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Hunslet R.L.F.C.
Club information
Full nameHunslet Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)Parksiders
Colours
Founded1973; 51 years ago (1973)
Websitehunsletrlfc.com
Current details
Ground(s)
CoachDean Muir[1]
CompetitionLeague 1
2023 season2nd
Current season
Uniforms
Home colours

Hunslet R.L.F.C. is a professional rugby league club in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. They play home games at South Leeds Stadium and compete in League One, the third tier of British rugby league.

The club was formed as a Phoenix club after the original Hunslet club folded.

History

1973–1996: New club

In July 1973, the original Hunslet club was wound up following the sale of their Parkside ground, because no suitable new location could be found that was financially viable. The £300,000 proceeds of the sale of Parkside were distributed to shareholders.

Due to the efforts of their former Great Britain forward Geoff Gunney (MBE), local businessmen and supporters the club managed to reform as New Hunslet for the 1973–74 season and moved to the Leeds Greyhound Stadium and erected iron American football posts. The resurrected club had a new badge depicting a rising phoenix to symbolise their rebirth. In 1974, New Hunslet adopted green and white as team colours because the traditional myrtle, white and flame colours were still registered to the former Parkside-based club, and they would not release them. The stay at the greyhound stadium was cut short when the owners closed the ground and arranged to demolish everything on the site.

In 1978, coach Bill Ramsey put a lot of pressure on the RFL and finally got permission to use the traditional colours. The club reverted to Hunslet for the 1979–80 season. With the closure of the Greyhound stadium, the next ground to host Hunslet was Mount Pleasant, Batley, for two seasons, before Hunslet moved to Leeds United's Elland Road football stadium then owned by Leeds City Council. After leaving Elland Road, Hunslet had a brief spell at Bramley.

On 19 November 1995, the club, now known as Hunslet Hawks, moved to the South Leeds Stadium, only about half a mile from Parkside. On that day, Leigh were the guests at Hunslet's first home game for twenty-two years. They then narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two in 1996.[2] Coach Steve Ferres left to join Huddersfield and David Plange took over as player-coach.

1996–2009: Summer era

In 1997 the Hawks played in the first (and last) Challenge Cup Plate Final losing 60–14 to Hull Kingston Rovers. It was the Hawks first appearance at Wembley Stadium since 1965. Also in 1997, the Hawks were promoted to the First Division as champions.[2]

In 1999 as a possible merger between Hunslet and Bramley was debated.[3] In 1999 Hunslet won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final against Dewsbury, 12–11, at Headingley.[2] After that game the Hawks were denied entry to Super League by the Rugby Football League who cited a document called Framing the Future as justification. This caused a number of players to leave the club and for the average attendance to fall by more than 1,200 to 800. A link-up with Leeds Rhinos saw Plange go to Headingley as Academy coach.

2004 saw the re-establishment the annual friendly against Leeds Rhinos for the Lazenby Cup, a trophy that had previously been contested between Hunslet F.C. and Leeds since 1912.[4]

Paul March was the player/coach at Hunslet, joining midway through the 2009 season following the resignation of Graeme Hallas. March guided Hunslet to a 6th-place finish and a play-off spot in Championship 1. Hunslet travelled to Blackpool in the first week of the play-offs winning, 18–21, to set up an elimination semi-final against Oldham in which Hunslet were comfortably beaten, 54–30.

2010–present: Promotions and silverware

In 2010 Paul March led Hunslet to their first silverware for over 11 years by securing the Co-operative Championship 1 title, and subsequent survival in 2011.

In 2012, Barry Eaton took over as coach. In 2014 Hunslet won the Grand Final after extra time against Oldham, thus gaining promotion to the Championship. Barry Eaton left in late January 2016 to join Leeds Rhinos and was replaced by his assistant coach and former Hunslet Hawks player Matt Bramald. Bramald left the club at the end of the 2016 season having completed his contract. He was replaced by former Hunslet player James Coyle.

