Staffordshire Rugby Union
|Full name||Staffordshire Rugby Union|
The Staffordshire Rugby Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Staffordshire in England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Staffordshire, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Staffordshire county rugby representative teams.
Although there had been a number of long established clubs such as Burton (founded in 1870), Lichfield (1874) and Wolverhampton (1875), it took until 1923 for the Staffordshire Rugby Union to be formed, when it was part of the North Midlands Rugby Football Union. As the county started to find its identify in the 1920s more sides would start to form, with clubs such as Walsall (1921) and Stafford (1925) coming into existence during this period.
Despite its formation in 1923, Staffordshire would not be recognised as a constituent body by the RFU until the 1960s. In 1961 a representative side defeated the reigning county champions Cheshire in a friendly match. This result showed the RFU that Staffordshire were ready to be included in the County Championships and the following year they would take part for the very first time, being finally awarded constituent body status in 1962. On 14 March 1970, Staffordshire won the County Championship when they upset favourites Gloucestershire 11-9 in the final played at Peel Croft in Burton upon Trent.
Since the glory days of 1970 Staffordshire have failed to win another county championship, and the reformation of the county game at the start of the 21st century saw them drop down to the third tier. In 2016 Staffordshire won both of their pool games in the Shield competition, reaching Twickenham for the very first time. Unfortunately they were unable to add to their silverware as they were beaten 11-30 by Hampshire in the final. Despite losing the final, Staffordshire were promoted to tier 2 of the championships along with winners Hampshire, for the 2017 competition.
Staffordshire senior men's county side
- County Championship winners: 1970
There are currently 31 clubs affiliated with the Staffordshire RU, most of which have teams at both senior and junior level and are based in Staffordshire and bordering parts of the West Midlands. Due to county boundary changes enforced by the Local Government Act 1972, several clubs (but not all) who are based in what is now known as West Midlands are also members of the North Midlands RFU as well as the Staffordshire RU.
- Bloxwich[a 1]
- Essington[a 2]
- Linley & Kidsgrove
- Market Drayton
- St Leonards
- Walsall[a 3]
- Wheaton Aston & Penkridge
County club competitions
The Staffordshire RU currently runs the following competitions for club sides based in Staffordshire:
- Staffordshire Senior Cup - introduced in 1976, open to local clubs playing at tiers 5-7 of the English rugby union league system
- Staffordshire Intermediate Cup - introduced in 2001, open to clubs at tiers 7-8
- Staffordshire Owen Cup - introduced in 1980, open to clubs at tiers 8-10
- "History". North Midlands RFU. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "STAFFORDSHIRE RUGBY HISTORY". Staffordshire RU. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Staffs 1970 County Championship winners reunion". Staffordshire RU. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Alan Brinn". Gloucester Rugby Heritage. 16 August 2015.
- "Staffordshire beaten by Hampshire in County Shield final at Twickenham". Staffordshire Newsletter. 29 May 2016.
- "Clubs". Staffordshire RU. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "County Cups". Staffordshire RU. Retrieved 19 June 2017.