The Rugby Lions Rugby Football Club
The Rugby Lions RFC have fought their way back from the abyss.
The Club played in the top flight of Rugby in earlier days, in those long forgotten amateur days. However in July 2012, the Lions found themselves totally out of the league structure after an ill fated takeover and subsequent destruction of the Rugby Lions Club.
This could have been the end for the Club, but a stalwart group of supporters had other ideas. A new committee was formed and put in place plans to keep the Club alive which resulted in a year of regrouping outside of league structure. This involved successfully honouring 20 friendly fixtures which was the agenda set out by the RFU for a return to the leagues.
It was a case of getting 15 bodies onto the field, which was a mixture of junior and veterans and playing the fixtures, regardless of the results, to fulfil the specified requirements. The Club literally had nothing to begin with in September 2012, no players and a pitch on a council park as our ground was knee high in grass and unplayable.
The Club gained readmission to the Leagues and started the following season (13/14) right at the very bottom of the Structure at Level 10 in Midlands Five. A new set of players were put together by Rob Walton our new Head Club coach which involved a number of the junior players who had fulfilled the friendly fixtures in the previous season.
The first season saw Lions win the league and an appearance at Twickenham in the final of the Junior Vase Cup. The next season the rebuilding of the Club continued and saw the Club also win the Midlands Four Division.
At the start of the 2015-16 season things were looking good for the Rugby Lions and all set up for a challenge to Midlands Three, but in August 2015 it all came to an abrupt halt. The Lions Head Coach Rob Walton died in a tragic accident whilst on holiday abroad. This badly affected the Club and the players as Rob had been instrumental in the Clubs rise from the ashes and in the rebuilding of the team.
After a nonexistent preseason ‘warm up’, the Lions then lost the first two games of the new season and their climb up the leagues appeared over. However, the commitment and spirit of the players that had been established by Rob saw the team steadily regain their form, playing for each other and despite the tragic early setback saw the Lions steadily winning games and progressing up the league.
The conclusion of that season came down to the very last game which saw the Lions secure a well earned victory by beating the team they had lost to in the first game of the season. For the first time in the year the Rugby Lions were top of League and subsequently gained their third successive promotion.
The Rugby Lions RFC continued to rebuild and season 2016-17 saw the Club gain their fourth promotion in a row, winning Midlands 2 West (South). The Club now look forward to the challenge of Midlands 1 Rugby this season and to continue their fight back from the abyss.
The Rugby Lions are not however just about the Senior Teams. During the past five years the Club has built a solid Minis & Juniors set up and organises a very successful Tournament at the start of October. The Youth section is very important to the Lions as it is the future of the Club and for the first time in many years this season the Club will be putting out a Colts Team.
The Club also has a Ladies XV, the Rugby Lionesses. They were formed in 2010 by a group of local ladies who wanted to further develop their fitness and social network through the game of rugby. The Lionesses survived the Club break up in 2012 and have made great progress and now play their rugby in National Challenge (Midland) 1.
The Rugby Lions have a strong supporter base which has seen us through the ‘difficult’ years and during which has established a great Club spirit. The Club’s ambitions for the next few years are to consolidate the League position, to continue to build a strong team player ethos, to develop the Juniors and Ladies teams, establish a solid financial structure and to enjoy the ride.
Article provided by Club Secretary Douglas Hutchinson