Hartlepool Rovers

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Hartlepool Rovers
Full name Hartlepool Rovers Football Club
Union RFU
Founded 1879; 135 years ago (1879)
Ground(s) New Friarage
Chairman Bill Dale
Coach(es) Carl Robinson, Ian Cook, Graham Puckrin, Mick Ainsley.
League(s) Durham/Northumberland 1
Team kit
Official website

Hartlepool Rovers are a rugby union club who play at The Friarage, West View Road in Hartlepool. The club play in Durham/Northumberland 1, the seventh tier of the English rugby union system after being relegated in the 2010–11. Carl Robinson and Graham Puckrin are head coaches and Ian Cook is the fitness guru.


Hartlepool Rovers was formed in 1879 and played at the Old Friarage in the Headland area of Hartlepool, before moving to West View Road. In the 1890s Rovers supplied numerous county, divisional and international players. The club itself hosted many high profile matches including the inaugural Barbarians match, the New Zealand Maoris and the legendary All Blacks who played against a combined Hartlepool Club team. In the 1911-12 season, Hartlepool Rovers broke the world record for the number of points scored in a season racking up 860 points including 122 tries, 87 conversions, five penalties and eleven drop goals.

The club's most famous player was R F (Bob) Oakes, who died in 1952. He also played for Headingley and was president of the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union and president of the Rugby Football Union. Oakes is remembered every year by the R F Oakes Memorial Match, followed by a dinner for the players taking part. Players such as Will Carling Tony Ward, Jim Glennon and Terry Kennedy, have played in the game. Over the years the 'Oakes game' has become a prestigious match for players, reaching its hay day in the late 70's and 80's under the supervision of the then club Chairman Tony Lowe.

Hartlepool Rovers were the team responsible for making the four, three-quarters formation popular amongst clubs, a formation which later became accepted as a standard.

Notable past players[edit]


  • Goodwin, Terry Complete Who's Who of International Rugby (Cassell, 1987, ISBN 0-7137-1838-2)
  1. ^ Godwin, p23
  2. ^ Godwin, p116
  3. ^ Godwin, p445

Coordinates: 54°42′20″N 1°12′40″W / 54.70556°N 1.21111°W / 54.70556; -1.21111