National Two North
Current season or competition:
2022–23 National League 2 North
England Rugby text logo.svg
SportRugby union
Instituted1987; 35 years ago (1987)
Number of teams14
Country England
HoldersHull (1st title) (2021–22
(promoted to National One)
Most titlesHull Ionians, Macclesfield (3 titles)
Website[1]

National League 2 North is one of three, level four leagues in the English rugby union system and provides semi-professional competition for teams in the northern half of England, the North. The remainder of England is covered by the two counterpart leagues National League 2 East and National League 2 West. The champion club is promoted to National One. Relegation is to either the Regional 1 Midlands or North Premier leagues, depending on where the teams are based. Hull are the current champions.

Before September 2009, it was known as National Division Three North. From 2009 to 2010 the Rugby Football Union (RFU) expanded the league from fourteen to sixteen teams. Each team played thirty league games on a home and away basis. The 2019–20 season ended before all the matches were completed because of the coronavirus pandemic and the RFU used a best playing record formula to decide the final table.[1] Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2020–21 season was cancelled.

The RFU approved a new structure for the National Leagues from the 2022–23 season. The league is reduced to fourteen teams, there will be a two-week break over Christmas and protected weekend breaks through the season. The competition structure will be reviewed every three years.[2]

Current season

Structure

The league consists of fourteen teams and each play the others on a home and away basis, to make a total of 26 matches each. The champions are promoted to National League 1. The RFU will release details of relegation in the summer.

The results of the matches contribute points to the league as follows:

Participating teams and locations

League table

2022–23 National League 2 North Table
Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points Points adj
1 Fylde 6 6 0 0 247 94 153 6 0 30
2 Sedgley Park 6 6 0 0 209 77 132 4 0 28
3 Hull Ionians 7 5 0 2 195 135 60 3 1 24
4 Rotherham Titans 6 4 0 2 221 116 105 4 1 21
5 Sheffield 6 4 0 2 159 115 44 3 1 20
6 Tynedale 6 4 0 2 165 158 7 3 1 20
7 Otley 7 4 0 3 141 147 −6 2 2 20
8 Wharfedale 6 3 0 3 185 110 75 3 3 18
9 Chester 6 3 0 3 138 115 23 1 3 16
10 Preston Grasshoppers 6 2 0 4 105 197 −92 1 0 9
11 Sheffield Tigers 6 1 0 5 109 176 −67 1 2 7
12 Blaydon 6 0 0 6 79 244 −165 1 1 2
13 Harrogate 6 1 0 5 88 268 −180 1 0 0 −5
14 Huddersfield 6 0 0 6 98 187 −89 0 3 −2 −5
  • If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
  1. Number of matches won
  2. Difference between points for and against
  3. Total number of points for
  4. Aggregate number of points scored in matches between tied teams
  5. Number of matches won excluding the first match, then the second and so on until the tie is settled
Green background is the promotion place. Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 16 October 2022

Source: "National League 2 North". RugbyEngland.


