Historically, the Inter Service Championship may have had something of an image problem. We won’t shy away from it; for years it was seen as a large-scale drinking session and not much else.
There was a time when that was an accurate depiction of Inter Service matches, particularly the Army v Navy showpiece at Twickenham, but in the last decade or so there has been a conscious effort to ensure that has become an occasion for the whole family, with a youth rugby competition at half time and since 2022 a Family Zone at Twickenham.
Of course, alcohol is available at Twickenham and can be consumed in view of the pitch - it’s one of the big selling points when it comes to the age old rugby vs football debate, particularly at the larger venues. There will, however, be an alcohol-free family area in the stadium due to the overwhelming success of this arrangement last year. Family tickets are available here.
Another of the things to give the championship a far broader appeal in recent years is the addition of women’s matches to the offering. In 2022, the Army and Navy women’s teams took to the field at Twickenham for the first time, sharing the stage with their male counterparts by competing in an excellent display of women’s rugby after the men’s game.
Such was the success of this addition to the bill, at each Inter Service event in the 2023 edition of the championship, the women’s teams will play at the same venue as the men, with all tickets covering both matches of an exciting double-header meaning fans will get even more bang for their buck - a veritable feast of rugby on offer in Plymouth (Navy vs RAF, 25th March), Gloucester (RAF vs Army, 15th April), and Twickenham (Army vs Navy, 13th May).
On top of the women’s matches, masters’ rugby and youth games will be available nearby, often free of charge (see individual events’ websites and social media for full details) meaning there really is something for everyone.
Off the pitch, there will be a variety of activities available at Twickenham to suit all ages and interests - check back soon for more information on what that entails! While there are no formal activities planned for the RAF vs Army match, Kingsholm stadium are still very keen for it to be a family occasion, with tickets prices at just £5 for 11-16 year olds and £1 for under 11s.