Birmingham & Solihull R.F.C.
Birmingham and Solihull Rugby Football Club are a rugby union club representing Birmingham and Solihull. It was formed in 1989 by a merger of the original Birmingham and Solihull rugby clubs, the team have since shortened this to Bees. The club however hit rock bottom just two later in 2005–06 when they finished last in National Division One but were saved from relegation because of league expansion. In October 2006 it was announced that Bees were in the stage of building a £60 million super stadium at their training ground known as Portway just off the M42 in Solihull. It would be one of the nations largest sports villages to rival anything built for the 2012 Olympics, plans include a regional sports academy, education and conference centre,12,000 capacity stadium, seven all-weather rugby pitches, archery and shooting ranges and a watersports lake. In June 2007 Bees coach Steve Williams left the club one year still left on his contact to become assistant manager at Magners League side Ulster. Williams a former Northampton and London Irish player won 29 caps for Wales, the 2007–08 season began under a split coaching structure in which two former England Sevens internationals had equal control over the squad. Ben Harvey coached the backs and Russell Earnshaw was player/forwards coach, the coaching structure however was widely viewed as unsuccessful and former Bees scrum-half Harvey was sacked shortly before Christmas. On a temporary basis former Rotherham head coach Andre Bester was appointed to charge of the side before being replaced by former Wales A coach Allan Lewis. In November 2007 it was announced that Bees would sell their Sharmans Cross Road pitch, on 28 January former Llanelli centre Allan Lewis was announced as the head coach of Bees. Lewis brought experience to the club after previously holding the role of coach at Celtic Warriors, Moseley, Newport. Lewis had also worked with the Welsh national squad working as selector, backs coach, however, by 17 April it was reported that Lewis would not remain at the club past the 2007–08 season and would return to his post at Hartpury College. Bees were relegated to National Division Two at the end of the 2007–08 season finishing in 15th position, following their relegation they would also end the clubs association with the Pertemps Group losing the monikor of Pertemps Bees and changing back to the original name of Birmingham & Solihull. Birmingham and Solihull finished the 2008–09 season as winners of National Division Two and were promoted to the newly formed Championship, fly half Mark Woodrow finished as top point scorer within the National Leagues and winger Simon Hunt as top try scorer. Bees campaign in the 2009–10 season was blighted by administration, a fate also befell Coventry. Bees finished the season on negative points, rock bottom of the table. However, with a mini-league of the four teams to be played to decide relegation. Unfortunately, due to an administration error back in January, Bees were to start the league on −2 points
Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club
Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club is a rugby union club based in the city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. The first XV currently play in National Three of the Midlands Division and it is one of the oldest rugby football clubs still in active in England, although the oldest in Staffordshire is Stafford Rugby Union Football Club, which was founded the year before, in 1873. The club runs three senior teams, a team, two womens teams and a youth section ranging from under sevens to colts and includes a womens under-18 team. Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club was founded in 1874 based at the club ground. In 1890 the association football section broke away to form the City Football Club Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club was re-formed in 1925 and it played on various sites for a time until a permanent ground was acquired in Boley Lane in 1961. The current ground, Cooke fields, was opened in 1985, Midlands 2 West champions, 2005–06, 2009–10 Midlands Division 1 West champions, 2013–14 Official club site
Sandbach RUFC is a rugby union team based in the Cheshire town of Sandbach. It operates four Senior sides, Junior and Senior Colts and ten Mini/Junior teams, the first XV plays in the fifth tier of the English league system — National League 3 Midlands. The second XV plays in the Bateman BMW Premier League with the third and fourth playing in the Raging Bull Division 3 South. Sandbach RUFC, formally known as Old Sandbachians RUFC, was formed in 1936, the Club reformed in 1956 and used one of the Sandbach Schools rugby pitches on which to play home games. Local premises near to the playing fields were used as changing rooms and the Iron Grey. Old boys from Sandbach School were encouraged back to the game, in 1960 the Club began admitting non-old boys and in May 1961 a piece of land on Middlewich Road which backed onto Sandbach School premises was purchased and the first Clubhouse was built. In the summer of 1980 Old Sandbachians moved from Middlewich Road to Bradwell Road where a new Clubhouse, by