National Two North honours

List of National Two North honours
Season No of teams Champions Runner–up Relegated teams League name
1987–88 11 Rugby Durham City Solihull, Derby, Birkenhead Park Area League North
1988–89 11 Roundhay Broughton Park Birmingham Area League North
1989–90 11 Broughton Park Morley No relegation[a 1] Area League North
1990–91 13 Otley Lichfield Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent National 4 North
1991–92 13 Aspatria Hereford Vale of Lune, Northern National 4 North
1992–93 13 Harrogate Rotherham Towcestrians National 4 North
1993–94 10 Clifton Harrogate Sheffield (to 5 North), Sudbury (to 5 South) Courage National League 4[a 2]
1994–95 10 Rotherham Reading Askeans (to 5 South), Broughton Park (to 5 North) Courage National League 4
1995–96 10 Exeter London Welsh[a 3] Aspatria (to 4 North), Plymouth Albion (to 4 South) Courage National League 4
1996–97 14 Worcester Birmingham & Solihull Stoke-on-Trent, Hereford National 4 North
1997–98 14 Birmingham & Solihull Manchester No relegation National 2 North
1998–99 14 Preston Grasshoppers Stourbridge Winnington Park, Lichfield, Hinckley National 2 North
1999–00 14 Kendal Stourbridge Sheffield National 2 North
2000–01 14 Stourbridge Sedgley Park Walsall, Aspatria National 3 North
2001–02 14 Doncaster Dudley Kingswinford Whitchurch, Morley, Sandal, West Hartlepool National 3 North
2002–03 14 Nuneaton New Brighton Bedford Athletic, Broadstreet, Hull Ionians, Scunthorpe National 3 North
2003–04 14 Waterloo Halifax Preston Grasshoppers, Liverpool St Helens, Longton National 3 North
2004–05 14 Halifax Macclesfield Rugby Lions, Dudley Kingswinford, Bedford Athletic National 3 North
2005–06 14 Bradford & Bingley Nuneaton New Brighton, Kendal National 3 North
2006–07 14 Blaydon Tynedale Darlington, Cleckheaton, Orrell National 3 North
2007–08 14 Tynedale Darlington Mowden Park Morley, West Park St Helens, Beverley National 3 North
2008–09 14 Nuneaton Caldy Darlington Mowden Park, Halifax National 3 North
2009–10 16 Macclesfield Loughborough Students Waterloo, Bradford & Bingley National League 2 North
2010–11 16 Fylde Loughborough Students Morley, Rugby Lions, Manchester National League 2 North
2011–12 16 Loughborough Students Caldy Harrogate, Nuneaton, Kendal National League 2 North
2012–13 16 Hull Ionians Stourbridge Westoe, Stockport, Huddersfield National League 2 North
2013–14 16 Macclesfield Darlington Mowden Park Sheffield Tigers, Bromsgrove, Dudley Kingswinford National League 2 North
2014–15 16 Hull Ionians Ampthill Birmingham & Solihull, Hull, Stockport National League 2 North
2015–16 16 Macclesfield Sedgley Park Huddersfield, Broadstreet, Sandal National League 2 North
2016–17 16 Caldy Sale Preston Grasshoppers, Scunthorpe, Harrogate National League 2 North
2017–18 16 Sale FC Sedgley Park Sheffield, Blaydon, Luctonians National League 2 North
2018–19 16 Hull Ionians Chester Peterborough Lions, South Leicester, Macclesfield National League 2 North
2019–20 16 Caldy Fylde Scunthorpe, Preston Grasshoppers, Otley National League 2 North
2020–21 16 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. National League 2 North
2021–22 16 Hull Sedgley Park No relegation owing to tier 4 league reorganisation National League 2 North
Green backgrounds are promotion places.

Promotion play-offs

Until the 2018–19 season, there was a play-off between the league runners-up of National League 2 North and National League 2 South, for the third and final promotion place to National League 1. The team with the superior league record having home advantage in the tie. Southern teams have been more successful with fourteen wins to the northern teams four, while the home side has won thirteen teams to the away sides five.

National Two promotion play-off results
Season Home team Score Away team Venue Attendance
2000–01[4] Sedgley Park (N) 40–23 Launceston (S) Park Lane, Whitefield, Greater Manchester 1,500
2001–02[5] Launceston (S) 26–0 Dudley Kingswinford (N) Polson Bridge, Launceston, Cornwall 2,500
2002–03[6] Lydney (S) 21–7 New Brighton (N) Regentsholme, Lydney, Gloucestershire
2003–04[7][8] Halifax (N) 16–18 Launceston (S) Ovenden Park, Halifax, West Yorkshire
2004-05[9] Redruth (S) 33–14 Macclesfield (N) The Recreation Ground, Redruth, Cornwall 4,000
2005–06[10][11] North Walsham (S) 5–15 Nuneaton (N) Norwich Road, Scottow, Norfolk 1,302
2006–07[12][13] Westcombe Park (S) 36–20 Tynedale (N) Goddington Dene, Orpington, Greater London 1,700[14]
2007–08[15][16] Cinderford (S) 15–14 Darlington Mowden Park (N) Dockham Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire 2,800
2008–09 No promotion play-offs this season due to the restructuring of the English rugby union league system, with only the champions of each division promoted.[17]
2009–10[18][19] Loughborough Students (N) 21–43 Rosslyn Park (S) Loughborough University Stadium, Loughborough, Leicestershire 1,000
2010–11[20][21] Jersey (S) 30–5 Loughborough Students (N) St. Peter, Saint Peter, Jersey 3,100
2011–12[22][23] Richmond (S) 20–13 (aet) Caldy (N) Athletic Ground, Richmond, Greater London 1,600
2012–13[24] Stourbridge (N) 26–28 Worthing Raiders (S) Stourton Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands 925
2013–14[25] Darlington Mowden Park (N) 30–28 (aet) Ampthill (S) The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington, County Durham 975
2014–15[26][27] Ampthill (N) 19–10 Bishop's Stortford (S) Dillingham Park, Ampthill, Bedfordshire 1,253
2015–16[28][29] Old Albanian (S) 24–0 Sedgley Park (N) Woollam Playing Fields, St Albans, Hertfordshire 473
2016–17 Sale FC (N) 14–19 Old Elthamians (S) Heywood Road, Sale, Greater Manchester 1,297
2017–18 Chinnor (S) 40–31 Sedgley Park (N) Kingsey Road, Thame, Oxfordshire 1,378
2018–19 Canterbury (S) 19–10 Chester (N) The Marine Travel Ground, Canterbury, Kent 1,114
2019–20 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. Best ranked runner-up – Tonbridge Juddians (S) promoted.
2020–21 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
2021–22 Cancelled due the reorganisation of tier three and four national leagues.
Green background represent the promoted teams. (N) stands for the northern teams and (S) stands for the southern teams.

