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Rugby players head north

Army Air Corps Flying Tigers ready to take the field and win

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The Flying Tigers will gear up Nov. 6 to face the Seattle Rugby Team as part of the XV Series and the first time for a combined Air Force/Army team to compete together in the Military Match Up.

"Rugby is the greatest game on the planet," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Leroi Edwards with the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron and one of the players on the Flying Tigers. "Being able to play this game together as service members is always special, and these competitions enable us to express pride in our home units, rugby clubs and communities.

The Flying Tigers is an all-male team consisting of 31 airmen, Guardians and soldiers from various duty stations. The team was named after U.S. Army Air Corps Maj. Gen. Claire Chennault's 1st American Volunteer Group in World War II, which was composed of pilots from the U. S. Army Air Corps, Navy and Marine Corps.

The All-Army team has won all but two Armed Forces Championships for 7s since 2012. The All-Air Force team was the predominant force when services were competing in the series from 2000 to 2011. The teams plan to assemble together every other year, following 2021.

The Seattle Rugby Club, formerly known as Seattle Saracens, has been an elite amateur rugby club in Seattle since 1966. The team regularly volunteers with Joint Base Lewis-McChord in some capacity. In August, members of the club volunteered to cook for the Soldier Recovery Unit.

The match will be held at the Starfire Sports stadium in Tukwila, ahead of the Seattle Seawolves match. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

"The game of rugby personifies the warrior ethos and leadership spirit expected of us, and it is a blessing that we are able to compete in this light against a very talented Seattle Rugby Club side," Edwards said.

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