Teams from across Army went head-to-head in the Inter-Brigade Rugby Competition in Brisbane last week, putting their bodies on the line for their formations and bonding over a shared love for the game.
The 6 Brigade women’s team were crowned champions of their competition, while a very close game in the men’s finals resulted in 7 Combat Brigade finally beating 3 Brigade after years as reigning champions.
Director of Army Rugby Lieutenant Keli Fukofuka said the competition gave everyone involved more than just better physical fitness.
“Players and coaching staff, got an opportunity to do something a bit different, build new relationships, and do some networking,” Lieutenant Fukofuka said.
“COVID-19 last year taught us that getting away and doing activities outside of your normal daily job is important for mental health.
“Army Rugby is a pathway, we take men and women for a game of footy, then take 30 of each to form the Army teams and develop them, not only as rugby players but as people as well.
“By the time we finish our two-week camp and play Air Force and Navy, we like to hope that they’re not only better rugby players, but also better people within Defence and wider community.”
Lieutenant Fukofuka said the competition was a great success.
“We’ve managed to get teams from Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane, and plenty of people who came from Victoria, Puckapunyal, Sydney and Canberra,” he said.
“Setting the standards was really important in how we played and how we conducted ourselves. We drew from the Army core values to create a foundation for the rugby culture, we’re very strict with that.”
President of Army Rugby Brigadier Michael Garraway explained why Army Rugby was important at a strategic level.
“Importantly for Army, our rugby teams are an important part of our international engagement effort in the Pacific,” he said.
“COVID-19 has restricted our travel but when we get back into normality it will be really important that we get our rugby teams back out and engaging with our regional partners as soon as we can.”