Army in July, highlighting the growth of the game in Army circles.
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