Hunslet R.L.F.C. is a professional rugby league club in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. They play home games at South Leeds Stadium and compete in League One, the third tier of British rugby league.
|Full name||Hunslet Rugby League Football Club|
The club was formed as a Phoenix club after the original Hunslet club folded.
1973–1996: New club edit
In July 1973, the original Hunslet club was wound up following the sale of their Parkside ground, because no suitable new location could be found that was financially viable. The £300,000 proceeds of the sale of Parkside were distributed to shareholders.
Due to the efforts of their former Great Britain forward Geoff Gunney (MBE), local businessmen and supporters the club managed to reform as New Hunslet for the 1973–74 season and moved to the Leeds Greyhound Stadium and erected iron American football posts. The resurrected club had a new badge depicting a rising phoenix to symbolise their rebirth. In 1974, New Hunslet adopted green and white as team colours because the traditional myrtle, white and flame colours were still registered to the former Parkside-based club, and they would not release them. The stay at the greyhound stadium was cut short when the owners closed the ground and arranged to demolish everything on the site.
In 1978, coach Bill Ramsey put a lot of pressure on the RFL and finally got permission to use the traditional colours. The club reverted to Hunslet for the 1979–80 season. With the closure of the Greyhound stadium, the next ground to host Hunslet was Mount Pleasant, Batley, for two seasons, before Hunslet moved to Leeds United's Elland Road football stadium then owned by Leeds City Council. After leaving Elland Road, Hunslet had a brief spell at Bramley.
On 19 November 1995, the club, now known as Hunslet Hawks, moved to the South Leeds Stadium, only about half a mile from Parkside. On that day, Leigh were the guests at Hunslet's first home game for twenty-two years. They then narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two in 1996. Coach Steve Ferres left to join Huddersfield and David Plange took over as player-coach.
1996–2009: Summer era edit
In 1997 the Hawks played in the first (and last) Challenge Cup Plate Final losing 60–14 to Hull Kingston Rovers. It was the Hawks first appearance at Wembley Stadium since 1965. Also in 1997, the Hawks were promoted to the First Division as champions.
In 1999 as a possible merger between Hunslet and Bramley was debated. In 1999 Hunslet won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final against Dewsbury, 12–11, at Headingley. After that game the Hawks were denied entry to Super League by the Rugby Football League who cited a document called Framing the Future as justification. This caused a number of players to leave the club and for the average attendance to fall by more than 1,200 to 800. A link-up with Leeds Rhinos saw Plange go to Headingley as Academy coach.
Paul March was the player/coach at Hunslet, joining midway through the 2009 season following the resignation of Graeme Hallas. March guided Hunslet to a 6th-place finish and a play-off spot in Championship 1. Hunslet travelled to Blackpool in the first week of the play-offs winning, 18–21, to set up an elimination semi-final against Oldham in which Hunslet were comfortably beaten, 54–30.
2010–present: Promotions and silverware edit
In 2010 Paul March led Hunslet to their first silverware for over 11 years by securing the Co-operative Championship 1 title, and subsequent survival in 2011.
In 2012, Barry Eaton took over as coach. In 2014 Hunslet won the Grand Final after extra time against Oldham, thus gaining promotion to the Championship. Barry Eaton left in late January 2016 to join Leeds Rhinos and was replaced by his assistant coach and former Hunslet Hawks player Matt Bramald. Bramald left the club at the end of the 2016 season having completed his contract. He was replaced by former Hunslet player James Coyle.
Hunslet Hawks returned to their original name of Hunslet RLFC for the 2017 season following an overwhelming fan vote in favour of their original name. Fans were then asked to choose between the clubs' original 'Rampant Lion' crest and the 'Phoenix Rising' crest adopted by the club in 1973 when the club was reformed. Fans voted 54% to 46% in favour of the lion.
Colours and crest edit
Hunslet play in myrtle, flame and white, with away colours mainly being white. The club's original crest was a 'Rampant Lion' but as part of a rebrand at the start of the summer era was the introduction of the Hunslet Hawks. In 2017, the club's fans voted to drop Hawks from their name and reinstate the 'Rampant Lion' crest.
1883–1888 Woodhouse Hill edit
Hunslet played their first match on 6 October 1883 against Hull 'A'. A stand was built in 1884.
1888–1973: Parkside edit
Hunslet purchased at little cost of waste land at Hunslet Carr from the Low Moor Iron and Coal Company and had to shift 2,000 tons of rubbish to create what would become Parkside, which they moved to in 1888. Parkside's stand was burned down by vandals in 1971. Parkside was sold off to an industrial developer for around £300,000 in 1972. The last game at Parkside was on 21 April 1973 against York. Parkside was demolished and Hunslet became tenants at the Elland Road greyhound stadium.
1973–1980: Leeds Greyhound Stadium edit
The new Hunslet club's first ground was the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium in Beeston after they were told they could not play at Parkside. American football posts were erected to be used as goal posts.
1980–1982: Mount Pleasant edit
In 1982, the greyhound stadium closed and Hunslet were left homeless. For two seasons they ground-shared with Batley while they searched for a permanent home in Leeds.
1983–1995: Elland Road edit
1995–present: South Leeds Stadium edit
Hunslet moved into the South Leeds Stadium, Beeston, Leeds after it was built in 1995. The stadium is used to host athletics and also has a swimming pool and other facilities the club can use. The stadium has one main stand that accommodates the grounds 5,000 capacity.
