The Royal Navy is the United Kingdoms naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the medieval period. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century, from the middle decades of the 17th century and through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century it was the worlds most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War. The Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the world power during the 19th. Due to this historical prominence, it is common, even among non-Britons, following World War I, the Royal Navy was significantly reduced in size, although at the onset of the Second World War it was still the worlds largest. By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the worlds largest, during the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the GIUK gap.
The Royal Navy is part of Her Majestys Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the power in the 10th century. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Medieval fleets, in England as elsewhere, were almost entirely composed of merchant ships enlisted into service in time of war. Englands naval organisation was haphazard and the mobilisation of fleets when war broke out was slow, early in the war French plans for an invasion of England failed when Edward III of England destroyed the French fleet in the Battle of Sluys in 1340. Major fighting was confined to French soil and Englands naval capabilities sufficed to transport armies and supplies safely to their continental destinations. Such raids halted finally only with the occupation of northern France by Henry V.
Henry VII deserves a large share of credit in the establishment of a standing navy and he embarked on a program of building ships larger than heretofore. He invested in dockyards, and commissioned the oldest surviving dry dock in 1495 at Portsmouth, a standing Navy Royal, with its own secretariat, dockyards and a permanent core of purpose-built warships, emerged during the reign of Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I England became involved in a war with Spain, the new regimes introduction of Navigation Acts, providing that all merchant shipping to and from England or her colonies should be carried out by English ships, led to war with the Dutch Republic. In the early stages of this First Anglo-Dutch War, the superiority of the large, heavily armed English ships was offset by superior Dutch tactical organisation and the fighting was inconclusive
Sean Long is an English retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, and 2000s. An England and Great Britain international Scrum-half, Long is regarded by many as one of the finest British players of his generation and he began his career with Wigan and played for Widnes and Hull F. C. but is best known for his time playing for St. Following his retirement as a player, Long began a coaching career and he is currently assistant coach of St. Helens and the Samoa national rugby league team. After signing from local side, Wigan St Judes, Long started his career at Wigan. After Wigan released him from his contract, Long moved to Widnes and he was signed by St Helens in 1997 to replace the departing Bobbie Goulding. In the 1997 post season, Long was selected to play for Great Britain from the bench in two matches of the Super League Test series against Australia. Long played for St. Helens from the bench, kicking two goals in their 1999 Super League Grand Final victory over Bradford Bulls.
Long twice set the St. Helens record for the number of points scored in a Super League season, gaining 284 points in 1999 and 352 points in 2000. Long played for St. Helens at scrum half and kicked four goals in their 2000 Super League Grand Final victory over Wigan Warriors, as Super League V champions, St. Helens played against 2000 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2001 World Club Challenge. Long played at half, scoring a try, three goals and a field goal in Saints victory. Long played for St. Helens at scrum half, scoring a try, a goal, having won Super League VI, St Helens contested the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters. Long played at stand-off in Saints 38-0 loss, in 2004, Long served a three-month ban for his part in the 2004 rugby league betting scandal. Despite this, Long was selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament, in the final against Australia he played at scrum half in the Lions 44-4 loss.
By 2005, Long had scored 2,000 points for St Helens, St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull F. C. and Long played at scrum half in Saints 26-4 victory. Following the season, Long was selected for Great Britain in the Tri nations, Long played in the first game between Great Britain and Australia, which resulted in Great Britains first victory in Sydney in 18 years, with a score of 23-12. However, on 13 November 2006, Long controversially returned home from the Tri-Nations tour, as 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Long captained Saints from scrum half in their 18-14 victory, St. Helens in 2007 took all honours apart from the Super League title when they were beaten by Leeds at Old Trafford in the Grand Final. In 2007 Long received a match for St Helens against Leigh
Twickenham Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Twickenham, south west London, England. Owned by the body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union. The RFU headquarters are based in the stadium and it is the second largest stadium in the UK, after Wembley Stadium, and the fourth largest in Europe. Twickenham is often referred to as the home of rugby union, the stadium and operated by the RFU, hosts rugby union fixtures year round. It is the home of the English rugby union team, who nearly all their home games at the stadium. Twickenham hosts Englands home Six Nations matches, as well as inbound touring teams from the Southern Hemisphere, apart from its relationship with the national team, Twickenham is the venue for a number of other domestic and international rugby union matches. It is the venue for the final of the Aviva Premiership as well as the season-opening London Double Header, Big Game, anglo-Welsh Cup, Heineken Cup and Champions Cup finals have been held here in the past.
