National Division Two
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National Division Two

National League 1
England Rugby text logo.svg
Founded1987; 32 years ago (1987)
Country England
Number of teams16
Promotion toRFU Championship
Relegation toNational League 2 North
National League 2 South
Current championsAmpthill (1st title)
(2018-19)
Most championshipsCoventry, Otley (3 titles)
WebsiteNational League 1
2019-20 National League 1

National League 1, (which was known before September 2009 as National Division Two), is the third level of domestic rugby union competition in England. It was known as Courage League National Division Three when founded in 1987.[1] This is the lowest level of the English rugby union league system which is nationwide. The league consists of sixteen teams with all the teams playing each other on a home and away basis to make a total of thirty matches each. There is one promotion place and three relegation places. The champions are promoted to the Greene King IPA Championship and the bottom three teams are relegated to either National League 2 North or National League 2 South (formerly National Division Three North and South) depending on the geographical location of the team.

Current season

Participating teams and locations

Twelve of the sixteen teams participated in the preceding season's competition. The 2018-19 champions, Ampthill, were promoted to the 2019-20 RFU Championship, swapping places with bottom club, Richmond, who were relegated from the 2018-19 RFU Championship.[2][3] Sides relegated from the 2018-19 National League 1 included Loughborough Students, Esher and Caldy.[2][4][5]

Teams promoted into the division include Hull Ionians and Rams, champions of 2018-19 National League 2 North and 2017-18 National League 2 South respectively, along with south runners up Canterbury, who defeated the north's Chester in the promotion play-off.[6][7][8] Ionians return to the division after a season's absence, while Rams and Canterbury will be debuting in National 1 - the highest level either club have reached since the leagues began.

League table

Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points
1 Richmond 10 9 0 1 305 153 152 5 1 42
2 Rosslyn Park 10 7 1 2 306 205 101 4 1 35
3 Blackheath 10 7 0 3 251 222 29 5 2 35
4 Rams 10 7 0 3 242 192 50 5 1 34
5 Chinnor 10 5 1 4 231 232 -1 5 2 29
6 Old Elthamians 10 6 0 4 254 177 77 3 1 28
7 Birmingham Moseley 10 6 0 4 252 241 11 2 2 28
8 Darlington Mowden Park 10 5 0 5 250 198 52 4 4 28
9 Cinderford 9 6 0 3 215 206 9 2 1 27
10 Plymouth Albion 10 4 1 5 273 260 13 5 4 27
11 Sale FC 10 5 0 5 235 236 -1 3 1 24
12 Bishop's Stortford 10 3 0 7 264 271 -7 6 6 24
13 Cambridge 10 3 1 6 219 219 0 4 4 22
14 Rotherham Titans 10 3 1 6 191 236 -45 1 3 18
15 Hull Ionians 9 0 1 8 126 373 -247 1 1 4
16 Canterbury 10 0 0 10 147 340 -193 1 3 4
  • 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. Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 9 November 2019
Source: "National League 1". NCA Rugby.


History

When the rugby union leagues were introduced in 1987 the division was known as Courage League National Division Three. Ten years later, in 1997, the league was restructured and the Premiership was introduced, which consisted of the top two divisions. Therefore, National 3 became the top league outside of the Premiership structure, and was renamed as National 1. In 2000-01 the Premiership was reduced to a single division and National 1 was renamed National 2. Following the formation of the professional RFU Championship in 2009 the league, once again, became known as National League One, and is currently the lowest tier that is nationwide. The league previously consisted of fourteen clubs, but from 2009-10 increased to sixteen. Only one team is now promoted to the RFU Championship and since 2009-10 three teams are relegated to National League 2 North and/or National League 2 South depending on geographical location.

