Rugby a la militaire!

I was reminded this morning of one of those rugby matches that pop up in the military. Usually a scratch side, you find yourself playing "some local bunch" or "dunno, who did you say they were again?". They then turn out to be the finest side for miles around, national champions or even a national XV. Luckily entropy is usually maintained because you turn out to have an ex-Cambridge blue fly-half and the Army development squad back row to call upon. Or a South African international - this actually happened. He refused to play because he thought he might hurt someone and in hindsight he was quite right, because I saw him training.

My finest hour in this line came when in 1996 combined Services Split played Coatia. We thought we were playing Split RFC aand prepared (if you consider a Dusheera curry and piss-up followed by a goat sacrifice preparation!) accordingly. It could have al gone badly wrong but we managed to beat them 52-10. I think they were having a bit of a hang-over from their recent victory over norway in the RWC qualifiers but there you go...

They were very nasty about it until the final whistle went, when as if by magic (rugby...true international glue), the hate faces came off and they became tremendous hosts - even though they were probably earning 20DM a month each!

Then again there was that game in Oman when I got kicked in the head by a Balushi...any other stories of far-flung and improbable matches? Or unusual personnel, ex-internationals, people who had never played before and scored five tries, an Aussie who looked in his boot and asked where the money was before telling stories of his days as an RL international et cetera?
Played against the French Foreign Legion in Dujbouti 1989 ,I was only a young lad at the time , the pitch was rock hard as were the FFL .I was spammed to play scrum half because ''i was welsh'' so i must be able to pass . I remember that it was a close game and i kept my position for a few more games . The after game drinks etc etc were very scary as i was hosted by a hard looking Londoner in the Legion called ''Arfer'' who made me drink whiskey in a dodgy bar in the town . I was too scared of him to do a runner as he proceeded to tell me his tales of killing people with his bare hands.

Yes Rugby in the forces is a fantastic game , a recommend any new lad to a unit gets involved with the Rugby team , no matter how crap he is .It gets you known with all the ranks involved . We are off to South Africa in march on a dirt cheap tour deal .
Ah the memories. Op Telic 1, me and smoojalooge were war dodging in Ali al Salem when we noticed a poster advertising that the Airbase team had a match against some ex-pats. Thinking this would be game for a laugh we rocked p asked if we could join in and were greeted with open arms. Bit of training later and off we went to the nice pitch made of raked sand. A fine game of rugby was involved (i think) where we greeted the oppostion with a team that may have lacked grace, style, skill, boots, kit, ability and talent but more than made up for it by grabbing as many fijians we could find lying about the place. We managed to find enough players we could actually field 2 teams allowing us to continuously sub so the desert heat didnt take that much effect on us. It was a close fought match that in the end was won with a last minute penalty to us. This is something that I however missed as while we had enough subs to change regular we lacked front row players so after playing 75 mins of rugby in desert heat our glorious Captain decided that his looshead really shouldnt be telling the imaginary camel to get off the pitch and had the decency to sub me. So while our glory hunting fly half sailed the kick over i could be found at the side of the pitch being violently ill.

Mr_C_Hinecap, I still think your a cnut to this day for that one. :p

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