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Athletic Ground
The one and only stand at Athletic Ground, Richmond
Map
LocationThe Athletic Ground,
Twickenham Road,
Richmond,
London TW9 2SF
Coordinates51°28′01″N 0°18′11″W / 51.467°N 0.303°W / 51.467; -0.303
OwnerRichmond Athletic Association
Capacity4,500 (1,000 seats)
Construction
Built1886; 138 years ago (1886)
Tenants
Richmond (1889—1998, 2000–)
London Broncos Academy (2021–2023)
London Scottish (1894—1997, 1999–)
Old Tonbridgians (2009)

Built in 1886, and located in Richmond upon Thames, London, the Athletic Ground is a rugby ground, managed by Richmond Athletic Association, home to RFU Championship side London Scottish and National League 1 side Richmond.[1][2] The first team pitch has a stand capable of seating around 1,000 people, though in the past temporary stands have been erected in the considerable space around the pitch to boost the seated capacity. Lower league side, Old Tonbridgians RFC, also play home games at the Athletic Ground.[3] As well as rugby, a small football team by the name of Mortlake FC play at this ground.

The original facilities include six other pitches and two bars which are available for hire, a canteen, changing rooms, a physio room, a shop and offices. Part of Old Deer Park, a huge continuous leisure area, the Athletic Ground was bordered by the Pools on the Park leisure centre, Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club, and health centre, and also a driving range. Three pitches have been marked out on the driving range which closed down in the 1990s as did Richmond Bowls Club which is now used as a play area for neighbouring Falcons School.

The Athletic Ground is also host to the National Surveyor 7s, Lloyds Insurance 7s, Neptune City 7s, Law Society 7s, Middlesex Club 7s, NABs Media 7s and Rugby Rocks.

The complex has considerable parking facilities for its size, and is often used as a stop-off for fans on their way to Twickenham Stadium.

Rugby Union club London Scottish announced they would leave the Athletic Ground after 127 years following the 2020–21 season.[4] However as Scottish 1st XV would not participate in the Championship season[5] and there would be no community leagues in 2020–21 they would not play at the Athletic Ground in 2020–21.[6] It was later confirmed they would remain at the Athletic Ground.[7]

In February 2021 it was confirmed that rugby league side London Broncos would move their academy to the Athletic Ground for three seasons from 2021.[8]

International rugby union

England played ten Test matches at the Athletic Ground between 1891 and 1909. In five of those matches against Scotland (listed below), England failed to win:

Date Competition Home team Away team
7 March 1891 1891 Home Nations Championship England 3 Scotland 9
9 March 1895 1895 Home Nations Championship England 3 Scotland 6
5 February 1898 1898 Home Nations Championship England 6 Ireland 9
3 February 1900 1900 Home Nations Championship England 15 Ireland 4
21 March 1903 1903 Home Nations Championship England 6 Scotland 10
18 March 1905 1905 Home Nations Championship England 0 Scotland 8
13 January 1906 1906 Home Nations Championship England 6 Wales 16
5 January 1907 Friendly England 41 France 13
8 February 1908 1908 Home Nations Championship England 13 Ireland 3
20 March 1909 1909 Home Nations Championship England 8 Scotland 18

Football

In the association football code England enjoyed more success against Scotland, playing one match here in 1893 as part of the 1893 British Home Championship and winning 5-2.[9]

The FA Amateur Cup final was also played here in 1894, with Old Carthusians F.C. beating Casuals F.C. 2–1.

References

  1. ^ Historic England. "PAVILION AT RICHMOND ATHLETIC GROUND (1031522)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  2. ^ "THE RICHMOND STORY". Richmond F.C. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  3. ^ "BOUT". OLD TONBRIDGIANS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  4. ^ "London Scottish to leave Richmond Athletic Ground after 127 years". London Scottish Rugby. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  5. ^ "London Scottish decline DCMS loans to play 1st XV". London Scottish Rugby. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  6. ^ "RFU Cancels National League season for 2020–21". NCA Rugby. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  7. ^ "London Scottish to remain at the RAG". London Scottish Rugby. 12 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  8. ^ "LONDON BRONCOS ACADEMY TO TRAIN AND PLAY AT ATHLETIC GROUND". www.richmondfc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  9. ^ "England's Matches 1891-1900". England Football Online. Retrieved 21 October 2012.