The club was established circa 1877 by Alexander Birkin after returning from Rugby School, where he was introduced to the sport. The Birkin family later purchased the land at Ireland Avenue that would be the home of the club until 2006.
The club's heyday was in the late 1980s with a number of top international players representing the first XV. These included Simon Hodgkinson, Rob Andrew, Dusty Hare and Brian Moore (also a British Lion) representing England and Chris Gray representing Scotland. Slightly earlier than this the clubs David Jones player 19 times for Wales, and is still working within the club to this day. However, the advent of professionalism saw the Green & Whites fall on hard times and the first XV narrowly avoided relegation into the regional divisions in 2002/03. The club has bounced back since then and was promoted into National League One in 2003/04. The club finished a creditable 7th in 2005/06 before leaving Ireland Avenue after 102 years.
The club currently plays at Meadow Lane. On 30 July 2010 the club signed an agreement to become part of Notts County PLC. In early July 2012 it was announced that Martin Haag had become the new director of rugby at the club, filling the void left by Glenn 'Jackie Moon' Delaney departing for London Irish. Upon his arrival, Haag immediately conducted a training session with the players, something not seen at the club since 2002.
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