National League 2 North
National League 2 North, (which before September 2009 was known as National Division Three North) is a level four league in the English rugby union system and provides mostly amateur competition for teams in the northern half of England. From 2009–10 the RFU restructured the league system in England, and this league was expanded from fourteen to sixteen teams. Participating clubs are from the English Midlands and Northern England. Each team plays thirty league games on a home and away basis. The champion club is promoted to National League 1 and the runner-up participates in a one-off play-off with the runner-up of National League 2 South for promotion. Relegation is to either the Midlands Premier or North Premier leagues depending on where the teams are based.
|Current season or competition:|
2018–19 National League 2 North
|Number of teams||16|
|Holders||Hull Ionians (3rd title) (2018-19|
(promoted to National League 1)
|Most titles||Hull Ionians, Macclesfield (3 titles)|
Participating teams and locationsEdit
Twelve of the teams listed below participated in the 2017–18 National League 2 North season. The 2017–18 champions Sale FC were promoted into the 2018–19 National League 1, replacing Fylde and Hull Ionians who were relegated from the 2017–18 National League 1. The three teams relegated from National League 2 North the previous season were Sheffield and Luctonians (both Midlands Premier) and Blaydon (North Premier).
The promoted teams include Preston Grasshoppers from North Premier (champions) who return to the division after an absence of just one season, while Peterborough Lions came up from Midlands Premier (playoffs). Midlands Premier champions Birmingham & Solihull were level transferred to the 2018–19 National League 2 South due to an imbalance of teams, being considered the most southerly team in the division.
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|1||Hull Ionians (C)||29||22||0||7||820||633||187||18||3||109|
|14||South Leicester (R)||29||7||1||21||654||1088||-434||11||4||45|
|16||Peterborough Lions (R)||29||4||1||24||497||986||-489||7||3||28|
|Green background is the promotion place. Blue background is the play-off place. Pink background are relegation places.|
Updated: 20 April 2019
Source: "National League 2 North". NCA Rugby.
- Otley were deducted 4 points by the RFU after selecting an underage player to represent their 2nd XV on 19th January 2019 against Ripton 2nd XV, with the points deduction applying to the 1st XV side. An additional 4 points were suspended until the end of the season in the event that the club commits a similar offence.
National Two North honoursEdit
|Season||No of teams||Champions||Runner–up||Relegated teams||League name|
|1987–88||11||Rugby||Durham City||Solihull, Derby, Birkenhead Park||Area League North|
|1988–89||11||Roundhay||Broughton Park||Birmingham||Area League North|
|1989–90||11||Broughton Park||Morley||No relegation[a 1]||Area League North|
|1990–91||13||Otley||Lichfield||Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent||National 4 North|
|1991–92||13||Aspatria||Hereford||Vale of Lune, Northern||National 4 North|
|1992–93||13||Harrogate||Rotherham||Towcestrians||National 4 North|
|1993–94||10||Clifton||Harrogate||Sheffield (to 5 North), Sudbury (to 5 South)||Courage National League 4[a 2]|