Number of league titles

Original teams

When club rugby began in 1987 this division was called Area 4 North and contained the following teams:

League format since 1987

Format of fourth tier rugby union leagues in England
Year Name No of teams No of matches
1987–93 Area League North
Area League South
11 10
1993–96 National Division Four 10 18
1996–97 National Four North
National Four South
14 26
1997–00 National Division 2 North
National Division 2 South
14 26
2000–09 National Division Three North
National Division Three South
14 26
2009–22 National League 2 North
National League 2 South
16 30
2022– National Two East
National Two North
National Two West
14 26

Records

Note that all records are from 1996–97 season onwards as this is widely held as the dawn of professionalism across the English club game. It also offers a better comparison between seasons as the division team numbers are roughly equal (for example when league rugby union first started in 1987–88 the northern league had only 11 teams playing 10 games each, compared to 14 teams in 1996–97 playing 26 games (home & away), going up to 16 teams in 2009–10 playing 30 games each). Attendance records are from 2000 onwards unless otherwise specified. All records are up to date up till the end of the 2019–20 season.

League records

Hull Ionians (2012–13, 2014–15, 2018–19)
Macclesfield (2009–10, 2013–14, 2015–16)
Hull Ionians (2012–13, 2014–15, 2018–19)
Nuneaton (2002–03, 2005–06, 2008–09)
Macclesfield (2009–10, 2013–14, 2015–16)
Morley (2001–02, 2007–08, 2010–11)
Sheffield (1993–94, 1999–00, 2017–18)
Scunthorpe (2002–03, 2016–17, 2019–20)
Hull Ionians (2014–15)
Manchester (2010–11)
Fylde (2010–11)
Manchester (2010–11)
Manchester (2010–11)
Kendal (1999–00)[30]
Fylde (2010–11)
Manchester (2010–11)
Hull Ionians (2012–13)
Manchester (2010–11)
Dudley Kingswinford (2013-14)
Huddersfield (2019–20)
Sedgley Park (2017–18)

Match records

Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006–07)[31]
Fylde away to Orrell on 31 March 2007 (2006–07)[32]
Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006–07)[31]
Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006–07)
Fylde at home to Manchester on 16 April 2011 (2010–11)
Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006–07)
Luctonians at home to Birmingham & Solihull on 15 November 2014 (2014–15)
Fylde at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 7 January 2006 (2005–06)
Nuneaton at home to Macclesfield on 11 October 2008 and away to Bradford & Bingley on 29 November 2008 (both 2008–09)
Wharfedale at home to Scunthorpe on 19 November 2016 and Wharfedale at home to Luctonians on 28 January 2017 (both 2016–17)

Player records

England Tom Rhodes for Bradford & Bingley (2004–05, 2005–06)
England Chris Johnson for Huddersfield (2010–11, 2011–12)
England Lewis Mininkin for Hull Ionians (2015–16, 2018–19)
Wales Gavin Roberts for Caldy (2008–09, 2019–20)
England Nick Royle for Fylde (2006–07) and Caldy (2015–16, 2016–17)
England Ross Winney for Macclesfield (2009–10)
England Gareth Collins for Leicester Lions (2010–11)
England Ryan Parkinson for Macclesfield (2013–14)
England Nick Royle for Caldy (2016–17)
England Ross Winney for Macclesfield away to Waterloo on 30 January 2010 (2009–10)
Wales Anthony Mellalieu for Blaydon at home to Orrell on 24 March 2007 (2006–07)
England Matt Donkin for Doncaster at home to Whitchurch on 10 November 2001 (2001–02)
England Nick Royle for Fylde away to Orrell on 31 March 2007 (2006–07)
England Dominic Moon for Preston Grasshoppers at home to Otley on 14 April 2012 (2011–12)
England Louis Silver for Luctonians at home to Birmingham & Solihull on 15 November 2015 (2014–15)
England Mike Scott for Fylde at home to Preston Grasshoppers on 7 January 2006 (2005–06)
England Rickie Aley for Nuneaton at home to Macclesfield on 11 October 2008 and away to Bradford & Bingley on 29 November 2008 (both 2008–09)
England Tom Barrett for Wharfedale at home to Scunthorpe on 19 November 2016 and at home to Luctonians on 28 January 2017 (both 2016–17)

