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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.

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 championsCoventry (3rd title)
(2017–18)
Most championshipsCoventry, Otley (3 titles)
WebsiteNational League 1
2018–19 National League 1

Contents

Current seasonEdit

Participating teams and locationsEdit

Twelve of the sixteen teams participated in the preceding season's competition. The 2017–18 champions, Coventry, were promoted to the 2018–19 RFU Championship, swapping places with bottom club, Rotherham Titans, who were relegated from the 2017–18 RFU Championship.[2][3] Sides relegated from the 2017–18 National League 1 included Fylde and Hull Ionians (both National League 2 North) and Old Albanian (National League 2 South).[4][5][2]

Teams promoted into the division include Cinderford and Sale FC, champions of 2017–18 National League 2 South and 2017–18 National League 2 North respectively, along with south runners up Chinnor who defeated the north's Sedgley Park in the promotion play-off.[6][7][8] Cinderford are returning to National League 1 after an absence of two seasons, while Sale FC and Chinnor are both playing at the highest league level in their history.

League tableEdit

2018–19 National League 1 Table watch · edit · discuss
Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points
1 Ampthill 29 22 1 6 918 563 355 20 5 115
2 Old Elthamians 29 22 2 5 814 550 264 16 2 110
3 Blackheath 29 20 1 8 772 577 195 16 5 103
4 Rosslyn Park 29 20 1 8 823 680 143 15 4 101
5 Rotherham Titans 29 16 0 13 705 674 31 13 5 82
6 Plymouth Albion 29 15 0 14 681 680 1 13 6 79
7 Cinderford 29 13 1 15 605 660 -55 11 7 72
8 Darlington Mowden Park 29 12 1 16 705 764 -59 15 7 72
9 Bishop's Stortford 29 13 0 16 732 593 139 11 8 71
10 Chinnor 29 11 2 16 725 845 -120 15 8 71
11 Sale FC 29 12 1 16 727 849 -122 12 6 68
12 Birmingham Moseley 29 10 1 18 756 847 -91 13 9 64
13 Caldy 29 11 0 18 569 759 -190 9 8 61
14 Cambridge 29 11 1 17 550 612 -62 4 9 59
15 Loughborough Students 29 8 0 21 801 1052 -251 18 7 57
16 Esher 29 10 0 19 603 781 -178 8 8 56
  • 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: 13 April 2019
Source: "National League 1". NCA Rugby.


HistoryEdit

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 formatEdit

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 teamsEdit

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 championsEdit

National Division ThreeEdit

National Division Three
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runners-up Relegated team(s) Ref
1987–88 12 11 Wakefield West Hartlepool Morley, Birmingham [9]
1988–89 12 11 Plymouth Albion Rugby Metropolitan Police, Maidstone [10]
1989–90 12 11 London Scottish Wakefield London Welsh [10]
1990–91 13 12 West Hartlepool Morley Metropolitan Police, Vale of Lune [11]
1991–92 13 12 Richmond Fylde Nuneaton, Lydney [12]
1992–93 12 11 Otley Havant Multiple teams[a 1] [13]
1993–94 10 18 Coventry Fylde Havant, Redruth [14]
1994–95 10 18 Bedford Blackheath Clifton, Exeter [15]
1995–96 10 18 Coventry Richmond[a 2] Fylde in last place (no relegation) [16]
1996–97 16 30 Exeter Fylde Walsall, Havant, Redruth, Clifton [17]

National League OneEdit

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 TwoEdit

National Division Two
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runners-up Relegated team(s) Ref
2000–01 14 26 Bracknell Rugby Camberley, Lydney, West Hartlepool [21]
2001–02 14 26 Orrell Plymouth Albion Rosslyn Park, Waterloo, Preston Grasshoppers [21]
2002–03 14 26 Penzance-Newlyn Henley Launceston, Kendal, Fylde [22]
2003–04 14 26 Sedgley Park Nottingham Rugby, Lydney [23]
2004–05 14 26 Doncaster Newbury Nuneaton, Bracknell, Rosslyn Park [24]
2005–06 14 26 Moseley Waterloo Orrell [25]
2006–07 14 26 Esher Launceston Bradford & Bingley, Barking, Harrogate [26]
2007–08 14 26 Otley Manchester Nuneaton, Henley Hawks, Halifax [27]
2008–09 14 26 Birmingham & Solihull Cambridge Westcombe Park, Southend, Mounts Bay, Waterloo [28]

National League OneEdit

National League One
Season No of teams No of matches Champions Runners-up Relegated team(s) Ref
2009–10 16 30 Esher London Scottish Newbury, Nuneaton, Manchester [29]
2010–11 16 30 London Scottish Barking Redruth, Otley, Launceston [30]
2011–12 16 30 Jersey Ealing Trailfinders Birmingham & Solihull, Stourbridge, Barking
2012–13 16 30 Ealing Trailfinders Esher Macclesfield, Sedgley Park, Cambridge [31]
2013–14 16 30 Doncaster Knights Rosslyn Park Henley Hawks, Worthing Raiders, Hull Ionians [32]
2014–15 16 30 Ealing Trailfinders Rosslyn Park Tynedale, Macclesfield, Old Albanian
2015–16 16 30 Richmond Hartpury College Henley Hawks, Cinderford, Wharfedale
2016–17 16 30 Hartpury College Plymouth Albion Macclesfield, Blaydon[a 4]
2017–18 16 30 Coventry Darlington Mowden Park Fylde, Old Albanian, Hull Ionians
2018–19 16 30
Green background are the promotion places.