2024 squad edit
|First team squad||Coaching staff|
Updated: 22 November 2023
2024 transfers edit
|Billy Gaylor||Keighley Cougars||1 Year||November 2023|
|Brandan Wilkinson||Doncaster R.L.F.C.||November 2023|
|Nathan Carter||Lock Lane||1 Year||November 2023|
|Jack Coventry||1 Year||November 2023|
|Ben Sheils||November 2023|
|Donald Kudangirana||November 2023|
|Jude Ferreira||London Broncos||November 2023|
|Mac Walsh||Newcastle Thunder||1 Year||November 2023|
|Iwan Orr||1 Year||November 2023|
Players earning international caps while at Hunslet edit
- Frank Davies won a cap for Wales while at Hunslet in 1978 against England
- Robert 'Iain' Higgins won caps for Scotland while at London Broncos, and Hunslet 1997…2001 1-cap + 1-cap (sub)
- Charlie Wabo won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
- Michael Mark won caps for Papua New Guinea while at Hunslet
- Neil Lowe won caps for Scotland while at Hunslet
- Lee Hanlan won caps for Ireland while at Hunslet
- Arthur Clues won caps for Australia while at Wests, and won caps for Other Nationalities while at Leeds, and Hunslet
Past coaches edit
- Jack Walkington 1946–1960
- Fred Ward 1962–1967
- Harry Poole 1969–1971
- Geoff Gunney 1971–1973
- Bill Ramsey 1978–1979
- Paul Daley 1980–1985
- Peter Jarvis 1986–1987
- David Ward 1986–1987
- Nigel Stephenson 1988
- Jack Austin 1988
- Johnny Wolford 1988
- Paul Daley 1990–1991
- Paul Daley 1993
- Stephen Ferres 1994–1996
- David Plange 1996–2000
- Roy Sampson 2000–2006
- Mark Cass 2007
- Graeme Hallas 2008–2009
- Paul March 2010–2011
- Barry Eaton 2012–2015
- Matt Bramald 2016
- James Coyle 2016–2017
- Gary Thornton 2017–2021
- Mark Cass (interim) 2021
- Alan Kilshaw 2021–2023
Super League era edit
|Season||League||Play-offs||Challenge Cup||Other competitions||Name||Tries||Name||Points|
|Division||P||W||D||L||F||A||Pts||Pos||Top try scorer||Top point scorer|
|1999||Northern Ford Premiership||28||21||0||7||845||401||42||2nd||Won in Final||R4|
|2000||Northern Ford Premiership||28||8||0||20||487||678||16||15th||R4|
|2001||Northern Ford Premiership||28||6||1||21||380||959||13||16th||R4|
|2002||Northern Ford Premiership||27||3||1||23||438||954||7||17th||R4|
|2003||National League Two||18||10||1||7||513||425||21||6th||Lost in Elimination Playoffs||R5|
|2004||National League Two||18||10||0||8||475||394||20||6th||R4|
|2005||National League Two||18||11||0||7||476||385||22||5th||Lost in Elimination Playoffs||R4|
|2006||National League Two||22||4||2||16||411||617||10||10th||R4|
|2007||National League Two||22||8||0||14||368||591||31||8th||R4|
|2008||National League Two||22||4||0||18||336||778||17||12th||R4|
|2009||Championship 1||18||10||0||8||472||411||33||6th||Lost in Semi Final||R4|
|2010||Championship 1||20||18||0||2||828||305||55||1st||Promoted as Champions||R5|
|2014||Championship 1||19||14||5||0||666||243||46||2nd||Won in Final||R5|
|2017||League 1||15||7||0||8||418||377||14||10th||Won in Shield Final||R4|
|2019||League 1||20||12||0||8||596||379||24||5th||Lost in Elimination Playoffs||R4||1895 Cup||R1|
|2020||League 1||League abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic||R5|
|2021||League 1||18||9||3||6||564||435||21||6th||Lost in Elimination Playoffs||Did not participate|
|2023||League 1||18||14||0||4||572||284||28||2nd||Lost in Preliminary Final||R3|
- Winners (1): 1999
- Winners (2): 2010, 2014
- Winners: 2017
- "Hunslet appoint new head coach for 2024 with current boss Alan Kilshaw heading to Swinton Lions". Love Rugby League. 11 September 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "History". Hunslet RFLC. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Sport: Rugby League: News Historic name disappears from league". BBC News. 6 October 1999. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Hunslet v Leeds Rhinos: Traditional derby renamed in honour of stalwart Harry Jepson OBE". Yorkshire Evening Post. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- "Supporters vote to rename the club Hunslet R.L.F.C." hunslethawks.co.uk. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017.
- "Hunslet to adopt Rampant Lion after supporter vote". hunslethawks.co.uk. 5 September 2016. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017.
- "Hunslet secure Gaylor". Hunslet RLFC. 2 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "'Wilko' joins the Parksiders". Hunslet RLFC. 3 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Parksiders tempt ex Cas man for 2024". Hunslet RLFC. 4 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Jack is back for 2024". Hunslet RLFC. 10 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Parksiders add more talent on the flanks". Hunslet RLFC. 13 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Parksiders capture former Hull FC ace". Hunslet RLFC. 14 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Parksiders snap up Super Mac from Thunder". Hunslet RLFC. 22 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Hunslet sign England Universities star". Hunslet RLFC. 22 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Hull Daily Mail". 20 September 1969. p. 11.
- "Hull Daily Mail". 30 April 1971. p. 24.
- "Hull Daily Mail". 24 February 1973. p. 10.
- "Hunslet Hawks coach Hallas quits". BBC Sport. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Barry Eaton to leave the Hawks". hunslethawks.co.uk. 21 January 2016. Archived from the original on 17 April 2016.
- "Hunslet part ways with head coach James Coyle". Total Rugby League. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Thornton to stay on as Hunslet coach". Yorkshire Evening Post. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Extra resolve promised by Hunslet's repentant players ahead of North Wales clash". Hunslet RLFC. 9 September 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
- "Kilshaw named as new coach at Hunslet RLFC". South Leeds Life. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.