Hunslet Hawks returned to their original name of Hunslet RLFC for the 2017 season following an overwhelming fan vote in favour of their original name.[5] Fans were then asked to choose between the clubs' original 'Rampant Lion' crest and the 'Phoenix Rising' crest adopted by the club in 1973 when the club was reformed. Fans voted 54% to 46% in favour of the lion.[6]

Colours and crest

Old crest

Hunslet play in myrtle, flame and white, with away colours mainly being white. The club's original crest was a 'Rampant Lion' but as part of a rebrand at the start of the summer era was the introduction of the Hunslet Hawks. In 2017, the club's fans voted to drop Hawks from their name and reinstate the 'Rampant Lion' crest.

Stadia

1883–1888 Woodhouse Hill

Hunslet played their first match on 6 October 1883 against Hull 'A'. A stand was built in 1884.

1888–1973: Parkside

Main article: Parkside, Hunslet

Hunslet purchased at little cost of waste land at Hunslet Carr from the Low Moor Iron and Coal Company and had to shift 2,000 tons of rubbish to create what would become Parkside, which they moved to in 1888. Parkside's stand was burned down by vandals in 1971. Parkside was sold off to an industrial developer for around £300,000 in 1972. The last game at Parkside was on 21 April 1973 against York. Parkside was demolished and Hunslet became tenants at the Elland Road greyhound stadium.

1973–1980: Leeds Greyhound Stadium

The new Hunslet club's first ground was the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium in Beeston after they were told they could not play at Parkside. American football posts were erected to be used as goal posts.

1980–1982: Mount Pleasant

Main article: Mount Pleasant, Batley

In 1982, the greyhound stadium closed and Hunslet were left homeless. For two seasons they ground-shared with Batley while they searched for a permanent home in Leeds.

1983–1995: Elland Road

Main article: Elland Road

In 1983, after leaving Batley, Hunslet negotiated a deal with Leeds City Council to play at Leeds United's Elland Road, which the council owned at the time.

1995–present: South Leeds Stadium

Main article: South Leeds Stadium

Grandstand at the South Leeds Stadium

Hunslet moved into the South Leeds Stadium, Beeston, Leeds after it was built in 1995. The stadium is used to host athletics and also has a swimming pool and other facilities the club can use. The stadium has one main stand that accommodates the grounds 5,000 capacity.

2024 squad

Hunslet RLFC 2024 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

  • Dean Muir



Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice-captain(s)

Updated: 22 November 2023
Source(s): 2024 Squad


2024 transfers

Gains

Player Club Contract Date
Billy Gaylor Keighley Cougars 1 Year November 2023[7]
Brandan Wilkinson Doncaster R.L.F.C. November 2023[8]
Nathan Carter Lock Lane 1 Year November 2023[9]
Jack Coventry 1 Year November 2023[10]
Ben Sheils November 2023[11]
Donald Kudangirana November 2023[11]
Jude Ferreira London Broncos November 2023[12]
Mac Walsh Newcastle Thunder 1 Year November 2023[13]
Iwan Orr 1 Year November 2023[14]