Sold out Tests against New Zealand and South Africa at Crystal Palace saw the RFU realise the benefit of owning their own ground. Committee member William Williams and treasurer William Cail led the way to purchasing a 10.25 acre market garden in Twickenham in 1907 for £5,500 12s 6d, the first stands were constructed the following year. Before the ground was purchased, it was used to grow cabbages, after further expenditure on roads, the first game, between Harlequins v. Richmond, was played on 2 October 1909, and the first international, England v. Wales, on 15 January 1910. At the time of the English-Welsh game, the stadium had a capacity of 20,000 spectators. During World War I the ground was used for cattle, king George V unveiled a war memorial in 1921. In 1926, the first Middlesex Sevens took place at the ground, in 1927 the first Varsity Match took place at Twickenham for the first time. On 19 March 1938, BBC Television broadcast the England – Scotland match from Twickenham, in 1959, to mark 50 years of the ground, a combined side of England and Wales beat Ireland and Scotland by 26 points to 17.
Coming into the last match of the 1988 season, against the Irish, the Twickenham crowd had only seen one solitary England try in the previous two years, and at half-time against Ireland they were 0–3 down. During the second half a remarkable transformation took place and England started playing a game many had doubted they were capable of producing. A 0–3 deficit was turned into a 35–3 win, with England scoring six tries and this day saw the origins of the adoption of the negro spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot as a terrace song. In the 35–3 win against Ireland, three of Englands tries were scored by Chris Oti, a player who had made a reputation for himself that season as a speedster on the left wing
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdoms aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. The RAF describe its mission statement as, an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission. The mission statement is supported by the RAFs definition of air power, Air power is defined as the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events. Today the Royal Air Force maintains a fleet of various types of aircraft. The majority of the RAFs rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces, most of the RAFs aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. It was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps, at that time it was the largest air force in the world.
The RAFs naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924, the RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War. The RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed Article XV squadrons for service with RAF formations. Many individual personnel from countries, and exiles from occupied Europe. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe, the largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command.
Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, during the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Before Britain developed its own nuclear weapons the RAF was provided with American nuclear weapons under Project E and these were initially armed with nuclear gravity bombs, being equipped with the Blue Steel missile. Following the development of the Royal Navys Polaris submarines, the nuclear deterrent passed to the navys submarines on 30 June 1969. With the introduction of Polaris, the RAFs strategic nuclear role was reduced to a tactical one and this tactical role was continued by the V bombers into the 1980s and until 1998 by Tornado GR1s. For much of the Cold War the primary role of the RAF was the defence of Western Europe against potential attack by the Soviet Union, with many squadrons based in West Germany. With the decline of the British Empire, global operations were scaled back, despite this, the RAF fought in many battles in the Cold War period
Rugby League Conference
The Rugby League Conference, was a series of regionally based divisions of amateur rugby league teams spread throughout England and Wales. The Southern Conference League was founded as a 10-team competition in 1997, the league steadily expanded over the first few seasons right up to the fringes of the heartlands, before expanding into Wales for the first time in 2001 with the addition of Cardiff Demons. The league expanded into the North East that same season, in 2003 National League Three was founded including some of the stronger Rugby League Conference clubs and some BARLA clubs. This same season saw massive expansion of the Rugby League Conference including an entire Welsh division, the league pushed its borders further including more teams from the less rugby league playing areas of the counties considered the heartlands and went as far south west as Somerset. The league expanded further in 2004 by allowing entry to heartland clubs, for the 2005 season the competition was split into two tiers, with Premier divisions being created for above the existing regional divisions.
The next major changes were in 2007 when National League Three, the Rugby League Conference celebrated passing the 100 club barrier in 2010. 2011 was the last season before the league was split up into multiple leagues, a selection is made for England Lionhearts who represent England in the Skanska Amateur Four Nations competition against national amateur sides from Wales and Ireland. There were many changes in format of the Rugby League Conference as it expanded over time, between 2005 and 2011, it was competed for by the RLC Premier divisions. From 2012 onwards, it has been contested by the non-heartlands successor leagues
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962.
Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen.
The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of football, it originated in England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules gradually changed with the aim of producing a faster, in rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing teams goal line, this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals, after each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is a sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, New Zealand.
The European Super League and Australasian National Rugby League are the club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954, the current holders are Australia. The first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a faction of Englands Rugby Football Union. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves rugby football leagues, in 1922, the Northern Union changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as rugby league football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union, within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution. In 1897, the line-out was abolished and in 1898 professionalism introduced, in 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball.
A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Sydney, There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Batemans Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, in 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the tackle a scrum was to be formed. This was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover,1967 saw the first professional Sunday matches of rugby league played