Royal Navy Rugby League celebrate Challenge Cup victory over Army Credit BFBS DATE 29012022.jpg
The Navy celebrate after their last win over the Army in the Challenge Cup earlier this year.
Rugby League

Can Royal Navy end five-year wait to become Inter Services champions?

Royal Navy Rugby League celebrate Challenge Cup victory over Army Credit BFBS DATE 29012022.jpg
The Navy celebrate after their last win over the Army in the Challenge Cup earlier this year.

The Royal Navy men's rugby league team have had a historic 2022 but this weekend, they could make themselves legends by winning the Inter Services title for the first time in five years.

Since their last triumph on points difference in 2017, the Army have been dominant in a COVID-19-disrupted Forces rugby league landscape.

However, after dismantling the RAF on Friday, the Navy have a chance to reclaim that trophy in our live coverage on Saturday.

Standing in their way now are the reigning champions who kick off their campaign at the home of Bradford Bulls - the 26,019 capacity venue, the Odsal Stadium.

That match kicks off at 16:00 UK time and is live on the Forces News YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, the women's fixture has been called off due to the Navy's inability to field a team thanks to availability issues.

The Army announced on Twitter that they will instead be facing Stanningley and West Bowling A.R.L.F.C, who have stepped in to field a combined team in the Royal Navy's place.

That match will not be broadcast by BFBS.

Key players

Darren Bamford – Royal Navy

What a performance the experienced Navy star put in against the RAF. He was heavily involved in all of the good things that the 'Band of Brothers' provided including an outrageous long-distance penalty kick. The Army have been warned.

Kieran Roche – British Army

A player who always pops up on the scoresheet in these types of fixtures. He got a try in a friendly against the RAF in 2021 and kicked the golden point winner to seal the last title win in 2019.

Did you know?

Whenever Army v Navy fixtures happen, you can guarantee there will be fireworks and in a contact sport like rugby league, sparks will fly! 

The Odsal Stadium in Bradford is hosting two Army v Navy games on Saturday. The Development fixture kicks off at 12:00 and the senior men's clash will be at 16:00 LIVE on the Forces News YouTube channel.

The Senior Navy men's team have served notice of their intentions.

Steve Lockton's 'Band of Brothers' took no prisoners in the opener against the Air Force, racing to a 22-0 lead last Friday. Man of the match James Tilley and the ageless Darren Bamford completely controlled the first 70 minutes of the game before the RAF rallied strongly at the end.

The Army will certainly have been watching closely and will have to be at their best to deny the Senior Service who are still on a high after reaching Round Four of the Challenge Cup.

Jon Knighton, BFBS Sport