UK Armed Forces Rugby (UKAF) have announced the squad for their annual Remembrance fixture. The side facing Bristol on 8 November at Ashton Gate will be captained by RAF back row Flying Officer Rob Bell.
The squad are excited to be heading back to Bristol for the first time in 47 years. On receiving notification of his selection as captain Flying Officer Bell enthused “It’s a great honour to be selected to represent the UK Armed Forces – the best the 3 services has to offer and the pinnacle of rugby in the Armed Forces. To be asked to be captain is a huge privilege and responsibility, but one I am looking forward to greatly. We have an excellent squad with lots of high level civilian and service rugby experience in the likes of Budgie, Sam Matavesi & Ravai Fatiaki to name a few. Add to this exciting new caps in Nath Titchard-Jones and Ross Parkins who will bring real energy to the squad”.
Since 2014 each of UKAF’s Remembrance matches has focused minds on the centenary of the First World War. This year’s Remembrance match falls 100 years after the end of the battle of Passchendaele (the third battle of Ypres, 31 July – 10 November 1917). At the battle’s end in November 1917 an estimated 245,000 allied casualties (dead, wounded or missing) had fallen in 103 days. The on-field Remembrance ceremony will honour the memory of the fallen at Passchendale, and all those who have fallen in service to Great Britain.
UKAF captain Bell spoke of how the players all feel “pride, honour, and humility standing on the pitch representing the whole of the Armed Forces, and those who have gone before… …the pre-match remembrance ceremony is always a humbling moment of unity for crowd and players of both sides, announced by the buglers with the standard bearers of the Royal British Legion on the pitch, it brings everyone together, as we remember of our friends and colleagues who are away now, those who have fallen before, and all who serve.”
Asked about their partnership with UKAF, Alexander Owen, Head of Armed Forces Engagement at the Royal British Legion said “We are extremely proud to be associated with UK Armed Forces Rugby Union who are once again showing their support for the Legion through their annual Remembrance Match. At the game there will be various fundraising activities that will enable the Legion to continue offering vital assistance to all members of the Armed Forces community, now and in the future. Last year over £10,000 was raised, a fantastic amount of money and we thank everyone for their continued support”.
Supporters can look forward to some fantastic rugby, and with UKAF attracting record crowds in recent years, more pre-match entertainment planned for 2017, and excellent early ticket sales, this will be an event to remember for supporters, players and UKAF captain Rob Bell alike. We wish them luck. Check out @UKAFRugby on Facebook and Twitter for ticketing and match updates.
UKAF Men play Bristol on 8 November 2017 at Ashton Gate Stadium, kick-off 7.45pm, tickets: adults £6, under-12s £2 available in advance by clicking here.
The full squad is comprised of:
LCpl, Budgen, Army, Prop
Cpl, Smith, Army, Prop
Sgt, Titchard-Jones, Army, Prop
LSgt, Dwyer, Army, Hooker
Fg Off, Philpott, RAF, Hooker
LPT, Priddey, Royal Navy, Hooker
Cpl, Bean, Army (NC), Lock
Musn, Pascoe, RM, Lock
Cpl, Parkins, Army, Lock
Fg Off, Bell, RAF, Back Row
Cpl, Dawson, Army (NC), Back Row
Cpl, Fairbrother, RM, Back Row
LCpl, Hayler, RM, Back Row
Matavesi, Royal Navy, Back Row
Fg Off, Tibbats, RAF, Back Row
Cpl, Evans, Army (NC), Scrum Half
Spr, Vata, Army, Scrum Half
NA(AH), Moore, Royal Navy (NC), Scrum Half
Cpl, Dixon, Army, Fly Half
Mne, Huntley, RM, Fly Half
Sig, Davetanivalu, Army (NC), Centre
Sig, Fatiaki, Army (NC), Centre
ET(WE), Myers, Royal Navy, Winger
Cpl, Mann, RAF, Winger
LAET, Humphries, Royal Navy, Full back
Bdr, Davies, Army, Full back
UKAF(M) will host a media day with photo, filming and interview opportunities from 1330hrs-1600hrs, 6 November 2017 at their training camp at Warminster Garrison. All media are encouraged to attend but for security reasons must register in advance by emailing Wing Commander Keith Dear at email@example.com providing the names of all attending, their affiliation, vehicle make, model, colour and registration number and an estimated time of arrival. Note that attendees will need photographic ID for access on the day, usually in the form of passport or driver’s licence photo card. Attendees who do not register and/or do not arrive with suitable photo ID cannot be allowed access.
Match day media access at Bristol is by advance arrangement only, either direct with the stadium or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
To arrange interviews or for further information, again please contact Wing Commander Keith Dear at email@example.com
Free hi and lo res images available from our online archive at http://ukafrugbyimages.com
Yours in Rugby,
K P Dear | Wing Commander | Royal Air Force | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ukafru.com | Twitter & Facebook @UKAFRugby