THE UK Armed Forces Rugby teams will play their annual Remembrance fixture, playing against Bristol for the first time in half a century.

The UKAF teams, better known as the Lions of Service, is compiled of the best players from three services: the RAF, the Army, and the Navy.

Since the first Remembrance match in 2014, these matches honour the memory of the fallen in the First World War. This year’s matches fall 100 years after the end of the battle of Passchendaele, the third battle of Ypres which lasted 31 July to 10 November 1917.

In the women’s team, Regimental Signals Officer and rugby captain, Alex Hardy, has been chosen to represent the UKAF.

Miss Hardy and the England squad will arrive in Cardiff to play Wales on November 8, with players looking forward to returning following a heavy defeat last year, with memories of the 14-14 draw in 2015 to sustain their confidence.

The officer, who is a part of the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery, was introduced to rugby at a young age, by her father who took her to a Durham City match at five years old.

Alongside her representing the UKAF, she also plays for the Harlequins Ladies, a team based in Guildford, Surrey.

She said: “The remembrance match is the highlight of the service rugby calendar, it means so much to come together and play alongside players from other services to commemorate remembrance.

Adding: “I hope to achieve sporting success in Cardiff, as my Rugby ambition is to one day play at Twickenham.”.

Among the players on the men’s team is Flying Officer Rob Bell, aged 27. Playing openside flanker on the day, Mr Bell is a Training Officer by trade, having graduated from the RAF School of Physical Training two years ago. He is currently Officer Commanding Force Development & Physical Education at RAF Halton.

The last match the male team played against Bristol was in 1970 when Bristol emerged narrow winners, the match finishing 14-15.

He said: “To play for UKAF is the pinnacle of my service rugby career. I first got involved in rugby when Newcastle Falcons did a talent identification day at my school. My rugby ambition is to continue to play Service & Civilian Rugby to the highest level possible for as long as I can, all whilst having a successful & varied career in the Air Force.”