Yorkshire Rugby Football Union
The Yorkshire Rugby Football Union is the society responsible for rugby union in the county of Yorkshire, England and is one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union having been formed in 1869. In addition, the county has won the county championship on fifteen occasions, and finished runners-up on a further eight occasions. The Yorkshire RFU also organises the Yorkshire Cup, which was inaugurated in 1878.
|Full name||Yorkshire Rugby Football Union|
formerly Yorkshire County Club
|Region||East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire|
|President||E. E. Atkinson|
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Early years of County representative teamEdit
The first match arranged for the county of Yorkshire took place in 1870, at Leeds against Lancashire. This match was immediately known as the "Battle of the Roses" and was considered the "blue ribbon" of Northern rugby football. To be selected to represent the county was an honour bestowed long before the foundation of the Yorkshire RFU and it was seen as "the high road to International honours".
Formation of the Yorkshire Football UnionEdit
Any form of sporting interest with appeal to a Yorkshireman promptly engenders demand for a match with Lancashire. Before Rugby football had even acquired commonly acceptable laws or pattern of play Yorkshire and Lancashire were eager to compete with each other and from this eagerness grew, in course of time and through disharmonious days, the Rugby Football Unions of Yorkshire and Lancashire. A Yorkshireman, J. G. Hudson, was innovator; not of the Yorkshire Rugby Union, but of matches with Lancashire, which originated county Rugby, thereby demanding the creation of county authorities. Hudson was a founder of the Leeds Athletic Club which was built on the simple basis of a newspaper invitation to play football on Woodhouse Moor "from 7 to 8 o'clock a.m.". The Victorian virtue of early rising brought extension of playing hours; morning football came to start at 6.30 a.m.-presumably when daylight permitted-and either the power of the Press or the inherent fascination of the new pastime induced attendances of 500, participants in practice games numbering 60 to 150, all, apparently, served by one ball and goalposts consisting of broom handles identified by fluttering cotton. These practices on Woodhouse Moor were not conducted entirely for their own sake. There were other Northern nurseries of the same, or a similar, game and in 1864 matches were played against Sheffield. Winds of challenge blew across the Pennines; in 1865 Leeds played Manchester. This, of course, was not enough. Yorkshire had to meet Lancashire and at Hudson's instigation they did, so instituting county history in Rugby football. The first Yorkshire authority and the first Yorkshire team were representative of the county only in their representation of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Hull and no formal committee was required because no formal business had to be transacted. Match management was by venue, Leeds, Bradford, and Huddersfield finding the grounds and choosing the teams for home matches and Hull undertaking responsibility for away fixtures. The Northern counties are prideful communities and Rugby football quickly extended county pride and loyalties. Yorkshire's founding fathers, spurred by Harry Wharfedale Tennant Garnett of Bradford, wanted county matches to become occasions offering hospitality off the field as well as a contest in sport and to this end preparation was necessary. By 1874 the representatives of Leeds Athletic, Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull and York were meeting as a committee to promote county interests. They were a self-created authority, serving a current need and they sought to be no more than the machinery of a county club as distinct from a union of represented clubs within a geographical and administrative area. The committee of the five held county reins through a period of accumulating discontent as the Rugby game spread and the number of clubs increased. They were challenged in 1880 and, with no great show of enthusiasm, invited two other clubs to join them. They bent further before the wind in 1883 when they proposed a revised constitution, but dismissed a request for county organisation under elected members from Yorkshire clubs within the now established national Rugby Union. They conceded the inevitable in 1888 when the Yorkshire County Club formally became the Yorkshire Rugby Union.
The county side has reached the County Championship Final 23 times, winning the title on 15 occasions.
|Year||Winners||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue||Notes|
|1896||Yorkshire||Surrey||4-16||Yorkshire||Athletic Ground, Richmond|
|1910||Gloucestershire||Gloucestershire||23-0||Yorkshire||Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester|
|1957||Devon||Devon||12-3||Yorkshire||Home Park, Plymouth|
|1963||Warwickshire||Warwickshire||13-10||Yorkshire||Coundon Road Stadium, Coventry|
|1983||Gloucestershire||Gloucestershire||19-7||Yorkshire||Memorial Stadium, Bristol|
From 1984 all Championship finals were played at Twickenham Stadium.
