Taunton R.F.C.

Taunton Rugby Football Club is an English rugby union club based in Taunton, Somerset. The first XV, Taunton Titans, play in National League 1, having achieved promotion in 2020.[1] The second XV (The Warriors) play in the Somerset Premier League and the third XV (The Wanderers) play in Somerset 2 South. The club also operates the full range of junior teams for both boys and girls.[2]

Taunton
Taunton R.F.C.png
Full nameTaunton Rugby Football Club
UnionSomerset RFU
Founded1875; 147 years ago (1875)
LocationTaunton, Somerset, England
Ground(s)Veritas Park, Hyde Lane (Capacity: 2,000 (198 seats))
ChairmanJohn Wrelton
PresidentDick Macey
Coach(es)Tony Yapp
Captain(s)Dan Lee
Top scorerNick Mason
League(s)National League 1
2019–20National League 2 South, Champions (promoted)
Team kit
Official website
www.tauntonrfc.co.uk

HistoryEdit

The club was founded in 1875,[3] and play their home matches at Hyde Park, next to the M5 motorway.[4] They moved to Hyde Park in November 2001, having previously played at Priory Park for 66 years. In 2011, they began their partnership with local telecommunications firm, Commsplus. This partnership developed over many years and in October 2017, the Taunton Rugby Club ground at Hyde Park in Taunton was officially renamed the 'Commsplus Stadium'.

For the 2019–20 season, the ground will be known as the 'Towergate Stadium' after new sponsors Towergate - an insurance company.[5]

Playing recordEdit

The team's achievements in 2008–09, when they remained unbeaten, saw them rewarded by being named 'BBC West Team of the Year'.[6]

In the 2009–10 season, the Taunton 1st XV were champions of National League 3 South West, winning 24 of 26 matches.[7]

In the 2010–11 season, the Taunton 1st XV finished in 7th position in their first season in National League 2 South.[8]

HonoursEdit

1st team (Titans):

2nd team (Warriors):

3rd team (Wanderers):

Current squadEdit

The Taunton Titans squad for the 2017–18 season is:

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Alex Spurdle Hooker   England
Andrew Hamilton Hooker   England
Chris Francis Hooker   England
Paul Davis Hooker   England
Aaron Wilman Prop   England
Isaac Dalton Prop   England
Connor Baker Prop   England
James Kenny Prop   England
Charlie Tribble Prop   England
Dave Edwards Prop   England
Stuart Persey Lock   England
Blake Lugg Lock   England
Brett Harvey Lock   England
Will Hopkinson Lock   England
Milo Reynalds Lock   England
Andrew England Lock   England
Jamie Fleming Flanker   England
Ratu Vakalutukali Flanker   Fiji
Dan Frost Flanker   England
Charlie Samways Flanker   England
Charlie Walker-Blair Number 8   England
Sam Prior Number 8   England
Ben Oliphant-Thompson Number 8   England
Player Position Union
Lewis Webb Scrum-half   England
Connor Banks Scrum-half   England
Connor Littlewood Scrum-half   England
Toby East Fly-half   England
Oliver Carter Centre   England
Nick Mason Centre   England
Freddy Fraser Centre   South Africa
Tom Popham Centre   England
Rob Allen Centre   England
Jack Claydon Wing   England
Ollie Rice Wing   England
Aron Struminski Wing   Poland
Jordan Paul Wing   England
Gary Kingdom Fullback   England
  • Notes:

