Hackney RFC

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Hackney RFC
HRFC Logo.jpg
Full name Hackney Rugby Football Club
Union RFU
Nickname(s) The Griffins
Founded 1963
Location Hackney, England
Ground(s) Springfield, Upper Clapton
Chairman John Young
President Roy Irwin
Coach(es) Ben Scanlan, Fred Pentecost, Morgan Whitlock, Mick Ryan, James Hardwick, Tim Cox
Captain(s) Darren Griffin, Ollie Hart, Matt Hanton, Eimhin Raferty
League(s) London 3 North West
Official website

Hackney Rugby Football Club is a rugby club based in Hackney, London, England.

Hackney currently field four senior men's teams as well as one women's team. The men's 1st XV compete in Herts/Middlesex One (Level 9). The 2nd XV play in the Hertfordshire Merit League 5, while the 3rd XV are competing in Merit League 7 for the 11/12 season, the 4th XV have begun playing friendlies in the 11/12 season. The main aim of the club is to create playing opportunities for every group within the London Borough of Hackney and surrounding areas, from mini (U9-U10) level continuously up to senior level. The local newspaper, the Hackney Gazette, regularly report on the clubs progress throughout the season.


The club as it is now was formed in 1965, when it was run as an old boys club for former pupils of Woodberry Down Comprehensive School. The club adopted the Griffin from the badge worn on the school's rugby shirt (the old year 5 if memory serves me[who?] right) which in turn was taken from the school's crest. The club was known as The Old Griffins and they wore the school's colours (navy, gold and sky blue) in a rugby league-style 'V'. The Old Griffins was an open club from its early days and only changed its name to Hackney RFC when it was in negotiations with Hackney Council over the vacant Spinghill Sports Ground.[citation needed]

Clubhouse fire[edit]

The prospects for Hackney RFC were severely damaged when their clubhouse was destroyed by a fire in April 1999. At the beginning of that season, the club fielded four sides on a regular basis with the 1st XV competing in London 3 (Level 7). Without facilities, the club lost a large part of its playing base. The club plummeted down through the leagues and in 2004 were playing in Herts/Middlesex North 3 (Level 11) fulfilling their fixtures on an intermittent basis and often playing without a full complement of 15 players. The club had no changing rooms and used the facilities of the Lea Valley Rowing Club. Post-match hospitality was provided by The Swan Public House.

Recent history[edit]

In recent years the club has managed to reverse the decline through player enthusiasm and the unwavering commitment of the club's committee. The 2004/05 and 2005/06 season saw the club fulfil every fixture. Building on this progress, the club won Herts/Middlesex North 3 but were not promoted to Level 10 due the RFU restructuring the lower leagues. The club demonstrated that they belonged at a higher level by winning promotion again in the 2008/09 season. The 2008/09 season also saw the launch of a 2nd XV side, nicknamed the Hackney Gargoyles. In only their first season, they finished as runners up in the Hertfordshire Merit Table Plate Final, narrowly losing to Old Ashmoleans 3rd XV. The club's 7's side also finished runners up in the Middlesex Sevens Jug Competition.

Hackney continues to use the Lea Valley Rowing Club's changing facilities but in 2008 lost the use of The Swan Public house when the owners sold the premises to a local synagogue. The club are currently working with Hackney council to re-build a sport facility on the ground of the old clubhouse. Hackney Bulls are the thriving youth section affiliated with the senior side, with over 200 children playing from aged 6 up to 16 years old.

Guinness Club Together[edit]

Hackney RFC were this year’s winner of the Guinness Club Together competition. The scheme is a free programme aimed at supporting grassroots rugby clubs across the UK. Hackney was awarded the title having doubled its playing membership over the last year, in spite of the lack of facilities. Hackney travelled to Twickenham on May 16, 2009. Starting with a training session with legendary coach Shaun Edwards (of London Wasps, Wales and The British and Irish Lions) the teams were driven to HQ and ran out onto the hallowed turf as a curtain raiser for the Guinness Premiership final. The Griffins beat the Gargoyles by 12 - 5,

Club Honours[edit]


Hackney RFC have recently toured to Madrid, Munich, Budapest, Malta and Portugal playing against RFC Chaminade, Studentenstadt Munchen RFC, Medvek RFC, Valletta Lions RFC respectively.


External links[edit]