Preston Grasshoppers R.F.C.
|Full name||Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club|
|Location||Preston, Lancashire, England|
|Ground(s)||Lightfoot Green (Capacity: 5,000)|
|League(s)||National League 2 North|
|2017-18||Promoted from North Premier (champions)|
Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club is an English rugby union team from Preston, Lancashire. The men's senior team play in National League 2 North - at the fourth level of the English rugby union system - following their promotion from North Premier as champions at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The club was founded on 28 September 1869 at a meeting held at the Bull Hotel, Preston, making it one of the oldest 'northern' rugby union teams.
Grasshoppers' players who have progressed to bigger stages include A.N. Hornby, the first man to captain both the English national rugby and cricket sides, Dick Greenwood and his son Will Greenwood, later to play outside centre for Harlequins and England, second row star Steve Borthwick, captaining Bath and playing a key role in the England international side, Wade Dooley, who won 55 caps in the second row for England, and Paul Grayson, who went on to play a number of games at fly half for England. Other past players gaining England caps include Don Rutherford and Iain Balshaw.
When the national league structure was introduced in the mid nineties, Hoppers remained in National League 3 (North) until their promotion in 1998–99 season. This was achieved with the help of Australian Michael Lough and winger Ian Bruce who, between them, scored over 50 tries.
In 2013 Preston Grasshoppers 2nd team won the Preston Sports Awards Team Performance of the Year. At the end of the 2015–16 Season Preston Grasshoppers accepted an offer from the RFU to replace the grass surface at Lightfoot Green Lane with an artificial 3G pitch. The terms of the agreement mean that the RFU have exclusive use of the pitch for the next 30 years.
In 2017/18 the club made an immediate return to National 2 North by winning the Northern Premier League at the first attempt. Under Head Coach Paul Arnold the side were the stand out side in the division with Number 8 Matthew Lamprey scoring 32 league tries during the campaign to set a new club record for tries in a league season, beating the previous best of 27 set by Michael Lough in the 1998/99 National 2 North Championship winning season.
- Jewson National League 2 North champions: 1998–99
- Lancashire Cup winners (3): 2003, 2006, 2012
- North Premier champions (2): 2004–05, 2017–18
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|Green background is the promotion place. Blue background is the play-off place. Pink background are relegation places.|
Updated: 13 October 2018
Source: "National League 2 North". NCA Rugby.