South West Rugby League

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South West Men's League
Current season or competition:
2013 South West Rugby League season
Sport Rugby league football
Formerly known as Rugby League Conference South West division
Instituted 2003
Number of teams 6
Country England
Holders Devon Sharks (2013)
Related competition Rugby League Conference

The South West Rugby League (SWRL) also known as the South West Men's League is a rugby league competition for teams in the South West of England. It was formerly part of the Rugby League Conference.

The SWRL is a semi-autonomous league with a six member committee under an RFL appointed chairman. The SWRL has six member clubs from Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

History[edit]

The Rugby League Conference was founded in 1997 as the Southern Conference, a 10-team pilot league for teams in the South of England and the English Midlands.

The conference made the leap from 30 to 52 teams in 2003 and a South West Division appeared for the first time. It disappeared in 2004 as South West teams took part in the Western Division and Cardiff Demons joined the newly created Welsh Division.

The Premier divisions saw a change in boundaries leaving the North Premier division covering a larger area to give the English Midlands clubs their own premier division without having to face heartland teams, this left the West Midlands division with too few teams to run, resulting in a merged West Midlands and South West Division.

After a campaign by the RFL to form new clubs in the South West, a new South West division was created in 2007 for teams from the West Country. By 2010, there were enough teams to have a South West conference split into two pools.

For the 2011 season, there was a new RLC West of England alongside the RLC South West. The initial idea was that the two leagues would compete side by side with play-offs at the end of the season to decide an overall South West champion. In 2011, Gloucestershire Warriors defeated Somerset Vikings in the Championship play-off. In 2012, the intended play-off match was cancelled as the majority of the Devon Sharks team, the South West Champions, were unable to break off from the start of the rugby union season to fulfill the fixture.

The South Western Rugby League was formed in February 2013 to organise and administer the South West Men's League following the switch of the majority of community clubs in England to a summer season and the ending of the Rugby League Conference in 2011.

Rugby League Conference Pyramid[edit]

This is officially the highest tier 4 league that South West clubs can play in.

2013 South West Men's League[edit]

Club Founded Location RLC Honours
Cornish Rebels 2013 Redruth, Cornwall
Devon Sharks 2006 Torquay, Devon RLC South West: 2009, 2012, 2013
Exeter Centurions 2007 Exeter, Devon
North Devon Raiders 2009 Barnstaple, Devon
Plymouth Titans 1985 Plymouth, Devon RLC South West: 2007, 2011
Somerset Vikings A 2003 North Petherton, Somerset RLC Western: 2004 RLC South West: 2011

South West Cup[edit]

The South West cup is a knock-out competition played for by members of the South West Division. It was originally known as the Devon Cup.

  • 2006: East Devon Eagles (as Devon Cup)
  • 2007: East Devon Eagles (as Devon Cup)
  • 2008: Plymouth Titans (as Devon Cup)
  • 2009: East Devon Eagles
  • 2010: Devon Sharks
  • 2011: Plymouth Titans
  • 2012: Exeter Centurions
  • 2013: Cornish Rebels

South West Nines[edit]

The South West Nines is a rugby league nines competition. It is competed for by RLC South West and RLC West of England teams and local student rugby league sides.

  • 2007 Plymouth Titans
  • 2008 Exeter University
  • 2009 Exeter University
  • 2010 Exeter University
  • 2011 Exeter University
  • 2012 Plymouth Titans
  • 2013 Exeter University

County Challenge[edit]

In 2010, a ″one–off″ match was played between Devon and Cornwall with Devon winning 44–20.[1] The match was featured on the BBC national news and was widely covered by the rugby league press. It is now competed for annually and known as the Martin Roddy MBE Trophy.

  • 2010 Devon
  • 2011 Devon
  • 2012 Cornwall

South West County Championship Festival[edit]

The first South West County Championship took place on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2011 at Aretians RFC in Bristol. The 2012 Event took place at Bridgwater RFC in Somerset.

  • 2011 Hampshire
  • 2012 Hampshire

Participating teams by season[edit]

  • 2003: Bristol Sonics, Cardiff Demons, Gloucestershire Warriors, Oxford Cavaliers, Somerset Vikings, Worcestershire Saints
  • 2005: Bristol Sonics, Gloucestershire Warriors, Oxford Cavaliers, Plymouth, Somerset Vikings, Thames Valley
  • 2007: Devon Sharks, East Devon Eagles, Exeter Centurions, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings 'A'
  • 2008: Devon Sharks, East Devon Eagles, Exeter Centurions, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings
  • 2009: Devon Sharks, East Devon Eagles, Exeter Centurions, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings, South Dorset Giants
  • 2010: Devon Sharks, East Devon Eagles, Exeter Centurions, North Devon Raiders, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings, South Dorset Giants, South Somerset Warriors
  • 2011: Devon Sharks, East Devon Eagles, Exeter Centurions, North Devon Raiders, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings, South Dorset Giants, (South Somerset Warriors withdrew mid-season)
  • 2012: Devon Sharks, Exeter Centurions, Exmouth Saints (failed to complete the season), North Devon Raiders, Plymouth Titans
  • 2013: Cornish Rebels, Devon Sharks, Exeter Centurions, North Devon Raiders, Plymouth Titans, Somerset Vikings A

Winners[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Devon face rivals Cornwall in historic match". BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 

External links[edit]