|1991||Cornwall||29-20||Yorkshire||Twickenham Stadium||After Extra Time (AET)|
|1994||Yorkshire||26-3||Durham County||Twickenham Stadium|
|2001||Yorkshire||47-19||Cornwall||Twickenham Stadium||Challenge match|
Games played against international oppositionEdit
|1888||12 December||New Zealand Natives||Loss||See notes||1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour||Manningham, Bradford||The Natives won by 2 goals, 4 tries, 2 minors to Yorkshire's 1 goal, 3 tries, 6 minors.|
|1889||19 January||New Zealand Natives||Win||see notes||1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour||Belle Vue (Wakefield), Wakefield||Yorkshire won by 5 goals, 1 try, 6 minors to Natives' 1 goal, 1 try, 1 minor.|
|1905||13 December||New Zealand||Loss||0-40||The Original All Blacks||Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds|
|1906||13 October||South Africa||Loss||0-34||1906–07 South Africa rugby union tour||Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds|
|1908||21 November||Australia||Loss||0-24||1908–09 Australia rugby union tour of Britain||Belle Vue (Wakefield), Wakefield|
|1919||13 October||New Zealand Army||Loss||5-41||New Zealand Army tour||Lidgett Green, Bradford||Game marked the opening of Bradford RFC's new ground at Lidgett Green|
|1924||18 October||New Zealand||Loss||4-42||1924–25 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and France||Lidgett Green, Bradford|
|1926||27 October||New Zealand Maori||Loss||9-17||1926–27 New Zealand Māori rugby union tour||Lidgett Green, Bradford|
Games played against international opposition by composite teams including YorkshireEdit
|1927||8 October||New South Wales||Loss||3-9||1927–28 Waratahs tour of the British Isles, France and Canada||Lidgett Green, Bradford||Joint Yorkshire and Cumberland XV|
|1932||6 January||South Africa||Loss||5-27||1931–32 South Africa rugby union tour||Workington||Joint Yorkshire and Cumberland XV|
|1935||21 September||New Zealand||Loss||3-14||1935–36 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and Canada||Lidgett Green, Bradford||Joint Yorkshire and Cumberland XV|
|1946||February||New Zealand Army||Loss||0-41||1946 New Zealand army tour||Manchester||Joint Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumberland XV|
|1947||18 October||Australia||Loss||0-25||1947–48 Australia rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America||Workington||Joint Yorkshire, Westmoreland and Cumberland XV|
Notable players for the County sideEdit
Notes; ★ RFU President
Amongst the clubs falling within the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union are several clubs of national renown including; Doncaster R.F.C., Hull Ionians, Leeds Tykes, Rotherham R.U.F.C., Wakefield RFC (now non-playing), and Wharfedale R.U.F.C..
Rugby league clubs that were members of the Yorkshire RFU before switching codes during or shortly after the schism include Batley, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hunslet, Hull FC, Hull Kingston Rovers, Keighley, Leeds, Wakefield Trinity and York.
Affiliated club sidesEdit
There are currently 94 clubs affiliated with the Yorkshire RFU, most of which have teams at both senior and junior level. These clubs are based in the districts that make up modern Yorkshire - East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
- Baildon (website)
- Barnsley (website)
- Beverley (website)
- Bradford & Bingley (website)
- Bradford Salem (website)
- Bramley Phoenix (website)
- Bridlington (website)
- Burley (website)
- Halifax (website)
- Halifax Vandals (website)
- Harrogate (website)
- Harrogate Pythons (website)
- Heath (website)
- Hemsworth (website)
- Hessle (website)
- Hornsea (website)
- Huddersfield (website)
- Huddersfield Y.M.C.A. (website)
- Hull (website)
- Hull Ionians (website)
- Hullensians (website)
- Leeds Corinthians (website)
- Leeds Medics & Dentists (website)
- Leeds Tykes (website)
- Leodiensians (website)
- Malton & Norton (website)
- Marist (website)
- Middlesbrough (website)
- Moortown (website)
- Morley (website)
- Mosborough (website)
- Old Brodleians (website)
- Old Crossleyans (website)
- Old Grovians (website)
- Old Modernians (website)
- Old Otliensians (website)
- Old Rishworthians (website)
- Ossett (website)
- Otley (website)
- Rawmarsh (website)
- Redcar (website)
- Richmondshire (website)
- Ripon (website)
- Rodillians (website)
- Rossington (website)
- Rotherham Clifton (website)
- Rotherham Phoenix (website)
- Rotherham Titans (website)
- Roundhegian (website)
- Sandal (website)
- Scarborough (website)
- Selby (website)
- Sheffield (website)
- Sheffield Medicals (website)
- Sheffield Oaks (website)
- Sheffield Tigers (website)
- Skipton (website)
- Stocksbridge (website)
- Wakefield[a 1]
- Wath-upon-Dearne (website)
- Wensleydale (website)
- West Leeds (website)
- West Park Leeds (website)
- Wetherby (website)
- Wharfedale (website)
- Wheatley Hills (website)
- Whitby (Whitby website)
- Wibsey (website)
- Withernsea (website)
- Despite going into liquidation and ceasing to exist in 2004, Wakefield remain as non-playing members of the Yorkshire RFU.
County club competitionsEdit
The Yorkshire RFU currently runs the following competitions for club sides based in the districts that make up modern day Yorkshire - East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire:
- Yorkshire 1 - league ranked at tier 7 of the English rugby union system
- Yorkshire 2 - tier 8 league
- Yorkshire 3 - tier 9 league
- Yorkshire 4 (North West) - tier 10 league
- Yorkshire 4 (South East) - tier 10 league
- Yorkshire Cup - founded in 1877, open to clubs at tiers 4-6 of the English rugby union system
- Yorkshire Shield
- Yorkshire Trophy
- Yorkshire Vase
- Francis Marshall, Football; the Rugby union game, page 373, London
- J. M. Kilburn, Yorkshire Rugby Union - Centenary 1869-1969, Page-5, Chadwick Studios/Frederick Duffield & sons Ltd.
- "Matches played—New Zealand Natives' rugby tour, 1888/89". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- "In the British Isles, France and North America". allblacks.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- Newcombe, Jon (27 April 2014). "Spirit lives on decade after Wakefield demise". The RUGBYPaper. p. 39.
- "Links to clubs in Yorkshire". Yorkshire RFU (Pitchero). Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- "Competitions - 2016/17". Yorkshire RFU (Pitchero). Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- "Yorkshire Competitions 2017-18". Yorkshire RFU (Pitchero). Retrieved 17 June 2017.