It’s been a year since my mate Karl invited me to watch the UK combined Armed Forces women’s team take on Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park. What a brilliant game, and a superb evening that was. I’ve had the good fortune to attend several armed forces games over the years – including the blockbusting Army v Navy game, which has firmly established itself as an essential date in the world rugby calendar. The standard of these games have been absolutely superb, the atmosphere electric, and it seems to me the profile of armed forces rugby is increasing enormously each season.
This Friday, UK Armed Forces women will lock horns with Wales women in what promises to be an absolute humdinger. It was announced last month that Wales women will now call Cardiff Arms Park their permanent home, and this is the second of two autumn friendly games to be played there (Wales have already beaten Scotland two weeks ago).
The fact that Armed Forces rugby is also returning to the Arms Park is, I believe, a real boost for both Forces rugby and for women’s rugby in Wales. This is becoming a showpiece event and is rightly generating a lot of interest, with all involved parties having marketed it well on social media. It is also really capturing supporters’ imaginations, and I truly hope this particular fixture becomes a regular feature in the rugby season – it certainly deserves to.