|1994–95||10||Rotherham||Reading||Askeans (to 5 South), Broughton Park (to 5 North)||Courage National League 4|
|1995–96||10||Exeter||London Welsh[a 3]||Aspatria (to 4 North), Plymouth Albion (to 4 South)||Courage National League 4|
|1996–97||14||Worcester||Birmingham & Solihull||Stoke-on-Trent, Hereford||National 4 North|
|1997–98||14||Birmingham & Solihull||Manchester||No relegation||National 2 North|
|1998–99||14||Preston Grasshoppers||Stourbridge||Winnington Park, Lichfield, Hinckley||National 2 North|
|1999–00||14||Kendal||Stourbridge||Sheffield||National 2 North|
|2000–01||14||Stourbridge||Sedgley Park||Walsall, Aspatria||National 3 North|
|2001–02||14||Doncaster||Dudley Kingswinford||Whitchurch, Morley, Sandal, West Hartlepool||National 3 North|
|2002–03||14||Nuneaton||New Brighton||Bedford Athletic, Broadstreet, Hull Ionians, Scunthorpe||National 3 North|
|2003–04||14||Waterloo||Halifax||Preston Grasshoppers, Liverpool St Helens, Longton||National 3 North|
|2004–05||14||Halifax||Macclesfield||Rugby Lions, Dudley Kingswinford, Bedford Athletic||National 3 North|
|2005–06||14||Bradford & Bingley||Nuneaton||New Brighton, Kendal||National 3 North|
|2006–07||14||Blaydon||Tynedale||Darlington, Cleckheaton, Orrell||National 3 North|
|2007–08||14||Tynedale||Darlington Mowden Park||Morley, West Park St Helens, Beverley||National 3 North|
|2008–09||14||Nuneaton||Caldy||Darlington Mowden Park, Halifax||National 3 North|
|2009–10||16||Macclesfield||Loughborough Students||Waterloo, Bradford & Bingley||National League 2 North|
|2010–11||16||Fylde||Loughborough Students||Morley, Rugby Lions, Manchester||National League 2 North|
|2011–12||16||Loughborough Students||Caldy||Harrogate, Nuneaton, Kendal||National League 2 North|
|2012–13||16||Hull Ionians||Stourbridge||Westoe, Stockport, Huddersfield||National League 2 North|
|2013–14||16||Macclesfield||Darlington Mowden Park||Sheffield Tigers, Bromsgrove, Dudley Kingswinford||National League 2 North|
|2014–15||16||Hull Ionians||Ampthill||Birmingham & Solihull, Hull, Stockport||National League 2 North|
|2015–16||16||Macclesfield||Sedgley Park||Huddersfield, Broadstreet, Sandal||National League 2 North|
|2016–17||16||Caldy||Sale||Preston Grasshoppers, Scunthorpe, Harrogate||National League 2 North|
|2017–18||16||Sale FC||Sedgley Park||Sheffield, Blaydon, Luctonians||National League 2 North|
|2018–19||16||Hull Ionians||Chester||Peterborough Lions, Macclesfield, South Leicester||National League 2 North|
|Green backgrounds are promotion places.|
Since the 2000–01 season there has been a 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 having home advantage in the tie. As of the end of the 2017–18 season the southern teams have been more successful with thirteen wins to the northern teams four.
|Season||Home team||Score||Away team||Venue||Attendance|
|2000–01||Sedgley Park (N)||40–23||Launceston (S)||Park Lane, Whitefield, Greater Manchester||1,500|
|2001–02||Launceston (S)||26–0||Dudley Kingswinford (N)||Polson Bridge, Launceston, Cornwall||2,500|
|2002–03||Lydney (S)||21–7||New Brighton (N)||Regentsholme, Lydney, Gloucestershire|
|2003–04||Halifax (N)||16–18||Launceston (S)||Ovenden Park, Halifax, West Yorkshire|
|2004-05||Redruth (S)||33–14||Macclesfield (N)||The Recreation Ground, Redruth, Cornwall||4,000|