Losses

Player Club Contract Date

Players

Players earning international caps while at Hunslet

Past coaches

See also the categories Hunslet F.C. (1883) coaches and Hunslet R.L.F.C. coaches

Seasons

Super League era

Season League Play-offs Challenge Cup Other competitions Name Tries Name Points
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Top try scorer Top point scorer
1996 Division Two 22 18 0 4 730 326 36 3rd R4
1997 Division Two 20 15 0 5 682 256 30 1st R4
1998 Division One 30 17 1 12 719 575 35 6th R4
1999 Northern Ford Premiership 28 21 0 7 845 401 42 2nd Won in Final R4
2000 Northern Ford Premiership 28 8 0 20 487 678 16 15th R4
2001 Northern Ford Premiership 28 6 1 21 380 959 13 16th R4
2002 Northern Ford Premiership 27 3 1 23 438 954 7 17th R4
2003 National League Two 18 10 1 7 513 425 21 6th Lost in Elimination Playoffs R5
2004 National League Two 18 10 0 8 475 394 20 6th R4
2005 National League Two 18 11 0 7 476 385 22 5th Lost in Elimination Playoffs R4
2006 National League Two 22 4 2 16 411 617 10 10th R4
2007 National League Two 22 8 0 14 368 591 31 8th R4
2008 National League Two 22 4 0 18 336 778 17 12th R4
2009 Championship 1 18 10 0 8 472 411 33 6th Lost in Semi Final R4
2010 Championship 1 20 18 0 2 828 305 55 1st Promoted as Champions R5
2011 Championship 20 4 1 15 395 630 20 7th R4
2012 Championship 18 2 0 16 248 684 10 9th R4
2013 Championship 26 6 0 20 529 704 30 13th R4
2014 Championship 1 19 14 5 0 666 243 46 2nd Won in Final R5
2015 Championship 23 5 0 18 362 769 10 11th R5
Championship Shield 30 8 0 22 518 957 16 7th
2016 League 1 21 11 0 10 544 550 22 7th R5
2017 League 1 15 7 0 8 418 377 14 10th Won in Shield Final R4
2018 League 1 26 15 0 11 735 596 30 7th R4
2019 League 1 20 12 0 8 596 379 24 5th Lost in Elimination Playoffs R4 1895 Cup R1
2020 League 1 League abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic R5
2021 League 1 18 9 3 6 564 435 21 6th Lost in Elimination Playoffs Did not participate
2022 League 1 20 8 1 11 513 524 17 7th R4
2023 League 1 18 14 0 4 572 284 28 2nd Lost in Preliminary Final R3

Honours

Winners (1): 1999
Winners (2): 2010, 2014
Winners: 2017

References

General
Inline
  1. ^ a b "Hunslet appoint new head coach for 2024 with current boss Alan Kilshaw heading to Swinton Lions". Love Rugby League. 11 September 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "History". Hunslet RFLC. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Sport: Rugby League: News Historic name disappears from league". BBC News. 6 October 1999. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Hunslet v Leeds Rhinos: Traditional derby renamed in honour of stalwart Harry Jepson OBE". Yorkshire Evening Post. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Supporters vote to rename the club Hunslet R.L.F.C." hunslethawks.co.uk. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Hunslet to adopt Rampant Lion after supporter vote". hunslethawks.co.uk. 5 September 2016. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Hunslet secure Gaylor". Hunslet RLFC. 2 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  8. ^ "'Wilko' joins the Parksiders". Hunslet RLFC. 3 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Parksiders tempt ex Cas man for 2024". Hunslet RLFC. 4 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  10. ^ "Jack is back for 2024". Hunslet RLFC. 10 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Parksiders add more talent on the flanks". Hunslet RLFC. 13 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  12. ^ "Parksiders capture former Hull FC ace". Hunslet RLFC. 14 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Parksiders snap up Super Mac from Thunder". Hunslet RLFC. 22 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Hunslet sign England Universities star". Hunslet RLFC. 22 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  15. ^ "Hull Daily Mail". 20 September 1969. p. 11.
  16. ^ a b "Hull Daily Mail". 30 April 1971. p. 24.
  17. ^ "Hull Daily Mail". 24 February 1973. p. 10.
  18. ^ "Hunslet Hawks coach Hallas quits". BBC Sport. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  19. ^ "Barry Eaton to leave the Hawks". hunslethawks.co.uk. 21 January 2016. Archived from the original on 17 April 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Hunslet part ways with head coach James Coyle". Total Rugby League. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  21. ^ "Thornton to stay on as Hunslet coach". Yorkshire Evening Post. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  22. ^ a b "Extra resolve promised by Hunslet's repentant players ahead of North Wales clash". Hunslet RLFC. 9 September 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  23. ^ "Kilshaw named as new coach at Hunslet RLFC". South Leeds Life. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.