UKAF trained yesterday as they seek to gel the best players from the 3 Armed Forces sides, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force into one cohesive unit for the annual Remembrance fixture at Ashton Gate.
Evans noted that the challenge he faced was not dissimilar to that many commanders face on operations – that of gelling three separate Services with distinctive strengths into one cohesive Unit. Returning to Bristol for the first time in 47 years Evans said “UKAF are determined to put on a show of running rugby, combined with the guts and determination you might expect from Armed Forces players – it means so much to all of them to play both for UKAF and for Remembrance”.
UKAF captain Flying Officer Rob Bell was buoyed by what he saw on Monday. “The banter was there as usual between the players from the RAF, Army and Navy – I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t! But we were one team on the pitch. The great thing with the Armed Forces team is that you have so many leaders stepping up from the separate services. The communication was great, the moves slick and I’m confident we can get a result at Ashton Gate on Wednesday night”.
Alexander Owen, Head of Armed Forces Engagement at the Royal British Legion said he was extremely proud to see the way the players pulled together. Speaking to the players he talked about the importance of the match as part of the annual calendar of Remembrance, the particular significance of this year’s game, falling 100 years after the end of the Battle of Passchendaele – where an estimated 245,000 allied lives were lost in 103 days. Speaking to us Owen said “you hardly need to remind the Armed Forces of the importance of Remembrance day – many will be remembering close friends and respected colleagues during the on-pitch act of Remembrance on Wednesday night – but I did want to put this year in the context of the sacrifices they might be less familiar with, to thank them for their support to the Royal British Legion and wish them luck for Wednesday night”.
Supporters can look forward to some fantastic rugby, and with UKAF attracting record crowds in recent years, more pre-match entertainment planned for 2017, 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.
The full UKAF team for Wednesday night is:
|9||NA (AH)||Cory||Moore (NC)|