Winscombe RFC is an English amateur rugby club that is based in the village of Winscombe, somerset. They play at the Winscombe War Memorial Recreation Ground, also known as the Rec. The club has three senior teams, a veterans side and over 400 children registered to play at mini and junior level, as well as a girls setups with U18s and U15s being past reigning National Champions.
|Full name||Winscombe Rugby Football Club|
|Location||Winscombe, Somerset, England|
|Ground(s)||Winscombe Recreation Ground (Capacity: 1,200)|
|League(s)||Western Counties North|
|2021–22||5th (promoted to Regional 2 Severn)|
The club was founded in 1962 by Dai Davies, Taff Watham, Pete Smart, J.A. Jacobs and C.W. Reid, initially with only one team. Originally the club played on Home Field, Woodborough Farm, now known as the Lynch Field, and changed in a nearby lean-to building, behind what was then called the Woodborough Hotel (now the Woodborough Inn). Only one wall of that building now remains, from the showers, and forms the lower wall of the car park behind the pub. The first game took place on 10 November 1963 against a representative XV from Clifton Rugby Football Club, with Winscombe winning by 26–12. The club's first try-scorer, Steve Bridges, eventually went on to become a long serving president, only retiring in 2010. A 2nd XV was added in 1963, and the 3rd XV played its first match in 1967.
In 1968 the club moved to Winscombe War Memorial Ground (Sidcot School, now known as the Longfield pitches. They share the clubhouse with Winscombe cricket, hockey, and football clubs. In 2000 the club bought land for two additional pitches, and in 2007 these were named the Blomfield Pitches, in memory of the club's late treasurer, George Blomfield, who had campaigned tirelessly to raise money for the purchase. Further development of the club's facilities continues, with the latest stage being the floodlighting of the main Longfield pitch.), using a field leased from
- Somerset 2 champions (2): 1996–97, 2002–03
- Somerset 1 champions (2): 2003–04, 2006–07
- Bristol Combination Cyril Parsons Bowl winners: 2012–13
- Tribute Somerset Premier champions: 2016–17
- National Girls U18 Champions 2016–17
- National Girls U15 Champions 2016–17
When founded the team played in an all-black strip, and was known as the Somerset All-Blacks, at least by their own players.
The number of teams fielded by the club at senior level has fluctuated between two and four, although most recently there have been consistent 1st, 2nd and 3rd XVs. In season 2007-8 the club's 2nd XV entered the Somerset league system, followed by the 3rd XV in 2008-9. For the 2010-11 season, the club will field a 1st XV in Somerset Premier, and a 2nd XV in Somerset 2 North. Due to the advancing age profile of the 3rd XV they have been reconstituted as a Veterans XV and now only play friendly matches, on request.
Mini and junior teamsEdit
The Mini and Junior section of the club was formed in 1981 by club stalwart Dave Howells and is now one of the largest Mini and Junior rugby sections in the south-west of England, with over 400 players registered. Players can start from Under 6, where although they are not permitted to play matches by RFU regulations, they are taught the basics of the game. The club fields teams at every age group from Under 6 to Under 17, and Colts (Under 19).
Ladies and girls rugbyEdit
Recently formed under the guidance of Gareth Waterfield, Winscombe now boast a thriving female rugby section The Winscombe Warriors. With teams at U18, U15 and U13 level. Although only formed in 2013 (at U15 level) they now have a great number of players (The Warrior Family) and have had players selected for representative and county rugby. The team were 2013 - 14 season South West Champions in their inaugural season and have now progressed to National Champions at U15 and U18 levels.
Winscombe RFC hosts three annual rugby festivals.
- The Jubilee Years; The History of the First 25 Years of Winscombe Rugby Football Club, Ed. Averis, E., Clevedon Printing Company, 1987, p5.
- Tucker, Margaret (2004). The Book of Winscombe: A Changing Mendip Community. Halsgrove. ISBN 978-1-84114-344-6.
- "Morrison to switch on Winscombe's new lights". Rugby Football Union. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "The History of Winscombe 3rds". Winscombe RFC. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Mini & Junior". Winscombe RFC. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Rhino Mendip Sevens". Rhino Rugby. Retrieved 11 June 2010.