Some of the toughest amateur rugby players in the country will face off in Salford this weekend when the Army take on the Navy in a double-header.
Salford City Roosters will host the Armed Forces Academy Challenge at their Eccles ground at 11am, that’s free to watch.
Then come the big guns for the seniors match, a 12.45pm kick off at the AJ Bell Stadium ahead of the Devils’ crucial Super League Qualifier clash with London Broncos.
Tickets for the main event are just £5 for serving members of the Armed Forces up until midnight tonight, and £10 in advance for the general public, with under 17s going free.
Tickets can be ordered online at reddevilsrugby.co.uk/tickets or by calling 0161 786 1570.
These matches have a reputation for being fast-paced, high-scoring affairs.
RAF weapons technician Jordan Andrade was even offered a Salford Red Devils contract after putting in an eye-catching performance in last year’s fixture.
Looking back on last year, Andrade remembers what it felt like to walk out at the AJ Bell Stadium in such a big game.
He said: “The Armed Forces game last year was a fantastic experience.
“As an amateur it brilliant to be able to play in a high-profile fixture like that in a place like the AJ Bell, it was an amazing feeling when Salford offered me a contract off the back of my performance.
“For all the servicemen playing rugby league, these games mean a great deal.
“It’s a chance to test yourself against the other forces and be able to represent your own force with pride.
“I’m sure we’ll see plenty of passion from the lads on Saturday”.
The Armed Forces games have proved popular with Salford supporters in recent years, with the event now being a regular fixture in the Red Devils calendar.
The academy match also promises to be an exciting encounter as the Army and Navy development squads face off in the heart of the city of Salford.
These fixtures are a fantastic opportunity for supporters to sample a unique rivalry between two groups of players at the peak of their professions.
Salford Red Devils Foundation Rugby League Development Manager Danny Barton is excited to see the games played a fantastic community venues.
He said: “It’s brilliant that the Army and Navy are playing at a local club such as Salford City Roosters, as well as the AJ Bell Stadium.
“Having high profile games such as this played at amateur clubs is great exposure for the community game and will hopefully inspire people to get involved in the game of rugby league.”
The academy game kicks off at 11am at Moat Hall on Hallsworth Road in Eccles, followed by the first team game at the AJ Bell Stadium which kicks off at 12.45pm.