The Royal Navy Rugby Union Knockout Cup was introduced as a trial event in the 1972/73 season under the chairmanship of Capt J Beadon RN.  Many sources reference the first year as 1971/72 but this is incorrect and may be due to early records showing the final to be played in 1972 and then this being assumed to be in the 71/72 season as most competitions have their finals in the second part of the season.  However the Navy Cup final was always played before Christmas and the first final was played in December 1972.  In the 2017/18 season the final was moved to March and it retained this new position in the ROyal Navy Rugby Union structured season the following year.  Regrettably, when last viewed (2016), the cup itself is incorrectly engraved with the wrong sequence of winners which has also added to the confusion.

The trial was such a success that at the Annual General Meeting on 30th March 1974 it was adopted as an official competition.  As such it is the oldest competition within Navy Rugby.  The winner in the first year was HMS Ark Royal and they remain the only ship to have won the cup.  HMS Heron, currently the most successful unit to have won the cup were the champions in the second year ending an eighteen month unbeaten record of the holders Ark Royal.

The first team to retain the trophy was 42 Cdo RM in the 1988-89 season.  With a backrow of Roger Tinson, Corin Palmer  and Mark Hewitt plus Bob Armstrong in the second row they were too strong for 45 Cdo RM and the 38-3 scoreline to retain the cup was apparently deserved.  Bob Armstrong scored a hat trick of rties in the final.  Since 42's achievement of retaining the cup this feat has also been achieved by RM Stonehouse, CTCRM, HMS Heron and HMS Seahawk.  A fair reflection of Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines dominance of Navy Rugby in recent history.

The 1989-90 final also stands out as being the only game to finish in a draw.  With the teams level on 25 each at 'No Side' the winner was declared as 45 Cdo RM through scoring more tries.  HMS Collingwood were the unlucky losers that day.

In the 2014/15 season Britannia Royal Naval College joined the list of double winners when then defeated HMS Seahawk 12-7.  HMS Seahawk returned as winners of the cup in 2015/16 when they defeated 40 Cdo RM in the final to win the trophy for a fourth time, retaining it in the 2016/17to record their fifth win.

There have been 17 different winners of the Royal Navy Rugby Union knockout cup and the last 'new' team the trophy was BRNC Dartmouth.

Geraint Ashton Jones Oct 2018

Winner No. of Wins Years
HMS Heron 8 2010/11; 2007/08; 2006/07; 2004/05; 2002/03; 1995/96; 1983/84; 1973/74
HMS Seahawk 7 2019/20; 2018/19; 2016/17; 2015/16; 2012/13; 2011/12; 1984/85
42 Cdo RM 4 2009/10; 2005/06; 1988/89; 1987/88
HMS Collingwood 4 2000/01; 1985/86; 1980/81; 1974/75

&nbsp

Year Navy Cup Winner Runner Up Score
2019-2020 [48] HMS Seahawk [7] HMNB Sultan 49-0
2018-2019 [47] HMS Seahawk [6] HMNB Clyde 38-10
2017-2018 [46] HMNB Clyde [2] 40 Cdo RM 40-7
2016-2017 [45] HMS Seahawk [5] BRNC 18-12
2015-2016 [44] HMS Seahawk [4] 40 Cdo RM 19-12
2014-2015 [43] BRNC Dartmouth [2] HMS Seahawk 12-7
2013-2014 [42] Cdo Logs RM [2] 45 Cdo RM 24-8
2012-2013 [41] HMS Seahawk [3] HMNB Portsmouth 43-8
2011-2012 [40] HMS Seahawk [2] HMS Sultan 74-6
2010-2011 [39] HMS Heron [8] HMS Excellent 27-7
2009-2010 [38] 42 Cdo RM [4] HMS Seahawk 12-6
2008-2009 [37] HMS Sultan [2] HMS Nelson 10-8
2007-2008 [36] HMS Heron [7]
2006-2007 [35] HMS Heron [6]
2005-2006 [34] 42 Cdo RM [3] HMS Collingwood 23-15
2004-2005 [33] HMS Heron [5] BRNC Dartmouth 23-3
2003-2004 [32] HMS Raleigh [2] HMS Collingwood 21-9
2002-2003 [31] HMS Heron [4]
2001-2002 [30] BRNC Dartmouth [1] HMS Heron 31-22
2000-2001 [29] HMS Collingwood [4] CTC Lympstone
1999-2000 [28] Cdo Logs RM [1] HMS Collingwood 19-17
1998-1999 [27] HMNB Devonport [3] HMS Dryad 12-5
1997-1998 [26] CTCRM [3] HMS Dryad
1996-1997 [25] CTCRM [2] HMS Heron
1995-1996 [24] HMS Heron [3] RM Stonehouse 13-6
1994-1995 [23] RM Stonehouse [2] HMS Nelson 24-0
1993-1994 [22] RM Stonehouse [1] HMS Heron 16-12
1992-1993 [21] HMS Nelson [3] HMS Neptune 19-10
1991-1992 [20] HMS Nelson [First cup final played in Scotland] [2] HMS Cochrane 13-9
1990-1991 [19] HMNB Devonport [2] HMS Sultan 16-9
1989-1990 [18] 45 Cdo RM [45 Cdo RM win on tries scored] [1] HMS Collingwood 25-25
1988-1989 [17] 42 Cdo RM [2] 45 Cdo RM 38-3
1987-1988 [16] 42 Cdo RM [1]
1986-1987 [15] HMS Sultan [1] HMS Cochrane 25-12
1985-1986 [14] HMS Collingwood [3] HMS Seahawk 7-6
1984-1985 [13] HMS Seahawk [1] HMS Nelson
1983-1984 [12] HMS Heron [2]
1982-1983 [11] HMS Cochrane [1] HMS Defiance 13-4
1981-1982 [10] HMS Nelson [1] RNEC Manadon 6-3
1980-1981 [9] HMS Collingwood [2]
1979-1980 [8] Fisleigh * [1] HMS Excellent 3-0
1978-1979 [7] CTCRM [1] HMS Daedalus 15-0
1977-1978 [6] HMS Neptune [1] HMS Sultan
1976-1977 [5] RNEC Manadon [1] HMS Collingwood 9-0
1975-1976 [4] HMS Drake [1]
1974-1975 [3] HMS Collingwood [1] CTCRM 21-4
1973-1974 [2] HMS Heron [1] HMS Ark Royal 15-3
1972-1973 [1] HMS Ark Royal [1] HMS Neptune 12-10

 

* Fisleigh was an amalgamation of HMS Fisgard and HMS Raleigh