After almost 75 years in Germany the British army will be pulling out in the year 2020 at latest.
What’s this? The High Tackle is starting to cover non-rugby politics now? Not a bit of it. This has a lot to do with rugby. In the early post-war years garrisoned British Army rugby teams offered valuable opposition to the replenishing rugby teams, first in Northern Germany (then the FRG) and later throughout the rest of the country.
The revival of rugby in Germany post-war cannot be attributed solely to the British Army, but they can claim, legitimately, to have helped through their participation in ‘friendly’ derbies, cup matches, and invitationals. Demobbed squaddies and other assorted servicemen have also decided to remain on and contribute their skills and experience as coaches (the head coach of our club included), and players.
Sadly, any further team participation will cease in nine years from now, and with recent military budget cuts by the British Conservative/Lib Dem government it will be highly unlikely that these teams will be allowed to continue to contribute teams to the established competitions, albeit officially.
Another era draws near to an end.