Gloucestershire RFU
Full nameGloucestershire Rugby Football Union
Founded1878; 146 years ago (1878)[1]
RegionGloucestershire, Bristol
PresidentKeith Gee
Team kit
Official website

The Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union is the union responsible for rugby union in the county of Gloucestershire, England and is one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union. Formed in 1878, it has won the county championship on numerous occasions.


The Union was formed at a meeting held at Gloucester in September, 1878. At that meeting, the clubs represented were Clifton RFC, Gloucester RFC, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester RFC, Rockleage, Stroud, and Cheltenham White Cross. The Union was formed mainly due to the efforts of J. D. Miller, J. H. Dunn, and J. F. Brown. all of whom were amongst the Union's first officers. For many years, the playing strength depended almost entirely on the Clifton and Gloucester Clubs. In the first five seasons the Union side only lost two of seventeen fixtures in Inter-County matches.[1] The RFU recognised its success by electing in 1880 J. D. Miller to represent the West of England on the central executive. Ironically, the representative side then went through a period in which they had a very poor record. From 1883 to 1889 the team played only 10 times and of these 6 were lost, 3 drawn, and only 1 won. It was noted that the fortunes of the county side mirrored the success of the Gloucester City club side. When the Gloucester City side revived in the early 1890s, so to did the County, and in the seasons 1889-90, 1890–91, 1891–92, Gloucestershire lost two matches only.[1]

In the first year of the County Championship (1890–91) Gloucestershire were the winners in the South-Western group, but when they entered the second phase, they were crushed by Lancashire.[1]

County side


Year Winners Home Team Score Away Team Venue Notes
1902 Durham County Gloucestershire 3-9 Durham County Gloucester
1910 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 23-0 Yorkshire Gloucester
1913 Gloucestershire Cumberland 3-14 Gloucestershire Carlisle
1920 Gloucestershire Yorkshire 3-27 Gloucestershire Bradford
1921 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 31-4 Leicestershire Kingsholm
1922 Gloucestershire North Midlands 0-19 Gloucestershire Aston Villa
1925 Leicestershire Gloucestershire 6-14 Leicestershire Bristol
1930 Gloucestershire Lancashire 7-13 Gloucestershire Blundellsands
1931 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 10-9 Warwickshire Gloucester
1932 Gloucestershire Durham County 3-9 Gloucestershire Blaydon-on-Tyne
1934 East Midlands East Midlands 10-0 Gloucestershire Northampton
1937 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 5-0 East Midlands Bristol
1947 Lancashire Lancashire 8-8 Gloucestershire Blundellsands
Gloucestershire 3-14 Lancashire Kingsholm Replay match
1949 Lancashire Lancashire 9-3 Gloucestershire Blundellsands
1959 Warwickshire Gloucestershire 9-14 Warwickshire Memorial Ground Bristol
1970 Staffordshire Staffordshire 11-9 Gloucestershire Burton on Trent
1971 Surrey Gloucestershire 3-14 Surrey Kingsholm
1972 Gloucestershire Warwickshire 6-11 Gloucestershire Coundon Road, Coventry
1973 Lancashire Gloucestershire 12-17 Lancashire Memorial Ground Bristol
1974 Gloucestershire Lancashire 12-22 Gloucestershire Blundellsands
1975 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 13-9 East Counties Kingsholm
1976 Gloucestershire Middlesex 9-24 Gloucestershire Richmond Athletic Ground
1978 North Midlands North Midlands 10-7 Gloucestershire The Reddings, Moseley
1980 Lancashire Lancashire 21-15 Gloucestershire Vale of Lune
1982 Northumberland Gloucestershire 6-15 Northumberland Kingsholm
1983 Gloucestershire Gloucestershire 19-7 Yorkshire Memorial Ground Bristol

From 1984 all Championship finals were played at Twickenham.

Year Winners Score Runner's Up Venue Notes
1984 Gloucestershire 36-18 Somerset Twickenham
1996 Gloucestershire 17-13 Warwickshire Twickenham
1999 Cornwall 25-15 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2002 Gloucestershire 26-23 Cheshire Twickenham
2003 Lancashire 24-18 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2004 Devon 43-14 Gloucestershire Twickenham
2009 Lancashire 32-18 Gloucestershire Twickenham

Notable players for the County side

See also: Category:Gloucestershire County RFU players

Many notable players have represented the county.

Affiliated clubs

Formed by Clifton RFC, Gloucester RFC, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester RFC, Rockleage, Stroud, and Cheltenham White Cross, by 1891, the Union consisted of ten clubs, viz., Gloucester, Clifton, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Lydney, Sharpness, Dursley, Stroud, and Gordon Wanderers (Gloucester).[1] In its early days, only Gloucester City was rated as a first class side, and this was deemed the county's weakness. Since then, the fortunes of the constituent clubs has varied enormously.

Today there are 74 clubs affiliated with the Gloucestershire RFU, most of which have teams at both senior and junior level. Geographically, most clubs in the RFU are from Gloucestershire or Bristol, although several teams are based in bordering counties such as Somerset. In turn clubs are affiliated with one of the five combinations – Bristol, Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, North Gloucestershire and Stroud – that make up the Gloucestershire RFU.


County club competitions

The Gloucester RFU currently runs the following club competitions for club sides in Gloucestershire and parts of Bristol:


Discontinued leagues:


Although in the past there has been a cup covering the whole of the county, Gloucestershire currently has competitions for each of the five affiliated bodies that make up the Gloucestershire RFU.[4] These are as follows:

Bristol Combination

Cheltenham Combination

Forest of Dean Combination

North Gloucestershire Combination

Stroud & District Combination

See also


  1. ^ Despite being based in Bristol, 7 Bamboos are not members of the Bristol Combination.
  2. ^ Despite being the premier club in Gloucester and Kingsholm hosting combination finals, Gloucester Rugby are not members of the North Gloucestershire Combination.
  3. ^ Administratively, Hartpury College is located in the Forest of Dean but they are not part of any combination.
  4. ^ Old Bristolians are joint members of both the Gloucestershire RFU and Somerset RFU.
  5. ^ Despite being based in Bristol, United Bristol Hospitals are not members of the Bristol Combination.
  6. ^ Despite being based in Cheltenham, University of Gloucestershire are not members of the Cheltenham Combination.
  7. ^ Despite being based in Bristol, University of the West of England are not members of the Bristol Combination.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Francis Marshall, Football; the Rugby union game, page 484-488, London
  2. ^ "Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union at the". Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Club Directory". Devon RFU. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Mission & Brief History". Gloucestershire RFU. Retrieved 16 May 2017.