Fallen heroes of sport honoured as big season awaits Army rugby union

Poignant memorial fixtures are part of a big season for Army rugby players in a line-up of high profile matches

Fallen players will be honoured when world rugby unveils a memorial at a special commemorative match - with British Army rugby union teams playing a prominent role.

The emotive sporting event is just one of the line-up of high-profile fixtures in an forthcoming big new season for Army rugby union players.

The men begin their latest campaign next month, travelling to France for a special commemoration fixture against the country's combined services.

Our reporter Julian Evans has been talking to the secretary of Army Rugby Union, retired Major Chris Fowke, about the season ahead.

He said: "As well as the rugby matches the boys will be able to go out and take part in some meaningful memorial services... To take them to places like Tyne Cot really does put life into perspective."

Army-Navy 2017
The Army beat the Royal Navy in this year's Babcock Trophy in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham

The designated memorial to fallen rugby players who have given their lives in conflict in service to their country will be unveiled by the Conseil Department L’Aisne in the heart of the Chemin des Dames battlefield in France on September 16 2017 as part of a joint project with French authorities, with many names from the First World War included in the services.

The forces champions' women are also in for a tough season, which will see them face England Women Under 20's and the South African Women's national side. 

Both those games will be staged at Aldershot.

It comes after another impressive season for the Army women under skipper Gemma Rowland.

Gemma Rowland

The Welsh international has been part of her country's World Cup squad, but will be back in Army colours later in the Autumn. Maj Retd Fowke said:

"It's really a testament to what Gemma's done in the last 6-8 months... She's put a huge amount of effort into what she's done in the gym, off the pitch and on the pitch."

"We're so proud of her", he added.

Just click above to watch the full interview and find out more...