Fife rugby club helps launch new trophy marking Auld Alliance links

Duffus Park, home of the Howe Knights.
Duffus Park, home of the Howe Knights.

A local rugby club have been involved in helping launch a new trophy commemorating the link between France and Scotland.

The Auld Alliance Trophy was contested for the first time on Sunday, as Scotland defeated France 32-26 in their 6 Nations Championship match.

Howe Knights Veterans’ Team helped launch the new trophy last week, having been involved in a tournament in 2017 for the predecessor to the new international trophy.

Members of the Knights joined the launch group on Friday, visiting the Scottish Rugby war memorial and the French embassy.

The Knights were invited to attend having taken part in the Eric Milroy Trophy in Amiens in 2017.

The trophy, named after the man who captained Scotland in their final game before World War I began, was organised to commemorate the 22 French and 30 Scottish internationalists who perished during the war.

The driving force behind the trophy, and then the creation of the Auld Alliance Trophy, was Patrick Caublot from the Amiens club, who invited the Howe of Fife Knights to take part.

Gordon Stocker, vice-captain of the team, explained that their previous visit to France to take part in the tournament had helped raise awareness of the want for a trophy between the two nations.

He said: “It’s a massive achievement.

“We were on French TV and in the newspapers. We never expected anything like that at all.

“We were greatly honoured to be involved.”

During the team’s visit to Amiens 2017, they travelled to World War I battlefields and local sports clubs, and attended receptions and a service at the cathedral.

In 2016 the club hosted the French team Suprr XV, before travelling through to France in 2017 for the new tournament.

Gordon said that the visits were a “nice way of commemorating the links” between the countries and said the Amiens area was “great for remembering the sacrifice of the home nations”.

While the Eric Milroy Trophy has been replaced by the Auld Alliance Trophy, and now involves the international sides, Gordon said Howe of Fife Knights still intends to visit France in the future to take part in tournaments.

He said the club had already received an invitation to play the veteran side of Men Coz Pays de Lorient.