Southern Conference League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023 Southern Conference League
SportRugby league
Founded2012
No. of teams8
Country England
 Wales
Most recent
champion(s)
Hammersmith Hills Hoists
(2023)
Promotion toLeague 1 (via RFL application)
Relegation toMidlands League
South West League
East League
London and South East League
North Wales Conference
South Wales Premiership
(all via RFL application)
Domestic cup(s)Challenge Cup
Official websiteRFL SCL Page

The Southern Conference League is the fourth tier of the British rugby league system. It is the highest level of amateur rugby league outside of the heartlands in Northern England, thus operates in The Midlands, South England, and Wales. It was one of the many leagues that replaced the Rugby League Conference. The competition was first played between 2012 and 2016, and was relaunched in 2019 after a two-year hiatus.

History

The Conference League South was founded in 2012 following the restructuring of amateur rugby league in Great Britain. Teams competing in the Rugby League Conference National Division in 2011 were moved to the 2012 NCL Division Three season, however many opted to play outside of the National Conference League hence the formation of the Conference League South. Because of this, the 2012 NCL Division Three season and 2012 Conference League South season are the same.

The Conference League South was created for sides outside the rugby league heartlands of the North of England that wanted a higher standard of rugby league than the Midlands Rugby League Premier Division or the South Premier but were not yet ready to join the NCL.

In 2013 the six teams to compete in the Conference League South were,[1] Bristol Sonics, Nottingham Outlaws and St Albans Centurions joined from National Conference League Division 3; Leicester Storm and Northampton Demons were elevated from the premier division of Midlands Rugby League and Sheffield Hallam Eagles joined as a new side after the collapse of the Championship reserve under-23 division.

Northampton Demons and St Albans Centurions were replaced with Oxford Cavaliers and Valley Cougars in 2014 however Oxford Cavaliers failed to complete the season. Bristol Sonics dropped down to the West of England Rugby League in 2015 which allowed four new clubs to join; Gloucestershire Warriors, Coventry Bears Reserves, Torfaen Tigers and Raiders RL alongside the return of Oxford Cavaliers.

London Chargers were promoted to compete in 2016 alongside a new reserve side from University of Gloucestershire All Golds with Gloucestershire Warriors, Leicester Storm, Oxford Cavaliers and Sheffield Hallam Eagles dropping out.

At the end of the 2016 season, it was announced that the Conference League South season would not take place in 2017, and teams would return to their respective regional leagues.[2] In May 2017, the RFL announced plans to introduce a new Southern League competition from 2018 onwards.[3]

The Conference League South was reintroduced for the 2019 season as the Southern Conference League, split into geographic Eastern and Western divisions, with the Hammersmith Hills Hoists winning the first title under the tournament's new name. The 2020 season was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the competition resumed in 2021, with a maiden title for Wests Warriors beating local rivals London Chargers 20 points to 10.

For the 2023 season, the geographic split of the league has been removed with all teams in the divisions below being able to apply to enter the competition if they so wish. When the fixture list was released, only 8 teams have entered the division - All Golds, Bedford Tigers, Brentwood Eels, Eastern Rhinos, Hammersmith Hills Hoists, London Chargers, North Herts Crusaders, Wests Warriors.

Clubs

Conference League South is located in Southern England
Brentwood Eels
Brentwood Eels
N. Herts Crusaders
N. Herts Crusaders
Locations of Conference League South teams in England
Team City Ground
Bristol All Golds Bristol North Bristol RFC[4]
Bedford Tigers Bedford Great Ouse Way[5]
Brentwood Eels Brentwood, Essex Old Brentwoods RFC
Eastern Rhinos Colchester Mill Road Playing Fields[6]
Hammersmith Hills Hoists Chiswick, London Chiswick RFC[7]
London Chargers Chiswick, London Chiswick RFC[8]
London Skolars Tottenham, London New River Stadium
North Herts Crusaders Hitchin King George V Playing Fields[9]
Wests Warriors Acton, London Twyford Avenue[10]

Results

Season Grand Final Information
Champions Score Runners-up
2012 Hemel Stags 17–10 Huddersfield Underbank Rangers
2013 Sheffield Hallam Eagles 32–24 Nottingham Outlaws
2014 Valley Cougars 19–10 Sheffield Hallam Eagles
2015 Nottingham Outlaws 39–12 Valley Cougars
2016 London Chargers 42–0 Valley Cougars
2017 Hiatus
2018
2019 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 16–10 London Chargers
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Wests Warriors 20–10 London Chargers
2022 Wests Warriors 20–12[11] London Chargers
2023 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 14–0 Wests Warriors

