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Rugby Lions

Rugby Lions RFC
Full nameThe Rugby Football Club
UnionWarwickshire RFU
Nickname(s)The Lions
Founded1873; 147 years ago (1873)
LocationRugby, Warwickshire, England
Ground(s)Webb Ellis Road (Capacity: 1,000)
ChairmanJeff Nowill
Coach(es)Dave Addleton, Rob Dignum
Captain(s)Chris Wood
League(s)Midlands 1 East
Team kit
Official website

Rugby Lions, nicknamed The Lions, are a rugby union club based in Rugby, Warwickshire in England. The club play their home matches at Webb Ellis Road. Their developmental squad is known as the Crusaders. The club also has a ladies team known as the Lionesses. They currently compete in Midlands 1 East at the sixth tier of the English rugby union system, having switched from Midlands 1 West at the end of the 2017-18 season.


Rugby Lions are one of only four teams in England permitted to wear an all-white strip, with England National Rugby Union Team, Rugby School and St Paul’s School being the others. In recent times, the Lions have not exercised this right, with the home kit normally using black shorts. For the final game of the 2011–12 season against Hinckley however, the Lions appeared in white shorts as well. In a four-year span from April 2011 to September 2015, the Lions did not lose a single league fixture, winning all 60 matches in that period before their run was ended by a 31-35 defeat at Ledbury RFC in the 2015-16 season opener.[1]

On 17 August 2012, the Rugby Advertiser released an announcement,[2] within which was an RFU statement, which confirmed that the Lions had failed to pay off their debts in time, and had been removed from National League 2 South. It did not however say anything concerning whether or not the Lions would still compete in any division in 2012–13. At a public meeting held on 30 August, attended by over 200 people, club owner David Owen revealed that the Lions would indeed not be competing in any league for the 2012–13 season, but would instead be organising a series of friendlies. The club used the help of many supporters and local clubs to help out. With many of those present at the meeting putting their names down to volunteer. Twenty fixtures had to be fulfilled to demonstrate that the club was able to put out a side and run successfully as a club. Many former players including the clubs 'tailenders' team came together to enable the Lions to fulfill those matches.

In May 2013, it was announced that the Lions' bid to be accepted back into the RFU league system had been successful, although they were forced to rejoin at the lowest possible level, Midlands 5 West (South).[3] On 9 August 2013, it was announced that the Lions would be featured on BT Sport's rugby programming into the new season; with the Lions' First XV travelling to the studio to participate in filming on the indoor pitch.

Club honours

2011–12 season

In July 2011, businessman – and ex-player – Michael Aland bought the club, with an ambition to becoming a Premiership side in around 5 years. Soon after, he recruited several highly experienced players and coaches, including Neil Back (Head Coach) and Ben Gollings (Player/Backs Coach).[4][5] Having been relegated to the National League 3 Midlands previous season, most players from the previous season had left the club. Players who remained with the club included Nick Walton, Ben Nuttall, Callum Tucker, Fraser Tait, Matt Mountford, Neil Davies, Paul Davies and Jack Young. This meant that almost all of the entire 2011–12 squad had to be either bought or promoted from the youth team. Some of the players brought in had been at the club before, such as Ade Hales and Beau Carney. The new additions worked, with the Lions winning every game in the first half of the season, a run they carried on into 2012. The league title was secured with two games remaining on 31 March 2012 in the home game against Dudley Kingswinford, with the Lions triumphing 19–14. The Lions also won the Warwickshire Cup, winning 10–9 in the final against Sutton Coldfield.

Notable players (past and present)



Season results

Results of league and cup competitions by season
Season Division P W D L F A Pts Pos NL Cup Warks Cup Mid Jnr Vase Jnr Vase Mid Int Vase Warks Shield Clon Cup
2009–10 NL2N 30 13 0 17 665 641 72 8th
2010–11 NL2N 29 3 0 26 397 1479 20 15th R1
2011-12 MP 26 26 0 0 1242 269 127 1st W

2013-14 M5WS 16 16 0 0 941 84 80 1st W RU SF
2014-15 M4WS 18 18 0 0 843 109 83 1st W SF W W
2015-16 M3WS 22 17 2 3 685 181 90 1st R2 R3
2016-17 M2WS 22 18 0 4 800 350 91 1st RU
2017-18 M1W 26 8 2 16 542 711 48 11th SF
2018-19 M1E 26 7 0 19 612 795 48 11th SF
2019-20 M1E 22 10 0 12 455 551 49 9th F


  1. ^ "Rugby Lions". 12 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  2. ^ "RUGBY LIONS: It's all over as Lions fail to meet RFU deadline". Rugby Advertiser. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  3. ^ Newcombe, Jon (2 June 2013). "Lions are growing new grass roots on way back". The Rugby Paper. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Neil Back to take over as coach at lowly Rugby Lions". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Rhod (9 July 2011). "Launceston's Gollings joins Rugby revolution". This is Cornwall. Retrieved 15 March 2014.

External links