Summary of tier three format

Year Name No of teams No of matches
1987-90 Courage National 3 12 11
1990-92 Courage National 3 13 12
1992-93 Courage National 3 12 11
1993-96 Courage National 3 10 18
1996-97 Courage National 3 16 30
1997-2000 Jewson National League 1 14 26
2000-09 National Division 2 14 26
2009- National Division 1 16 30

Original teams

When the league system was formed in 1987, the following teams participated in the league, which was known as National 3. Twenty-nine years on only two teams, Fylde and Plymouth Albion are currently playing at this level. (Updated to 2016-17)

List of champions

National Division Three

National League One

National League One
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runners-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1997-98 14 26 Worcester Leeds Tykes[a 3] No relegation [18]
1998-99 14 26 Henley Manchester Morley, Liverpool St Helens [19]
1999-00 14 26 Otley Birmingham & Solihull Reading, Blackheath [20]

National Division Two

National League One

League results

League information Start of season End of season
Season Name Teams Relegated to league Promoted to league Promoted from league Relegated from league
2000-01 National Division Two 14
2001-02 National Division Two 14
2002-03 National Division Two 14
2003-04 National Division Two 14
2004-05 National Division Two 14
2005-06 National Division Two 14
2006-07 National Division Two 14 None
2007-08 National Division Two 14
2008-09 National Division Two 14
2009-10 National League 1 16
2010-11 National League 1 16
2011-12 National League 1 16
2012-13 National League 1 16
2013-14 National League 1 16
2014-15 National League 1 16
2015-16 National League 1 16
2016-17 National League 1 16
2017-18 National League 1 16 None
2018-19 National League 1 16
2019-20 National League 1 16

Number of league titles

Records

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 Courage League National Division Three had only 12 teams playing 11 games each, compared to 16 teams in 1996-97 playing 30 games (home & away)). Attendance records are from 2000 onwards unless otherwise specified. All records are up to date up till the end of the 2018-19 season.

League records

  • Most titles: 3
Otley (1992-93, 1999-00, 2007-08)
Coventry (1993-94, 1995-96, 2017-18)
  • Most times promoted from division: 3
Rugby Lions (1988-89, 1995-96, 2000-01)
Fylde (1991-92, 1993-94, 1996-97)
Otley (1992-93, 1999-00, 2007-08)
Richmond (1991-92, 1995-96, 2015-16)
  • Most times relegated from division: 4
Nuneaton (1991-92, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2009-10)
  • Most league points in a season: 148
Hartpury College (2016-17)
  • Least league points in a season: 0
West Hartlepool (2000-01), Manchester (2009-10)
  • Most points scored in a season: 1,455
Hartpury College (2016-17)
  • Least points scored in a season: 114
Manchester (2009-10)
  • Most points conceded in a season: 2,626
Manchester (2009-10)
  • Least points conceded in a season: 299
Henley Hawks (1998-99)[34]
  • Best points difference (For/Against): 1,078
Esher (2009-10)
  • Worst points difference (For/Against): -2,512
Manchester (2009-10)
  • Most games won in a season: 30
Hartpury College (2016-17)
  • Most games lost in a season: 30
Manchester (2009-10)
  • Most games drawn in a season: 4
Wharfedale (2005-06), Richmond (2012-13), Ampthill (2017-18)
  • Most bonus points in a season: 28
Ealing Trailfinders (2014-15)
Hartpury College (2016-17)

Match records

  • Largest home win:
124 - 5 Wharfedale at home to Manchester on 26 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Largest away win:
148 - 0 Esher away to Manchester on 5 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most points scored in a match: 148
Esher away to Manchester on 5 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most tries scored in a match: 23
Blaydon away to Manchester on 19 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most conversions scored in a match: 19
Esher away to Manchester on 5 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most penalties scored in a match: 8
Esher at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 1 December 2001 (2001-02)
Stourbridge at home to Rosslyn Park on 25 October 2003 (2003-04)
Hartpury College at home to Rosslyn Park on 9 April 2016 (2015-16)
Rotherham Titans at home to Rosslyn Park on 15 September 2018 (2018-19)
  • Most drop kicks scored in a match: 3
Fylde away to Esher on 13 February 2016 (2015-16)

