National League 2 South

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National League 2 South
Current season or competition::
2017–18 National League 2 South
England Rugby text logo.svg
Sport Rugby union
Instituted 1987
Number of teams 16
Country  England
Holders Bishop's Stortford (1st title) (2016-17
(promoted to National League 1)
Most titles Barking
Henley Hawks
Cambridge (2 titles)
Website clubs.rfu.com

National League 2 South (known before September 2009 as National Division Three South) is a level four league in the English rugby union system. It is one of two leagues at this level, with its counterpart, National League 2 North, covering the north of England. The format of the league was changed at the beginning of the 2009–10 season following reorganisation by the Rugby Football Union.

The champions are promoted to National League 1. The runners-up play in a promotion play-off with the runners-up of National League 2 North; the team with the best record having home advantage. The bottom three teams are relegated, to either South West Premier or London & South East Premier.[1]

Current season[edit]

Participating teams and locations[edit]

Twelve of the teams listed below participated in the 2016–17 National League 2 South season. The 2016-17 champions Bishop's Stortford and play-off winners Old Elthamians, who won the promotion play-off against Sale FC, were promoted into the 2017–18 National League 1, while no sides located in the south were relegated.[2][3] The two relegated sides from National League 2 South included Exmouth (who drop to South West Premier) and Barnes (who drop to London & South East Premier).[4][5] Usually three sides would be relegated but when RFU Championship side London Welsh went into liquidation in the spring of 2017 it granted a reprieve for the 14th placed side in either National League 2 North or National League 2 South depending on comparable points, which in the end turned out to be Barnstaple.[6][5]

The promoted teams include Old Redcliffians who finished as champions of National League 3 South West (now South West Premier), while Tonbridge Juddians (champions) and Wimbledon (playoffs) came up from National League 3 London & SE (now London & South East Premier).[7][8][9] Broadstreet were also included in the division when they were level transferred from National League 2 North having been promoted as champions of National League 3 Midlands (now Midlands Premier).[10] Broadstreet's inclusion came due to an imbalance of teams as both Bishop's Stortford and Old Elthamians had gone up into National League 1 coupled with no teams coming down the opposite way, and as the most southerly club, Broadstreet were deemed the most suitable for a level transfer.

Current standings[edit]

2017–18 National League 2 South Table watch · edit · discuss
Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points
1 Cinderford 23 22 0 1 861 417 444 22 1 111
2 Chinnor 23 20 1 2 733 471 262 18 0 100
3 Taunton Titans 23 17 0 6 803 489 314 14 3 85
4 Redingensians Rams 23 16 1 6 728 496 232 16 3 85
5 Redruth 23 14 0 9 675 500 175 13 5 74
6 Bury St Edmunds 23 12 0 11 629 587 42 11 5 64
7 Henley Hawks 23 11 1 11 599 643 -44 12 5 63
8 Tonbridge Juddians 23 12 1 10 530 507 23 7 3 60
9 Worthing Raiders 23 10 0 13 616 769 -153 13 5 58
10 Canterbury 23 11 0 12 537 566 -29 9 3 56
11 Barnstaple 23 8 1 14 493 647 -154 7 5 46
12 London Irish Wild Geese 23 7 0 16 606 718 -112 11 4 43
13 Clifton 23 6 1 16 486 690 -204 8 5 39
14 Old Redcliffians 23 4 2 17 549 750 -201 9 6 35
15 Wimbledon 23 6 0 17 478 757 -279 7 3 34
16 Broadstreet 23 4 0 19 423 739 -316 5 4 25
  • If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
  1. Number of matches won
  2. Difference between points for and against
  3. Total number of points for
  4. Aggregate number of points scored in matches between tied teams
  5. Number of matches won excluding the first match, then the second and so on until the tie is settled
Green background is the promotion place. Blue background is the play-off place. Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 107 February 2018
Source: "National League 2 South". NCA Rugby. 


