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Home > News > Reading player to become most capped Senior Service player
Your News Reading player to become most capped Senior Service player

Reading RFC’s player/coach and illustrious British Army second-rower Ben Hughes will become the Senior Services’ most capped player of all time by the end of the inaugural International Defence Rugby Competition due to start in Australia on Saturday (Oct.1).

The 34-year-old Sergeant with 21 Engineer Regiment needs just one game in what’s been dubbed as the Services’ World Cup to break former England international and British Lion wing Rory Underwood’s long-standing record of 32 appearances for the RAF.

Hughes said: “For me every time I put an Army jersey on it’s like getting my first cap and it’s only when you get five minutes to yourself and you actually think about what you’ve achieved and the people before you - the Tim Rodber’s, Rory Underwood’s and Rob Wainwright’s and Matt Stewart’s - who’ve been around for a long time that you realise you’re up there on the same par doing the same job as they did.

“I’m proud and greatly honoured that I’m up there with them and that I’m still playing. It doesn’t feel like it’s any weight on my shoulders as every time I put a shirt on for the Army I go out there to do my job.

“I think, after this World Cup, I’ll reflect on what it’s all been about and have one of those Hamlet moments when you just think about what you’ve done in life and, I think, I’ll realise then.”

Hughes is amongst the British Army’s 30-man strong squad that flew out last weekend to Australia for the tournament that kicks-off this Saturday at Viking Park, Canberra, and ends with the final at New Zealand’s Auckland University on Saturday, 22ndOctober, the day before the IRB Rugby World Cup Final.

The British Army play their Group matches against Samoa Police this Saturday and the French Armed Forces a week later (Oct.9) with, providing they qualify, the quarter-finals taking place four days later at the TG Milner Field in Eastwood. After that, the competition moves to New Zealand where the semi-finals will be played at the North Shore RFC in Auckland.

12 teams in all will be taking part and although the British Army are certainly one of the heavily fancied teams many of the other sides will be an unknown quantity as they are being put together especially for the tournament.

Competing teams: China - People’s Liberation Army; Australian Defence Force (ASRU); Royal Navy; Republic of South Africa; Tonga Defence Services; Australian Federal Police; Royal Air Force; New Zealand Defence Force; Papua New Guinea Defence Force; French Armed Forces; British Army; Samoa Police.

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