|2005–06||North Walsham (S)||5–15||Nuneaton (N)||Norwich Road, Scottow, Norfolk||1,302|
|2006–07||Westcombe Park (S)||36–20||Tynedale (N)||Goddington Dene, Orpington, Greater London||1,700|
|2007–08||Cinderford (S)||15–14||Darlington Mowden Park (N)||Dockham Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire||2,800|
|2008–09||No promotion play-offs 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.|
|2009–10||Loughborough Students (N)||21–43||Rosslyn Park (S)||Loughborough University Stadium, Loughborough, Leicestershire||1,000|
|2010–11||Jersey (S)||30–5||Loughborough Students (N)||St. Peter, Saint Peter, Jersey||3,100|
|2011–12||Richmond (S)||20–13 (aet)||Caldy (N)||Athletic Ground, Richmond, Greater London||1,600|
|2012–13||Stourbridge (N)||26–28||Worthing Raiders (S)||Stourton Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands||925|
|2013–14||Darlington Mowden Park (N)||30–28 (aet)||Ampthill (S)||The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington, County Durham||975|
|2014–15||Ampthill (N)||19–10||Bishop's Stortford (S)||Dillingham Park, Ampthill, Bedfordshire||1,253|
|2015–16||Old Albanian (S)||24–0||Sedgley Park (N)||Woollam Playing Fields, St Albans, Hertfordshire||473|
|2016–17||Sale (N2N)||14–19||Old Elthamians (N2S)||Heywood Road, Sale, Greater Manchester|
|2017-18||Chinnor (N2S)||40-31||Sedgley Park (N2N)||Kingsey Road, Thame, Oxfordshire|
|2018-19||Canterbury (N2S)||Chester (N2N)||The Marine Travel Ground, Canterbury, Kent|
|Green background represent the promoted teams. (N) stands for the northern teams and (S) stands for the southern teams.|
Number of league titlesEdit
- Hull Ionians (3)
- Macclesfield (3)
- Nuneaton (2)
- Aspatria (1)
- Birmingham & Solihull (1)
- Blaydon (1)
- Bradford & Bingley (1)
- Broughton Park (1)
- Caldy (1)
- Doncaster (1)
- Fylde (1)
- Halifax (1)
- Harrogate (1)
- Kendal (1)
- Loughborough Students (1)
- Otley (1)
- Preston Grasshoppers (1)
- Rotherham (1)[a 4]
- Roundhay (1)
- Rugby (1)
- Sale FC (1)
- Stourbridge (1)
- Tynedale (1)
- Waterloo (1)
- Worcester (1)
When club rugby began in 1987 this division was called Area 4 North and contained the following teams:
- Birkenhead Park (now playing in North Premier)
- Broughton Park (now playing in North 1 West)
- Derby (now playing in Midlands 1 East)
- Durham City (now playing in Durham/Northumberland 1)
- Lichfield (now playing in Midlands Premier)
- Northern (now playing in North 1 East)
- Preston Grasshoppers (still playing in National League 2 North)
- Roundhay (now Yorkshire Carnegie and playing in the RFU Championship)
- Rugby Lions (now playing in Midlands 3 West (South) having restarted from the bottom of the league pyramid)
- Solihull (now Birmingham & Solihull and playing in Midlands Premier)
- Stourbridge (still playing in National League 2 North)
League format since 1987Edit
|Year||Name||No of teams||No of matches|
|1987–93||Area League North and
Area League South
|1993–96||National Division Four||10||18|
|1996–97||National Four North and
National Four South
|1997–00||National Division 2 North and
National Division 2 South
|2000–09||National Division Three North and
National Division Three South
|2009–||National League 2 North and
National League 2 South
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 northern 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 2017-18 season.