Player records

  • Most times top points scorer: 2
England Neil Hallett for Esher (2005-06, 2006-07)
  • Most times top try scorer: 3
England Phil Chesters for Ealing Trailfinders (2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15)
  • Most points in a season: 399
England Sam Ulph for Esher (2009-10)
  • Most tries in a season: 42
England Phil Chesters for Ealing Trailfinders (2011-12)
  • Most points in a match: 51
England Sam Ulph for Esher away to Manchester on 5 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most tries in a match: 7
England Hugo Ellis for Rosslyn Park at home to Cambridge on 12 January 2013
  • Most conversions in a match: 18
England Sam Ulph for Esher away to Manchester on 5 September 2009 (2009-10)
  • Most penalties in a match: 8
England Jonathon Gregory for Esher at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 1 December 2001 (2001-02)
England Ben Harvey for Stourbridge at home to Rosslyn Park on 25 October 2003 (2003-04)
Wales Gareth Thompson for Hartpury College at home to Rosslyn Park on 9 April 2016 (2015-16)
England Alex Dolly for Rotherham Titans at home to Rosslyn Park on 15 September 2018 (2018-19)
  • Most drop kicks in a match: 3
England Chris Johnson for Fylde away to Esher on 13 February 2016 (2015-16)

Attendance records

[a 6]

  • Highest attendance (league game): 3,758
Coventry RFC at home to Hull Ionians on 28 April 2018 (2017-18)
  • Lowest attendance (league game): 50
West Hartlepool at home to Camberley on 31 March 2001 (2000-01)
  • Highest average attendance (club): 2,206
Jersey (2011-12)
  • Lowest average attendance (club): 180
Barking (2011-12)
  • Highest average attendance (season): 653 (2017-18)
  • Lowest average attendance (season): 463 (2004-05)

Top ten point scorers

As of the end of the games of 27 April 2019. Stats taken from 1996-97 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 1 (no cup games). Points scored includes tries, drop kicks, penalties and conversions.[35]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Points Apps Ratio
1 England Andrew Baggett 2001-08
2008-17
Wharfedale
Blaydon
1,707 409 4.2
2 England Neil Hallett 1999-02
2002-04
2004-10
2011-12
Rosslyn Park
Bracknell
Esher
Ealing Trailfinders
1,440 181 8.0
3 England Alastair Bressington 2004-05
2005-10, 2010-12
2010
Moseley
Stourbridge
Cinderford
1,201 147 8.2
4 England Lee Cholewa 1996-97
1998-99, 2000-05
2005-07
2010-11
Rotherham
Harrogate
London Welsh
London Scottish
1,168 146 8.0
5 England Chris Johnson 2012-16
2019, 2019-
Fylde
Sale FC
1,075 119 9.0
6 South Africa Clifford Hodgson 2012-2017
2019-[36]
Coventry
Birmingham Moseley
1,024
109
9.4
England Mark Bedworth 2005-10 Wharfedale 1,024 114 9.0
7 England Ben Harvey 1996-97
1999-00
2000-01
2001-05
Richmond
Worcester Warriors
Moseley
Stourbridge
987 118 8.4
8 England Jonathon Gregory 1996-97
2000-04
Richmond
Esher
970 84 11.5
9 England Jonathon Davies 1997-07 Wharfedale 946 198 4.8

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 1)

Top ten try scorers

As of the end of the games of 27 April 2019. Stats taken from 1996-97 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 1 (no cup games).[37]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Tries Apps Ratio
1 England David Allen 2004-17 Blackheath 147 277 0.5
2 England Oliver Brennand 2011-17 Fylde 117 161 0.7
3 England Hugo Ellis 2012- Rosslyn Park 107 155 0.7
4 England Phil Chesters 2011-13, 2014-15 Ealing Trailfinders 105 82 1.3
5 England Jason Smithson 2007-17 Blaydon 96 224 0.4
6 South Africa Chris Malherbe 1998-99
2001-02
2002-11
Camberley
Kendal
Wharfedale
95 222 0.4
England Andrew Hodgson 1997-99, 2000-04, 2005-13, 2014-16 Wharfedale 95 264 0.4
7 South Africa Christoff Lombaard 2006-07, 2008-10
2012-15, 16-17
Cambridge
Old Albanian
81 151 0.5
8 England Nigel Baker 2009-12
2013-15, 2016
2015
2016-19
Stourbridge
Cinderford
Coventry
Ampthill
79 149 0.5
9 England Spencer Sutherland 2011-12
2012-18
2018-19
Coventry
Esher
Ampthill
78 148 0.5

