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(Commonwealth Trophy) At Devonport Naval Base

Commonwealth Navies Rugby Tournament (Commonwealth Trophy) At Devonport Naval Base

The Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup 2003 tournament (RACAL Cup) will be hosted by the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) at the Devonport Naval Base 9-18 May 2003 inclusive. Rugby teams from the Royal Navy (RN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) will contest the RACAL Cup in a Round Robin Tournament held at Ngataringa Sports Complex.

History

In 1996 the RN invited the RNZN Rugby Team to tour the United Kingdom in 1997 as their guests. Coincidentally in that same year, the RAN also had planned to conduct a rugby tour of the United Kingdom and a decision was made to hold a “Tri-Navies” Rugby Tournament. The touring teams also played against the British Army and the Royal Air Force. All participants declared the tournament a huge success and it was agreed that a tournament should be held every three years hosted in rotation order of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

A British Defence Industry Company, was approached and generously agreed to donate a trophy to the tournament to be known as the Commonwealth Trophy. This is the trophy that the three navies now compete for. The RN won the inaugural tournament in 1997 and also the RAN hosted tournament in Sydney in 2000.

In 2003 it is the RNZN’s turn to host the tournament and following discussions with the RAN and RN, it was agreed to extend an invitation to the Republic of South African Navy (RSAN) to attend the tournament. Unfortunately, the RSAN declined to send a team to the 2003 tournament but have indicated they may be in a position to sponsor the 2006 tournament. The RSAN have sent two observers to this year’s tournament.

Dates of Tournaments

Mon 12 May 2:30pm RAN v RNZN Wed 14 May 2:30pm RN v RAN Fri 16 May 2:30pm RNZN v RN

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