- Most titles: 3
- Most times promoted from division: 3
- Hull Ionians (2012–13, 2014–15, 2018–19)
- Nuneaton (2002–03, 2005–06, 2008–09)
- Macclesfield (2009–10, 2013–14, 2015–16)
- Most times relegated from division: 3
- Most league points in a season: 134
- Fewest league points in a season: 0
- Most points scored in a season: 1,259
- Fewest points scored in a season: 205
- Most points conceded in a season: 1,985
- Fewest points conceded in a season: 305
- Best points difference (For/Against): 736
- Worst points difference (For/Against): -1,780
- Most games won in a season: 28
- Most games lost in a season: 30
- Most games drawn in a season: 3
- Worcester (1996–97),
- Dudley Kingswinford (2001-02, 2004-05)
- Liverpool St Helens (2003-04)
- New Brighton (2004-05)
- Preston Grasshoppers (2005-06, 2015-16)
- Leicester Lions (2007-08, 2011-12)
- Morley (2007-08)
- Huddersfield (2011-12)
- South Leicester (2015-16), (2017-18)
- Sedgley Park (2016-17)
- Most bonus points in a season: 30
- Largest home win: 124 - 0
- Largest away win: 106 - 0
- Most points scored in a match: 124
- Most tries scored in a match: 18
- Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006-07)
- Fylde at home to Manchester on 16 April 2011 (2010-11)
- Most conversions scored in a match: 17
- Most penalties scored in a match: 9
- Most drop kicks scored in a match: 3
- Fylde at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 7 January 2006 (2005-06)
- Nuneaton at home to Macclesfield on 11 October 2008 and away to Bradford & Bingley on 29 November 2008 (both 2008-09)
- Wharfedale at home to Scunthorpe on 19 November 2016 and Wharfedale at home to Luctonians on 28 January 2017 (both 2016-17)
- Most times top points scorer: 2
- Tom Rhodes for Bradford & Bingley (2004-05, 2005-06)
- Chris Johnson for Huddersfield (2010-11, 2011-12)
- Most times top try scorer: 3
- Most points in a season: 422
- Most tries in a season: 32
- Gareth Collins for Leicester Lions (2010-11)
- Ryan Parkinson for Macclesfield (2013-14)
- Nick Royle for Caldy (2016-17)
- Most points in a match: 49
- Most conversions in a match: 17
- Most tries in a match: 7
- Matt Donkin for Doncaster at home to Whitchurch on 10 November 2001 (2001-02)
- Nick Royle for Fylde away to Orrell on 31 March 2007 (2006-07)
- Dominic Moon for Preston Grasshoppers at home to Otley on 14 April 2012 (2011-12)
- Most penalties in a match: 9
- Most drop kicks in a match: 3
- Mike Scott for Fylde at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 7 January 2006 (2005-06)
- Rickie Aley for Nuneaton at home to Macclesfield on 11 October 2008 and away to Bradford & Bingley on 29 November 2008 (both 2008-09)
- Tom Barrett for Wharfedale at home to Scunthorpe on 19 November 2016 and at home to Luctonians on 28 January 2017 (both 2016-17)
- Highest attendance (league game): 3,750
- Lowest attendance (league game): 37
- Highest attendance (promotion playoff): 1,500
- Lowest attendance (promotion playoff): 925
- Highest average attendance (club): 921
- Lowest average attendance (club): 85
- Highest average attendance (season): 331 (2013-14)
- Lowest average attendance (season): 239 (2007-08)
National League 2 North top 10 point scorers, all timeEdit
- As of the end of the games of 12 May 2018. Stats taken from 1998-99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 North (no promotion playoff games). Points scored includes tries, drop kicks, penalties and conversions.
|1||Jon Boden||2006-||Leicester Lions||2,059||277||7.4|
|Darlington Mowden Park
(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 North.)
National League 2 North top 10 try scorers, all timeEdit
- As of the end of the games of 28 April 2018. Stats taken from 1998-99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 North (no promotion playoff games).
|Liverpool St Helens
|5||Andrew Riley||2013-||Sedgley Park||103||142||0.7|
|West Park St Helens
|8||Oliver Viney||2002-04, 2005–08, 2015-17||Preston Grasshoppers||81||153||0.6|
(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 North.)
- As no northern teams from National 3 were relegated into the division at the end of the season, there was no relegation.
- 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.
- The top eight teams were all promoted to the re-organised, sixteen team, Courage League Division 3 for season 1996–97
- Rotherham's league title was won during the period when tier 4 was a single national league (1993-96).
- Note that due to poor attendance keeping by press and online sources means that only seasons from 2004-05 onwards are included (apart from playoff games).
- Note that promotion playoff games include stats for northern clubs only. Southern club attendances will be covered at the National League 2 South page.
- This attendance is the lowest recorded but may not actually be the lowest as a couple of playoff games involving northern clubs have no attendance figures due to poor coverage. It is also worth noting than many Stourbridge fans felt the crowd was twice this large but this is the figure given in The Rugby Paper.
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