In what proved to be a day of endurance, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard squared off against one another yesterday for the second day of the fifth annual Interservice Championship Rugby Tournament at the Lincoln Memorial.
With tournament records of 3-1 each, defending champion Air Force and Navy will face each other today in the finals. With records of 2-2 and 1-3, respectively, Army will take on the Marine Corps in the consolation match today.
To Air Force Coach Vern Francis, rugby embodies the traits of a good soldier or airman. "It requires a tremendous amount of teamwork, courage and physical conditioning," said Francis. "It's perfectly suited for the military." Having played two games Friday and two yesterday, the players proved Francis's point.
According to Ret. Col. Dick Battock, president of the Combined Services Committee, the availability of competitors for this weekend's event has been hampered by Operation Desert Shield. But with many of the players who were scheduled to participate in Saudi Arabia, it seemed even more important to the tournament organizers that the competition continue as planned.
The Army had six members of its team fly in from Germany. Other players came from as far as California and the Phillipines.
Today's games begin at 9 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial rugby pitches.