Rugby Union

Our Commander in Chief comes first, Army Navy Committee Chair says

It would have been "totally remiss of us" to have held the Army v Navy Twickenham fixture on the same day as King Charles III's coronation, the Chair of the Army Navy Committee has said.

The fixtures, which were due to be played on 6 May 2023, had to be rescheduled because the coronation is due to take place on the same day.

It has now been revealed that the fixtures will be held at Twickenham on 13 May 2023 instead.

Speaking to BFBS, the chair of the Army Navy Committee, Commander Gary Bushell, said: "Of course, the Commander in Chief comes first and it would have been totally remiss of us to try and organise an event that coincided with the coronation, but there is also a big pull on the military support for that event, as well, so we are very conscious of that.

"But we now have been able to agree on the 13 May, and to be honest that was the default position but there had been lots of moving parts that we had to get into place to ensure that that could happen. 

"That includes the support of Network Rail and South Western Railway because they had planned engineering works that would have really stymied anybody trying to get into Twickenham so, looking at that, we have been able to come up with the best result that we might have hoped for."

Cdr Bushell hopes that despite having to raise the prices of tickets this year, there will still be a good turnout for both the men's and the women's games. 

He went on: "The women's game did manage to retain quite a good level of support there and we'd like to build on that as well. 

"But anybody who was at the fixture last year, I am sure, will be desperate to want to go and see an occasion and be part of an occasion as it was then, and for those who didn't attend, they really missed out on a great day. 

"Financially, it is a tough time for everybody out there and I would like to point out... that we have had to increase the ticket prices in order to meet the overheads to be able to play at Twickenham because they are not insubstantial, so that is the position that we're in and it's unfortunate.

"We had liked and always liked to try to pursue a price where we peg the tickets at the lowest possible point we can, but we are in changing times and, financially, we have to increase them to meet the overheads and costs."