List of champions[edit]

Area League South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1987–88 11 10 Askeans Sidcup Streatham/Croydon
1988–89 11 10 Lydney Havant Sidcup, Stroud, Ealing
1989–90 11 10 Metropolitan Police Clifton Salisbury
National 4 South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1990–91 13 12 Redruth Basingstoke Cheltenham, Maidenhead
1991–92 13 12 Havant Basingstoke Ealing, Sidcup
1992–93 13 12 Sudbury London Welsh Multiple[a 1]
National Division 4
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1993–94 10 18 Clifton Harrogate Sheffield (to 5 North) and Sudbury (to 5 South)[a 2]
1994–95 10 18 Rotherham[11] Reading Askeans (to 5 South) and Broughton Park (to 5 North)
1995–96 10 18 Exeter London Welsh[a 3] Aspatria (to 4 North) and Plymouth Albion (to 4 South)
Division 4 South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1996–97 14 26 Newbury Henley Askeans, Charlton Park, High Wycombe, Berry Hill
National 2 South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1997–98 14 26 Camberley Henley No relegation
1998–99 14 26 Bracknell Esher Havant
1999–00 14 26 Esher Penzance & Newlyn Metropolitan Police, Norwich, Bridgwater & Albion
National Division 3 South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
2000–01 14 26 Plymouth Albion Launceston Cheltenham, Basingstoke, Weston-super-Mare, Reading [12]
2001–02 14 26 Penzance & Newlyn Launceston Cinderford, Clifton [13]
2002–03 14 26 Rosslyn Park Lydney Camberley, Havant
2003–04 14 26 Blackheath Launceston Old Colfeians, Basingstoke
2004–05 14 26 Barking Redruth Haywards Heath, Tabard, Weston-super-Mare [14]
2005–06 14 26 Cambridge North Walsham Bracknell, Reading
2006–07 14 26 Southend Westcombe Park Chinnor, Old Patesians, Hertford
2007–08 14 26 Mount's Bay Cinderford Luton, North Walsham, Clifton [15]
2008–09 14 26 London Scottish Rosslyn Park Havant, Chinnor
National League 2 South
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runner-up Relegated team(s) Ref
2009–10 15 28 Barking Rosslyn Park Bridgwater & Albion, Barnes [a 4]
2010–11 16 30 Ealing Trailfinders Jersey Newbury, Hinckley, Canterbury
2011–12 16 30 Old Albanian Richmond Barnes, Hertford, Westcombe Park [17]
2012–13 15 28 Henley Hawks Worthing Raiders Barking, Lydney [a 5] [19]
2013–14 16 30 Hartpury College Ampthill & District Exmouth, Bournemouth, London Irish Wild Geese
2014–15 16 30 Henley Hawks Bishop's Stortford Dings Crusaders, Shelford, Lydney
2015–16 16 30 Cambridge Old Albanian Launceston, Southend Saxons, Dorking
2016–17 16 30 Bishop's Stortford Old Elthamians Exmouth, Barnes[a 6]
2017–18 16 30
Green background are promotion places.

[21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]

National Two promotion play-offs[edit]

Since the 2000–01 season there has been a promotion play-off between the league runners-up of National League 2 North and National League 2 South for the third and final promotion place to National League 1. The team with the superior league record has home advantage. As of the end of the 2016–17 season the southern teams have been more successful with 12 wins to the northern teams 4.