Winners

Club Wins Winning years
Hammersmith Hills Hoists 2 2019, 2023
Wests Warriors 2 2021, 2022
Hemel Stags 1 2012
Sheffield Hallam Eagles 1 2013
Valley Cougars 1 2014
Nottingham Outlaws 1 2015
London Chargers 1 2016

Tables

2021

Western Conference Eastern Conference
POS CLUB P W L D PF PA DIFF PTS POS CLUB P W L D PF PA DIFF PTS
1 Swindon St George 6 4 2 0 162 150 12 8 1 Wests Warriors 12 12 0 0 538 146 392 24
2 Valley Cougars 6 3 3 0 156 115 41 5 2 London Chargers 12 10 2 0 396 207 189 20
3 Devon Sharks 6 2 3 1 144 125 19 5 3 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 12 8 4 0 351 308 43 16
4 All Golds 6 2 3 1 114 186 -72 3 4 North Herts Crusaders 12 5 7 0 366 326 40 10
Deductions
  • Valley Cougars: 1 points for forfeit
  • All Golds: 2 point for two forfeits
  • Hemel Stags: 1 point for forfeit
  • South London Silverbacks: 1 point for forfeit
5 Bedford Tigers 11 5 6 0 274 298 -24 10
6 Eastern Rhinos 12 5 7 0 250 344 -94 10
7 Hemel Stags 11 1 10 0 139 423 -284 1
8 South London Silverbacks 10 0 10 0 132 394 -262 -1
Playoffs
London Chargers 56–18 North Herts Crusaders
Devon Sharks 22–36 Hammersmith Hills Hoists
Swindon St George 24–22 Bedford Tigers
Wests Warriors 36–10 Hammersmith Hills Hoists
Swindon St George 14–52 London Chargers
Wests Warriors 20–10 London Chargers

2022

Western Conference Eastern Conference
POS CLUB P W L D PF PA DIFF PTS POS CLUB P W L D PF PA DIFF PTS
1 All Golds 5 4 1 0 138 54 84 8 1 London Chargers 12 12 0 0 482 164 318 24
2 Torfaen Tigers 6 4 2 0 228 152 76 8 2 Wests Warriors 12 10 2 0 460 228 232 20
3 Swindon St George 6 2 4 0 146 188 -42 3 3 Brentwood Eels 12 5 7 0 210 316 -106 10
4 Devon Sharks 5 1 4 0 54 172 -118 2 4 Eastern Rhinos 12 4 8 0 238 290 -52 8
Deductions
  • Swindon St George: 1 point for forfeit
  • Hammersmith Hills Hoists: 1 point for forfeit
5 Bedford Tigers 12 4 8 0 220 314 -94 8
6 North Herts Crusaders 12 4 8 0 226 392 -166 8
7 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 12 3 9 0 228 360 -132 5
Playoffs
Torfaen Tigers 0–24 Brentwood Eels
All Golds 46–6 Eastern Rhinos
All Golds 12–46 Wests Warriors
Brentwood Eels 8–38 London Chargers
Wests Warriors 20–12 London Chargers[11]

2023

POS CLUB P W L D PF PA DIFF PTS
1 Wests Warriors 14 13 1 0 690 126 564 26
2 Hammersmith Hills Hoists 14 13 1 0 470 150 320 26
3 London Chargers 14 10 4 0 466 184 282 20
4 Brentwood Eels 14 7 7 0 380 346 34 14
5 Bristol All Golds 14 6 8 0 280 424 -184 12
6 Eastern Rhinos 14 4 10 0 230 458 -228 8
7 North Herts Crusaders 14 2 12 0 146 502 -356 3
8 Bedford Tigers 14 1 13 0 154 586 -432 -1
Deductions
  • Bedford Tigers: 3 points for three forfeits
  • North Herts Crusaders: 1 point for forfeit
Playoffs
Wests Warriors 38–6 Brentwood Eels
Hammersmith Hills Hoists 28–12 London Chargers
Wests Warriors 0–14 Hammersmith Hills Hoists

See also

References

  1. ^ "Conference South to launch in April". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.
  2. ^ Hodgson, Phil (15 December 2016). "Goodbye to the Conference League South?". Total Rugby League. League Publications. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  3. ^ "New Southern Rugby League Competition set to launch in 2018". The Rugby Football League. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Contact | All Golds Rugby League Football Club". allgoldsrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Contact Bedford Tigers RLFC". www.pitchero.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  6. ^ "StackPath". www.easternrhinos.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  7. ^ "CONTACT". mysite. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Contact London Chargers RL". www.pitchero.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  9. ^ "North Herts Crusaders Rugby League". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Contact Wests Warriors Rugby League". www.pitchero.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Wests Warriors Crowned SCL Champions Once Again". www.rugby-league.com. Retrieved 21 April 2023.