|Full name||Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union|
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. 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.
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.
|Year||Winners||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue||Notes|
|1902||Durham County||Gloucestershire||3-9||Durham County||Gloucester|
|1922||Gloucestershire||North Midlands||0-19||Gloucestershire||Aston Villa|
|1934||East Midlands||East Midlands||10-0||Gloucestershire||Northampton|
|1959||Warwickshire||Gloucestershire||9-14||Warwickshire||Memorial Ground Bristol|
|1970||Staffordshire||Staffordshire||11-9||Gloucestershire||Burton on Trent|
|1972||Gloucestershire||Warwickshire||6-11||Gloucestershire||Coundon Road, Coventry|
|1973||Lancashire||Gloucestershire||12-17||Lancashire||Memorial Ground Bristol|
|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|
|1983||Gloucestershire||Gloucestershire||19-7||Yorkshire||Memorial Ground Bristol|
From 1984 all Championship finals were played at Twickenham.
Many notable players have represented the county.
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). 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.
The Gloucester RFU currently runs the following club competitions for club sides in Gloucestershire and parts of Bristol:
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. These are as follows:
Forest of Dean Combination
North Gloucestershire Combination
Stroud & District Combination