Current standingsEdit

2021–22 National League 1 Table watch · edit · discuss
Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points
1 Rosslyn Park 15 13 0 2 512 269 243 10 2 64
2 Caldy 16 11 2 3 393 351 42 7 1 56
3 Sale FC 16 11 0 5 458 319 139 7 3 54
4 Cinderford 16 10 0 6 456 361 95 9 5 54
5 Cambridge 15 8 3 4 366 303 63 9 2 49
6 Chinnor 14 7 1 6 400 334 66 11 6 47
7 Rams 14 9 0 5 320 293 27 6 3 45
8 Taunton Titans 16 7 1 8 389 496 −107 9 3 42
9 Blackheath 15 5 0 10 323 354 −31 4 9 33
10 Bishop's Stortford 16 5 1 10 348 378 −30 5 3 30
11 Birmingham Moseley 15 6 0 9 253 356 −103 2 3 29
12 Darlington Mowden Park 14 5 1 8 325 366 −41 4 3 29
13 Plymouth Albion 15 5 0 10 345 417 −72 6 2 28
14 Leeds Tykes 14 4 0 10 269 409 −140 4 5 25
15 Tonbridge Juddians 15 2 1 12 289 440 −151 3 6 19
  • 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 will be promoted to the RFU Championship.
Yellow background (row 2) will be promoted, should the winner of the Championship be promoted.
Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 15 January 2022
Source: "National League 1". RFU.

M5 motorway crashEdit

On the evening of 4 November 2011 seven people were killed and fifty one injured in a multi-vehicle accident on the M5 south of the area where Taunton RFC were holding a fireworks display. Police said that they were investigating whether smoke from the event had been a significant factor in the accident.[10] Taunton Rugby Club management committee issued a statement regarding the crash on 7 November 2011.[11] On 13 December 2011, it was reported that the Highways Agency advised that fog warning systems be upgraded 18 months before the crash.[12]

On 19 October 2012, Geoffrey Counsell, the provider of a fireworks display, was charged with seven counts of manslaughter.[13] At the 15 January hearing the manslaughter charges against Counsell were dropped. He will instead face a single charge of failing to ensure the safety of others, under health and safety laws.[14] On 9 April he entered a not guilty plea and was bailed.[15]

On 10 December 2013, Geoffrey Counsell was cleared of the blame for the firework deaths. He had denied the charge of failing to ensure public safety for the Taunton Rugby Club display. A judge at Bristol Crown Court directed the jury to find him not guilty. Speaking outside court, Mr Counsell said he believed the decision to prosecute him was "motivated by a desire to find someone to blame for this terrible accident, simply for the sake of doing so". The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it sought evidence from experts and eyewitnesses before making the decision to charge Mr Counsell. The pile-up involved about 30 cars when they were engulfed by a thick fog on the M5 on 4 November 2011. The court had previously been told the smog was so thick that motorists on the northbound carriageway likened it to having a tin of paint thrown over their windscreens. Mr Justice Simon ruled Mr Counsell had "no case to answer" following an application from the defendant's barrister at the halfway point in the trial. He said the prosecution's case was "heavily weighted" on "hindsight" and there was not sufficient evidence to show that Mr Counsell ought to have foreseen that smoke from the display could have drifted and mixed with fog to create thick smog. "I have therefore concluded that the evidence is such that the jury cannot continue in these circumstances and it is my duty to stop the trial and order an acquittal," he added.

Mr Counsell, who ran Firestorm Pyrotechnics, was the contractor hired by Taunton Rugby Club to run the £3,000 display, which was watched by about 1,000 people. He set off 1,500 shots in 15 minutes – just 200 yards from the motorway.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Team Info — Taunton 1st XV". Taunton RFC. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  2. ^ Club website home page
  3. ^ "Club Contacts". Taunton RFC. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Address Details". Taunton RFC. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Taunton Rugby Club ground re-named Towergate Stadium". Somerset County Gazette. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Golden girl Millward, Powell and Weale win BBC sports awards". The Bath Chronicle. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  7. ^ 24 of 26[dead link]
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.trelawnys-army.org.uk/ta/tables089.html
  10. ^ "M5 crash: Firework display is 'major line of inquiry'". BBC News. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  11. ^ TAUNTON M5 CRASH: Latest rugby club statement. thisisthewestcountry.co.uk. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  12. ^ M5 fog warning ignored in 2010. thisissomerset.co.uk. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  13. ^ "BBC M5 crash deaths: Geoffrey Counsell on manslaughter charges". BBC News. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Manslaughter charges dropped in M5 crash case". BBC News. 15 January 2013.
  15. ^ "M5 crash deaths accused Geoffrey Counsell pleads not guilty". BBC News. 9 April 2013.

External linksEdit