100 Years of the RAF

Welcome to the new RAFRU Website, how fitting that this year, the Royal Air Force centenary year, was the first time since 1994 that the Royal Air Force Rugby Union senior squad has beaten both the Army and the Navy to be crowned Inter-Services Champions for 2018. Although they took the title in 2015, that year they beat the Army and drew with the Navy. So the two deserved victories this season was not a bad 100th birthday present.

The Royal Air Force was created by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service seven months before the end of World War I. Immediately pivotal in Great Britain’s war effort, it was also a powerhouse of innovation, as both sides sought advances that would bring supremacy in the air. The second world war was hailed as the RAF’s finest hour and almost 80 years later we still revere the Spitfire, the Hurricane and “the few” who flew them. While we rightly remember the many RAF personnel who have died in our defence, it’s also important to reflect on the RAF’s continuing importance in guarding our present and future.

This centenary year brings an opportunity to celebrate their origins and successes, to commemorate those who came before them , and to inspire the next generation of aviators and all interested in aviation. As part of RAF100, the Royal Air Force Rugby Union has continued to build on their history and relationship with the RFU to develop their men and women through rugby. The core values of the sport flow in parallel with those of the world’s oldest independent air force and as powerful today as in 1918 when the RAF was formed. Leadership, teamwork and tenacity are as valuable on the pitch as they are off it, whether in the cockpit, working on the world-leading technology on which they rely, or across the wide range of support functions essential to keep the UK’s airspace safe and secure.

Rugby builds individual fitness and resilience within a tightknit team focussed towards a common goal – these are exactly the skills and personal characteristics that today’s RAF hone while servicemen and women are on deployed operations across the world. The Royal Air Force Rugby Union continues to build on their successes, growing grassroots rugby across all their Units, supported by a strong network of referees, coaches and support staff. This has allowed them to focus on delivering excellence on the pitch, especially as part of the annual Inter-Services competition, where they compete against the Royal Navy and British Army.



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RAF100 Century Shirts


We are enormously grateful to our sponsors whose assistance helps us to develop RAF Rugby to it’s true potential.  If you would like to get involved please contact us via the email above.

The Royal Air Force Rugby Union is company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 07024335,  and a charity registered in England and Wales registration number: 1133022

Registered office: Room43|Kermode Hall|Royal Air Force Halton|Aylesbury|Buckinghamshire|HP225PG