League resultsEdit

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
  • Bradford & Bingley
  • Harrogate
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

Number of league titlesEdit

RecordsEdit

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 2017–18 season.

League recordsEdit

  • 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 recordsEdit

  • 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)
  • Most drop kicks scored in a match: 3
Fylde away to Esher on 13 February 2016 (2015–16)

Player recordsEdit

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

Attendance recordsEdit

[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 scorersEdit

As of the end of the games of 12 May 2018. 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   Andrew Baggett 2001–08
2008–17
Wharfedale
Blaydon
1,707 409 4.2
2   Neil Hallett 1999–02
2002–04
2004–10
2011–12
Rosslyn Park
Bracknell
Esher
Ealing Trailfinders
1,440 181 8.0
3   Alastair Bressington 2004–05
2005–10, 2010–12
2010
Moseley
Stourbridge
Cinderford
1,201 147 8.2
4   Lee Cholewa 1996–97
1998–99, 2000–05
2005–07
2010–11
Rotherham
Harrogate
London Welsh
London Scottish
1,168 146 8.0
5   Clifford Hodgson 2012–2017[36] Coventry 1,024 109 9.4
6   Mark Bedworth 2005–10 Wharfedale 1,024 114 9.0
7   Chris Johnson 2012–16 Fylde 990 110 9.0
8   Ben Harvey 1996–97
1999–00
2000–01
2001–05
Richmond
Worcester Warriors
Moseley
Stourbridge
987 118 8.4
9   Jonathon Gregory 1996–97
2000–04
Richmond
Esher
970 84 11.5
10   Jonathon Davies 1997–07 Wharfedale 946 198 4.8

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 1)

Top ten try scorersEdit

As of the end of the games of 12 May 2018. 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   David Allen 2004–17 Blackheath 147 277 0.5
2   Oliver Brennand 2011–17 Fylde 117 161 0.7
3   Phil Chesters 2011–13, 2014–15 Ealing Trailfinders 105 82 1.3
4   Hugo Ellis 2012– Rosslyn Park 97 138 0.7
5   Chris Malherbe 1998–99
2001–02
2002–11
Camberley
Kendal
Wharfedale
95 222 0.4
6   Jason Smithson 2007–17 Blaydon 96 224 0.4
7   Andrew Hodgson 1997–99, 2000–04, 2005–13, 2014–16 Wharfedale 95 264 0.4
8   Christoff Lombaard 2006–07, 2008–10
2012–15, 16-17
Cambridge
Old Albanian
81 151 0.5
9   Ed Smithies 1999–07 Harrogate 77 187 0.4
10   Simon Horsfall 2003–2008, 2009–13 Wharfedale 73 210 0.3

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 1)

NotesEdit

  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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Stephen Jones, ed. (1988). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1988–89. London: Rothmans Publications Ltd.
  2. ^ a b "Coventry 38 Hull Ionians 21". Coventry RFC. 28 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Titans officially relegated after defeat". Rotherham Advertiser. 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Fylde relegated whilst Coventry take a step closer to glory". NCA Rugby. 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Brave Old Albanian lose battle with National One drop after Plymouth Albion loss". Herts Advertiser. 26 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Brave Bury push champions Cinderford all the way in a thriller". East Anglian Daily Times. 22 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Sale FC crowned champions, Blaydon suffer back to back relegations". NCA Rugby. 30 April 2018.
  8. ^ "National Leagues". The RUGBYPaper (503). Rugby Paper Ltd. 6 May 2018. pp. 26 & 30.
  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 22 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Courage Clubs Championship-1992/93". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Courage Clubs Championship 1993/94". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Courage Club Championships 1994/95". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 22 June 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 22 June 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 22 June 2013.
  24. ^ "2004/05: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  25. ^ "2005/06: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  26. ^ "2006/07: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  27. ^ "2007/08: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  28. ^ "2008/09: National League 2". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  29. ^ "2009/10: National League 1". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Final League Tables 2010 – 2011". Trelawneys Army. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  31. ^ "English National League One Table". BBC. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  32. ^ "SSE National League 1". NCA. Retrieved 8 May 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 9 January 2016.
  35. ^ "National One All time leading scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 29 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Team news for tomorrow – Coventry Rugby". www.coventryrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  37. ^ "National One All time try scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 29 April 2017.

External linksEdit