National Two promotion play-off results
Season Home team Score Away team Venue Attendance
2000–01[30] Sedgley Park (N3N) 40–23 Launceston (N3S) Park Lane, Whitefield, Greater Manchester 1,500
2001–02[31] Launceston (N3S) 26–0 Dudley Kingswinford (N3N) Polson Bridge, Launceston, Cornwall 2,500
2002–03[32] Lydney (N3S) 21–7 New Brighton (N3N) Regentsholme, Lydney, Gloucestershire
2003–04[33][34] Halifax (N3N) 16–18 Launceston (N3S) Ovenden Park, Halifax, West Yorkshire
2004–05[35] Redruth (N3S) 33–14 Macclesfield (N3N) The Recreation Ground, Redruth, Cornwall 4,000
2005–06[36][37] North Walsham (N3S) 5–15 Nuneaton (N3N) Norwich Road, Scottow, Norfolk 1,302
2006–07[38][39] Westcombe Park (N3S) 36–20 Tynedale (N3N) Goddington Dene, Orpington, Greater London
2007–08[40][41] Cinderford (N3S) 15–14 Darlington Mowden Park (N3N) Dockham Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire 2,800
2008–09 No promotion play-off this season due to widespread restructuring to the English rugby union league system, which meant that only the champions of the two divisions would go up.[42]
2009–10[43][44] Loughborough Students (N2N) 21–43 Rosslyn Park (N2S) Loughborough University Stadium, Loughborough, Leicestershire 1,000
2010–11[45][46] Jersey (N2S) 30–5 Loughborough Students (N2N) St. Peter, Saint Peter, Jersey 3,100
2011–12[47][48] Richmond (N2S) 20–13 (aet) Caldy (N2N) Athletic Ground, Richmond, Greater London 1,600
2012–13[49] Stourbridge (N2N) 26–28 Worthing Raiders (N2S) Stourton Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands 925
2013–14[50] Darlington Mowden Park (N2N) 30–28 (aet) Ampthill (N2S) The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington, County Durham 975
2014–15[51][52] Ampthill (N2N) 19–10 Bishop's Stortford (N2S) Dillingham Park, Ampthill, Bedfordshire 1,253
2015–16[53][54] Old Albanian (N2S) 24–0 Sedgley Park (N2N) Woollam Playing Fields, St Albans, Hertfordshire 473
2016–17 Sale (N2N) 14–19 Old Elthamians (N2S) Heywood Road, Sale, Greater Manchester
2017-18
Green backgrounds represent promoted teams. N2N stands for National League 2 North while N2S stands for National 2 South (or N3N/N3S for versions prior to 2009).

Number of league titles[edit]

League format since 1987[edit]

Format of fourth tier rugby union leagues in England
Year Name No of teams No of matches
1987–93 Courage National Division Four North and Courage National Division Four South 11 10
1993–96 Courage National Division Four 10 18
1996–97 National Four North and
National Four South
14 26
1997–00 Jewson National Division 2 North and
Jewson National Division 2 South
14 26
2000–09 National Division Three North and
National Division Three South
14 26
2009– National League 2 North and
National League 2 South
16 30

[21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [55][56] [57] [58] [29] [59] [60] [61]

Records[edit]

Note that all records are from 1996-97 season onwards as this is widely held as the dawn of professionalism across the English club game. It also offers a better comparison between seasons as the division team numbers are roughly equal (for example when league rugby union first started in 1987-88 the southern league had only 11 teams playing 10 games each, compared to 14 teams in 1996-97 playing 26 games (home & away), going up to 16 teams in 2009-10 playing 30 games each). Attendance records are from 2000 onwards unless otherwise specified. All records are up to date up till the end of the 2015-16 season.

League records[edit]

  • Most titles: 2
Barking (2004-05, 2009-10)
Henley Hawks (2012-13, 2014-15)
Cambridge (2005-06, 2015-16)
  • Most times promoted from division: 3
Henley Hawks (1997–98, 2012-13, 2014-15)
  • Most times relegated from division: 3
Havant (1998–99, 2002-03, 2008-09)
Barnes (2009-10, 2011-12, 2016-17)
  • Most league points in a season: 132
Ealing Trailfinders (2010-11)
  • Least league points in a season: 0
Metropolitan Police (1999-00)[62]
Camberley (2002-03)
  • Most points scored in a season: 1,490
Ealing Trailfinders (2010-11)
  • Least points scored in a season: 270
Camberley (2002-03)
  • Most points conceded in a season: 2,055
Newbury Blues (2010-11)
  • Least points conceded in a season: 240
Plymouth Albion (2000-01)
  • Best points difference (For/Against): 1,066
Ealing Trailfinders (2010-11)
  • Worst points difference (For/Against):
-1,676, Newbury Blues (2010-11)
  • Most games won in a season: 27
Ealing Trailfinders and Jersey (both 2010-11)
  • Most games lost in a season: 29
Newbury Blues (2010-11)
Launceston (2015-16)
  • Most games drawn in a season: 4
Rugby Lions (2008-09)
Barnes (2015-16)
  • Most bonus points in a season: 30
Bishop's Stortford (2014-15)

Match records[edit]

