|Full name||Loughborough Students Rugby Union Football Club|
|Location||Loughborough, Leicestershire, England|
|Ground(s)||Loughborough University Stadium (Capacity: 3,000 )|
|Director of Rugby||Rhys Edwards|
|Coach(es)||Gerard Mullen, Nathan Smith, Jim Henry, Jamie Taylor, Anthony Allen, Tom Harrison|
|League(s)|| National League 2 North |
BUCS Premier North A
Loughborough Students Rugby Union Football Club represents Loughborough University in rugby union competition. Of the British universities, Loughborough has unparalleled success, having won the BUCS championship (in its former guises as the BUSA and UAU championship) on twenty-seven occasions. It fields sides in the BUCS league, (inter-university) and in the fourth tier of the English rugby union system, National League 2 North. The club has fielded over seventy internationals (male and female), many of whom won caps while playing for the club.
The history of the club predates the formation of Loughborough University. The students of Loughborough College formed what is considered the original side in September 1919. Loughborough began competing in the Universities Athletic Union (UAU) in the 1930–31, and the Loughborough Colleges XV beat Nottingham University 8 – 0 in their first match. It was not until 1939 that the Loughborough Colleges reached the UAU final for the first time. They lost in a closely fought match to Swansea, whose win was the sixth in seven seasons.
It was in the post-Second World War period that Loughborough's reputation began to be made. Two future captains of England, Eric Evans and Jeff Butterfield played for the club in this period, as did Ray Williams, who eventually became Secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union. It was no surprise when, in 1953, Loughborough Colleges finally won the UAU for the first time. The club became one of the Midlands leading clubs and in 1959 they won the Middlesex Sevens.
In the sixties an already impressive fixture list was enhanced by John Robins, the coach from 1962. It included Leicester, Gloucester, Rosslyn Park, Moseley and London Irish. John Robins went on to become the first British Lions coach. During his tenure at Loughborough, the UAU was won from 1962 to 1968 with only 1965 eluding the club. John Robins left Loughborough in 1967, and was replaced by the Scotland and Lions international Jim Greenwood. In 1970 Greenwood coached the Colleges to victory in the Middlesex Sevens, and in the first Twickenham UAU final, the Colleges beat Nottingham University 22 – 3. The 1970–71 side included six future internationals, Lewis Dick, David Cooke, Clive Rees, Fran Cotton, Steve Smith, and Dick Cowman. While at Loughborough, Jim Greenwood's pivotal coaching books, "Total Rugby" and "Think Rugby", were penned.
In 1976, the Students' Unions of the University of Technology and the Loughborough Colleges merged and the Loughborough Students Rugby Club was formed. The first Chairman of the new club was Tony Field. The team won the Middlesex 7s for the first and only time as Loughborough Students, Loughborough Colleges having won it four times previously. The team won the UAU in 1977, 1978 and 1979, with the 1978–79 side captained by the young centre Clive Woodward.
Rex Hazeldine, later England's first fitness coach, replaced Greenwood and is credited with being an integral part of the revolution of attitudes to the game at international level. In 1984 the UAU was won once again, as was the Leicestershire Cup. A touring Australian Universities side was also defeated. In the 1985–86 season a team led by Andy Robinson won through to the third round of the John Player Cup, going out to London Wasps. The same team won the UAU Championships.
At the inception of the RFU League, the team was offered a place in National 2. They turned this down and in 1996, when the Students did apply to join they had to join at the bottom of the league system. It was soon apparent that the standard of rugby at the university had been left behind by the professional teams in the league and in 1998 a full-time Director of Rugby, Ian "Dosser" Smith, was appointed. Alan Buzza took over from Smith in 2001 and is credited with modernizing the club. League promotions in 2001–02 and 2002–03 engendered confidence and the club was further enhanced by the presence of a number of excellent players including Tom Evans Jones, Edward Binham, Justin Abrahams, Andy Vilk, Peter Janes, James Jones, Sam Ulph and captain Charlie Cooper. As far as a British Universities championship win was concerned, however, the drought continued until, under the coach Paul Westgate, back to back wins were achieved in 2005 and 2006. Dave Morris took over as head coach from Westgate and immediately gained League promotion in 2007 to Midlands 1. The next season promotion was achieved to National League 2 North making the team the first student side to take part in the National Leagues. They finished in sixth place and in the same season achieved a win over England under-20s.
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|15||Preston Grasshoppers (R)||25||4||3||18||385||656||-271||3||4||29|
|Green background is the promotion place. Pink background are relegation places.|
Updated: 14 March 2020
Source: "National League 2 North". NCA Rugby.
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