The Royal Navy Rugby Union (RNRU) has a long and distinguished history dating back to 1906. They are committed to promoting participation and enjoyment of rugby at all levels within the Naval Service.

The Inverdale Challenge, where the 2016 Leeuwarden match is part of, is named after Surgeon Captain Inverdale. The RNRU Life Member and dental surgeon was the father of BBC and ITV broadcaster John Inverdale. The Inverdale trophy is competed for annually by the five Commands of the Fleet Air Arm, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Royal Marines and Scotland. The winners of the league will be RNRU Command Champions.

The highlight of the RNRU season is the annual Army Navy Match held at Twickenham.

The first of these matches took place in 1878 in London at the Kennington Oval, but it was not until 1907 that the match became an annual fixture as part of the Inter-Service Competition. The Navy is the current Inter-Service title holder by obtaining a dramatic draw against the Army in last seasons’ finale.

Aside from the Inverdale Challenge, the Army Navy match and the Inter-Service Championship the various RNRU teams (1st XV, U23, Women and Veterans) play in a number of competitions during the season in both the fifteen and seven aside games.