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 1)

Notes

  1. ^ Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool St Helens, Clifton, Aspatria, Askeans, Broughton Park and Plymouth Albion were the relegated teams. The large number of relegations was due to the restructuring of the league system for the 1993-94 season.
  2. ^ Rugby and Rotherham were also promoted.
  3. ^ London Welsh and Rugby were also promoted.
  4. ^ Only 2 teams relegated at the end of the 2016-17 season instead of 3 due to London Welsh being expelled from the RFU Championship in January 2017.[33]
  5. ^ Penzance & Newlyn are now known as the Cornish Pirates.
  6. ^ Note that due to poor attendance keeping by press and online sources means that the 2000-01 and 2003-04 seasons are excluded from these statistics due to lack of information expect in the case of lowest recorded league game attendance.

See also

References

  1. ^ Stephen Jones, ed. (1988). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1988-89. London: Rothmans Publications Ltd.
  2. ^ a b "Gr-eight win at Students sees Amps as champs". The RugbyPaper (554). 28 April 2019. pp. 26-27.
  3. ^ "Pack power gets Hartpury across the line to safety". The RUGBYPaper (553). Rugby Paper Ltd. 21 April 2019. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Esher denied their great escape despite triumph". The RugbyPaper (554). 28 April 2019. pp. 26-27.
  5. ^ "Jacque's last-gasp attack relegates Caldy". The RugbyPaper (554). 28 April 2019. p. 26.
  6. ^ "Champions Ionians relax for closing test". The RugbyPaper (552). 14 April 2019. pp. 32-33.
  7. ^ "Rams wrap up the title in fine style at Clifton". The RugbyPaper (551). 7 April 2019. pp. 34-35.
  8. ^ "Canterbury 19-10 Chester". Kent Sports News. 4 May 2019.
  9. ^ Stephen Jones, ed. (1988). Courage Leagues 1988-89. London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0356158845.
  10. ^ a b Tony Williams and Bill Mitchell, ed. (1990). Courage Clubs Championship. Official Rugby Union Club Directory 1990-91. Horsham: Burlington Publishing Co Ltd. ISBN 1873057024.
  11. ^ Stephen Jones, ed. (1991). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1991-92. London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0356202496.
  12. ^ "Courage Club Championship 1991/92". Moseley Rugby club. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Courage Clubs Championship-1992/93". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "Courage Clubs Championship 1993/94". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ "Courage Club Championships 1994/95". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ Mick Cleary, ed. (1996). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1996-97. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0747277710.
  17. ^ Mick Cleary, ed. (1987). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997-98. London: Headline Book Publishers. ISBN 074727732X.
  18. ^ "1997/98: Jewson National Division (formerly Courage League National Division 3)". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1999). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1999-2000. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0747275319.
  20. ^ Stephen McCormack, ed. (2000). The Official RFU Club Directory 2000-2001. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1852916273.
  21. ^ a b Stephen McCormack, ed. (2001). The Official RFU Club Directory 2001-2002. Harpender: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1852916400.
  22. ^ Stephen McCormack (2002). The Official RFU Club Directory 2002-2003. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1852916451.
  23. ^ "National Division 1 2003/04". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ "2004/05: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "2005/06: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ "2006/07: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  27. ^ "2007/08: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ "2008/09: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "2009/10: National League 1". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2013.
  30. ^ "Final League Tables 2010 - 2011". Trelawneys Army. Retrieved 2013.
  31. ^ "English National League One Table". BBC. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ "SSE National League 1". NCA. Retrieved 2014.
  33. ^ "London Welsh: RFU refuses permission for Exiles to stay in Championship". BBC Sport. 24 January 2017.
  34. ^ "Jewson National League 1 1998/99". rugbyarchive.net. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ "National One All time leading scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 27 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Team news for tomorrow - Coventry Rugby". www.coventryrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ "National One All time try scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 27 April 2019.

External links


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