Army v Navy Rugby 2022: When is it taking place? How can I watch it? Here's everything you need to know about this year's clash at Twickenham

AFTER two years of cancellation heartache, the hugely-anticipated Army v Navy rugby clash will be making its triumphant return this weekend – with thousands of people expected to witness the spectacle.

By Tom Cotterill
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:05 pm

And this year’s action at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, will see history being made as the army and navy’s women’s teams go head to head in a double-whammy of sporting action.

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Excitement is already building ahead of Saturday’s match-up of military titans, with 80,000 spectators set to watch the final fixture of the inter-service campaign at Twickenham.

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The Army v Navy rugby matches take place at Twickenham this Saturday

It follows two years of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Navy women – captained by Leading Hand Rose Dixon and coached by Lieutenant Commander Charlotte Fredrickson – were originally due to make their Twickenham debut in 2020 but the pandemic delayed the milestone for two years.

Assistant director of rugby for the navy’s senior women’s XV, Lieutenant Commander Paula Smith, said: ‘This is a momentous year for Royal Navy women’s rugby.

For the first time in the sporting spectacle's history, the army and navy women's rugby teams will clash at Twickenham this weekend

‘A lot of hard work both on and off the field by both former and current players and the team support group, has allowed this highly-deserved and talented squad the great honour of representing both themselves and those before them at this remarkable fixture.

‘Having seen this current squad grow from strength to strength over the last few seasons, despite everything the Covid pandemic has thrown at them, I know that they will deliver a highly-credible performance which will be fantastic for the crowd to watch, as they did against both the French Navy and the RAF.

‘Whilst, in the back of the minds of all of us currently involved is the fact that, a first ever win against the army is also in our grasp this season.

‘Having been involved in Royal Navy women’s rugby since the beginning – the brainchild of former player/coach Commander Paul Rowe – it’s amazing to see how far the squad has come.’

The women’s fixture, which was introduced in 2003, will be the 18th Army v Navy Senior XV game for the women with the winner taking the Babcock Trophy.

Army head coach Major Gemma Stonebridge-Smith said: ‘We’ve had a long time to prepare for what is going to be an historic occasion.

‘It’s going to be a fantastic day of rugby – not just the men’s fixture but the women’s as well.’

Both men’s navy and army teams defeated the RAF in the second round of the Inter-Services competition, meaning the winner of the Twickenham match will be crowned services champions and also claim the Babcock Trophy.

The men will be kicking off proceedings at 2pm, followed by the women’s showdown from 4.30pm.

The men’s match has been an annual fixture since 1907, apart from 1915-1919, 1940-1945 and 2020-2021. This year’s fixture will be the 103rd for the two teams.

Proceeds from the fixtures go to the Royal Navy Rugby Union and the Army Rugby Union Trust.

The match will be screened by BFBS, over TV, radio and the Forces News YouTube channel.