  • Largest home win: 132 - 0
Old Albanian at home to Newbury Blues on 26 March 2011 (2010-11)
  • Largest away win:
85 - 3, Henley Hawks away to Barking on 27 October 2012 (2012-13)
  • Most points scored in a match: 132
Old Albanian at home to Newbury Blues on 26 March 2011 (2010-11)
  • Most tries scored in a match: 20
Jersey at home to Newbury Blues on 6 November 2011 (2010-11)
Ealing Trailfinders at home to Hinckley on 12 March 2011 (2010-11)
Old Albanian at home to Newbury Blues on 26 March 2011 (2010-11)
  • Most conversions scored in a match: 16
Old Albanian at home to Newbury Blues on 26 March 2011 (2010-11)
Ealing Trailfinders at home to Lydney on 30 April 2011 (2010-11)
  • Most penalties scored in a match: 7
Blackheath at home to Redruth on 14 December 2002 (2002-03)
Hertford at home to Rosslyn Park on 30 September 2006 (2006-07)
Clifton at home to Lydney on 21 October 2006 (2006-07)
Dings Crusaders at home to Southend on 6 November 2011 (2010-11)
Launceston at home to Hartpury College on 28 September 2013 (2013-14)
Launceston away to Dings Crusaders on 27 September 2014 (2014-15)
  • Most drop kicks scored in a match: 3
Westcombe Park at home to Ealing Trailfinders on 5 December 2009 (2009-10)

Player records[edit]

  • Most times top points scorer: 2
Fiji Nat Saumi for Penzance & Newlyn (2000-01, 2001-02)
England Adam Westall for Lydney (2002-03, 2004-05)
England Andy Frost for Southend (2005-06, 2006-07)
England Gary Kingdom for Taunton Titans (2014-15, 2015-16)
  • Most times top try scorer: 2
England Phil Chesters for Ealing Trailfinders (2009-10, 2010-11)
England Ian Clark for Hartpury College (2011-12, 2012-13)
  • Most points in a season: 374
Fiji Nat Saumi for Penzance & Newlyn (2000-01)
  • Most tries in a season: 70
England Phil Chesters for Ealing Trailfinders (2010-11))
  • Most points in a match: 45
England Adam Westall for Lydney away to Haywards Heath on 12 March 2005 (2004-05)
  • Most tries in a match: 7
Malta James O'Brien for Old Patesians at home to Old Colfeians on 27 March 2004 (2003-04)
England Phil Chesters for Ealing Trailfinders at home to Newbury Blues on 2 October 2010 and at home to Lydney on 30 April 2011 (2010-11)
  • Most conversions in a match: 16
England Richard Gregg for Old Albanian at home to Newbury Blues on 26 March 2011 (2010-11)
  • Most penalties in a match: 7
Ireland Jonathan Griffin for Blackheath at home to Redruth on 14 December 2002 (2002-03)
England Kieron Davies for Hertford at home to Rosslyn Park on 30 September 2006 (2006-07)
England John Barnes for Clifton at home to Lydney on 21 October 2006 (2006-07)
England Mitch Burton for Dings Crusaders at home to Southend on 6 November 2011 (2010-11)
England Luke Cozens for Hartpury College away to Dings Crusaders on 17 November 2012 (2012-13)
England Danial Trigg for Dings Crusaders away to Lydney on 1 December 2012 (2012-13)
England Kieron Lewitt for Launceston away to Dings Crusaders on 27 September 2014 (2014-15)
  • Most drop kicks in a match: 3
England Lee Audis for Westcombe Park at home to Ealing Trailfinders on 5 December 2009 (2009-10)

Attendance records[edit]

[a 10]

  • Highest attendance (league game): 3,270
Henley Hawks at home to Worthing Raiders on 4 May 2013 (2012-13)
  • Lowest attendance (league game): 30
Barnes at home to Shelford on 20 February 2010 (2009-10)
  • Highest attendance (promotion playoff): 4,000
Redruth at home to Macclesfield on 1 May 2005 (2004-05)
  • Lowest attendance (promotion playoff): 473
Old Albanian at home to Sedgley Park on 14 May 2016 (2015–16)
  • Highest average attendance (club): 1,281
Plymouth Albion (2000-01)
  • Lowest average attendance (club): 96
Old Patesians (2006-07)
  • Highest average attendance (season): 573 (2000-01)
  • Lowest average attendance (season): 292 (2009-10)

National League 2 South top 10 point scorers, all time[edit]