the start of season 1981–82 the Club had changed its name from Old Sandbachians to Sandbach Rugby Club. Sandbach has a history of producing top quality players and over the past 20 years the Mini/Junior section has produced a steady stream of top flight players. In the spring of 2012, Premiership side, Sale Sharks featured five players in a Premiership game against Wasps. In 2011, Sandbach became a CASC, reaffirming their principles of not paying players, in 2012 the club celebrated winning the North 1 West league and with the ensuing promotion celebrated its first ever season of National League Rugby in 2012–13. Sandbach have managed to retain National League status for the past two seasons, narrowly avoiding relegation on the day of the 2013-14 season with a bonus point victory over Longton. In May 2014 it was announced by the club that Head Coach Simon Verbickas would leave the club to take a position at Caldy after 4 years at the club. Sandbach replaced Verbickas within weeks, with coaches Pete Allen and Scott Barrow installed as Joint Head Coaches at the club
Old Northamptonians RFC
The Old Northamptonians RFC was founded in 1923 by W C C Cooke who at that time was Headmaster of Northampton Grammar School, England. The aim was to former pupils of the School the opportunity to play rugby union when they left school. The colours of the kit are red, yellow and blue, the players were either pupils or ex pupils or masters at the School until the club went open in the 1970s. The club still has close links with the School which is now Northampton School for Boys. In the 1990s the ON’s won promotion four times and the Alliance Cup on three successive occasions, the Mini/Junior Section was established in 1990 and, from the 20 or so young lads who started, this part of the Club has grown to over 300 registered players. As the players moved through the age groups to 17 and 18 a Colts side was formed, the 2009–10 season was also extremely successful for the 1st XV. After being promoted to Midlands 1 East under influential new coach Mark Kefford their main aim was to consolidate their place in this league. However they even surprised themselves by coming second in the league and, despite this the club will continue their policy of not paying players and attempting to produce home grown talent. The Rugby Section is part of the Old Northamptonians Association which also includes a football, cricket, each section is responsible for their own management but all pay a contribution to the Association which along with bar profits goes towards the upkeep of the Clubhouse and playing surfaces. After receiving funding from Cripps Foundation the new Sir Humphrey Cripps’ Pavilion was opened in September 2005, Midlands 3 East champions, 2003-04, 2008-09 Old Northamptonians RFC
Nuneaton RFC is an English rugby union club. They were founded in 1879 and play at Liberty Way in Nuneaton and they currently play in National League 3 Midlands, a fifth tier league in the English rugby union system. Nuneaton R. F. C. was founded on 5 November 1879 in the town’s Newdegate Arms Hotel, a 2nd XV was formed in 1893 following amalgamation with the local side St. Mary’s. The shirts were black with a red sash, which subsequently changed to the traditional red, white. By the outbreak of World War I, the Nuns had established a reputation within rugby circles as a result of their performances. Fixtures included the likes of Leicester, Rugby, Northampton, Bedworth, however, the war left them without a ground. The Nuns embarked on a ground sharing scheme with the cricket club in 1919 which only lasted a year. Many improvements were made to the making it one of the best in the area. The ground was known as the Harry Cleaver Ground, in recognition of one of the Club’s stalwarts, the current Liberty Way site, which comprises 50 acres compared to the previous five acres, was acquired and the first match was played on 9 December 1995. The Club was one of the first to recognise the demise of rugby and in the early 1970s embarked on a program to introduce Mini. This early initiative has been rewarded with the Mini & Junior’s growing from strength to strength with numerous players going on to represent the 1st XV, Premiership. Life in National Division Two lasted only two seasons, the 2003–04 season saw the Nuns lose five of their first eight league games. However, they suffered three more reversals in their remaining matches and ultimately finished third, narrowly missing out on promotion. Nuns then came back down to earth when they were relegated back into National Division Three North at the end of the 2004–05 season. Early season form was much to blame picking up only one win. Things did start going Nuns way in the half of the season finishing third bottom. The Club retained many of its players for the 2005–06 season and recruited well, which was reflected in the season’s results, four losses in the remaining part of the season, two to the eventual league winners Bradford & Bingley, saw the Nuns finish as runners up. Promotion back to National Division Two was achieved following a 15–6 play off victory over North Walsham in mid May, however The Nuns only lasted two seasons in National Two again