As of the end of the games of 29 April 2017. Stats taken from 1998-99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 South (no promotion playoff games). Points scored includes tries, drop kicks, penalties and conversions.[63]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Points Apps Ratio
1 Wales Matthew McLean 2008-13, 2014- Worthing Raiders 1,678 178 9.4
2 England Gary Kingdom 2010- Taunton Titans 1,571 198 7.9
3 England Adam Westall 2002-03, 2004-08
2008-10
Lydney
Dings Crusaders
1,368 130 11
4 England Andy Frost 2005-07, 2009-13
2014-15
Southend Saxons
Dorking
1,302 117 11
5 England Derek Coates 2000-03
2003-04
Westcombe Park
Blackheath
1,183 99 12
6 England Kieron Lewitt 2007-09
2011-15
Canterbury
Launceston
1,134 131 9
7 England James Combden 2009-13, 2014-15 Henley Hawks 924 103 9
8 England Tom Best 2009-11
2012-
Canterbury 793 158 5.0
9 England Tom White 2014-17 Old Elthamians 778 85 9.2
10 England Ben Ward 2007-11 Ealing Trailfinders 756 108 7

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 South)

National League 2 South top 10 try scorers, all time[edit]

As of the end of the games of 29 April 2017. Stats taken from 1998-99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 South (no promotion playoff games).[64]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Tries Apps Ratio
1 England Andy Thorpe 2001–08 North Walsham 114 143 0.8
2 England Phil Chesters 2009-11
2017
2017-
Ealing Trailfinders
Old Elthamians
Chinnor
98 53 1.8
3 England Michael Melford 2006-11, 2012-13 Canterbury 92 148 0.6
4 England Mark Billings 2005-07, 2009-16 Southend 89 213 0.4
5 England Alexander Nielsen 2008-13, 2014- Worthing Raiders 83 139 0.6
6 England Owen Bruynseels 2007-11 Ealing Trailfinders 81 95 0.9
7 South Africa Gert De Kock 2003-05
2006-11
Westcombe Park
Canterbury
80 166 0.5
8 England Nick Hankin 2013-17 Bishop's Stortford 79 119 0.7
9 Wales Matthew McLean 2008-13, 2014- Worthing Raiders 78 178 0.4
10 England Sylvan Edwards 2003-12 Dings Crusaders 69 177 0.4

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 South)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This year there was a league restructure with a new league (Courage National League 4) becoming the new tier 4. Courage National 4 would contain the previous season's top teams from National 4 North and National 4 South with the remaining teams joining lower tier teams as part of Courage League Division 5 (which retained the North/South divisions). This structure would continue for several years before being abolished at the end of 1996 where the league would revert to the old system.
  2. ^ This year there was a league restructure with a new league (Courage National League 4) becoming the new tier 4. Courage National 4 would contain the previous season's top teams from National 4 North and National 4 South with the remaining teams joining lower tier teams as part of Courage League Division 5 (which retained the North/South divisions). This structure would continue for several years before being abolished at the end of 1996 where the league would revert to the old system.
  3. ^ The top eight teams were all promoted to the re-organised, sixteen team, Courage League Division 3 for season 1996–97
  4. ^ Mounts Bay were originally scheduled to participate in the 2009–10 season after being demoted at the end of the previous season but folded in July 2009. As they were unable to participate, the division went ahead with fifteen teams instead of the expected sixteen.[16]
  5. ^ Rugby Lions were on the original 2012–13 fixture list after winning promotion from National League 3 Midlands but during July 2012 they went into liquidation and were unable to participate in the division, leaving fifteen teams instead of the usual sixteen.[18]
  6. ^ Due to London Welsh being expelled from the RFU Championship in January 2017 only 5 teams would be relegated from National League 2 North and National League South instead of the usual 6 - meaning that the 14th placed side in one of the leagues would be safe. In the end 14th placed Barnstaple (National League 2 South) gained more points (51) than 14th placed Harrogate (47) (National League 2 North) condemning them to the drop instead.[20]
  7. ^ Clifton's league title was won during the period when tier 4 was a single national league (1993-96).
  8. ^ Exeter's league title was won during the period when tier 4 was a single national league (1993-96).
  9. ^ Penzance & Newlyn are now known as the Cornish Pirates.
  10. ^ Note that due to poor attendance keeping by press and online sources means that the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons are excluded from these statistics due to lack of information.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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