Attendance records

Darlington Mowden Park at home to Macclesfield on 26 April 2014 (2013–14)
South Leicester at home to Sedgley Park on 30 March 2019 (2018–19)
Sedgley Park at home to Launceston (2000–01)[a 5]
Stourbridge at home to Worthing Raiders on 11 May 2013 (2012–13)[a 7]
Fylde (2010–11)
South Leicester (2018–19)

National League 2 North top 10 point scorers, all time

As of the end of the games of 27 April 2019. Stats taken from 1998–99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 North (no promotion play-off games). Points scored includes tries, drop kicks, penalties and conversions.[33]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Points Apps Ratio
1 England Jon Boden 2006–18 Leicester Lions 2,059 277 7.4
2 England Chris Johnson 2008–12, 2018–19
2016–18
Huddersfield
Sale
1,927 187 10.3
3 England Mark Ireland 2009–12
2013–14
2017–
Kendal
Otley
Sheffield Tigers
1,471 159 9.3
4 England Stephen Collins 2010–11
2013–
Fylde
Sedgley Park
1,470 159 9.2
5 England Richard Vasey 2009–17 Caldy 1,449 158 9.2
6 England Ross Winney 2005–10 Macclesfield 1,290 126 10
7 Wales Gavin Roberts 2007–17, 2019– Caldy 1,284 232 5.5
8 England Rickie Aley 2008–09
2015–18
2018–
Nuneaton
South Leicester
Stourbridge
1,126 110 10.2
9 England Phillip Belgian 2001–08 Tynedale 1,070 116 9
10 England Mark Bedworth 2001–05
2010–12
Darlington Mowden Park
Westoe
1,052 120 9

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 North.)

National League 2 North top 10 try scorers, all time

As of the end of the games of 27 April 2019. Stats taken from 1998–99 season onwards and include regular league games only in National League 2 North (no promotion play-off games).[34]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Tries Apps Ratio
1 England Nick Royle 2003–04
2005–11
2014–17, 2019–
Liverpool St Helens
Fylde
Caldy
193 212 0.9
2 England Jamie Broadley 2009–11
2011–12, 2016–
2014-15
Harrogate
Sheffield Tigers
Hull
157 190 0.8
3 England Gareth Collins 2004–05
2005–14
Rugby Lions
Leicester Lions
152 229 0.7
4 England Andrew Riley 2013– Sedgley Park 122 171 0.7
5 Wales Gavin Roberts 2007–17 Caldy 114 232 0.5
6 England Oliver Brennand 2004–11 Fylde 96 102 0.9
7 England Devon Constant 2014–19 Leicester Lions 88 135 0.7
8 England Andrew Soutar 2006–-08
2008–17
West Park St Helens
Caldy
83 281 0.3
9 England Peter Swatkins 2011– Sheffield Tigers 82 148 0.6
England Craig Ross 2007–08, 2009–11, 2013–14
2014–
Caldy
Chester
82 165 0.5
England Nicholas Sharpe 2006–07
2008–13, 2014–16, 2017–
Rugby Lions
Huddersfield
82 261 0.3

(Bold denotes players still playing in National League 2 North.)

Notes

  1. ^ As no northern teams from National 3 were relegated into the division at the end of the season, there was no relegation.
  2. ^ This year there was a league restructure with a new league (Courage National League 4) becoming the new tier 4. Courage National 4 would contain the previous season's top teams from National 4 North and National 4 South with the remaining teams joining lower tier teams as part of Courage League Division 5 (which retained the North/South divisions). This structure would continue for several years before being abolished at the end of 1996 where the league would revert to the old system.
  3. ^ The top eight teams were all promoted to the re-organised, sixteen team, Courage League Division 3 for season 1996–97
  4. ^ Rotherham's league title was won during the period when tier 4 was a single national league (1993-96).
  5. ^ Note that promotion play-off games include stats for northern clubs only. Southern club attendances will be covered on the National League 2 South page.
  6. ^ Note that due to poor attendance keeping by press and online sources means that only seasons from 2004–-05 onwards are included (apart from play-off games).
  7. ^ This attendance is the lowest recorded but may not actually be the lowest as a couple of play-off games involving northern clubs have no attendance figures due to poor coverage. It is also worth noting than many Stourbridge fans felt the crowd was twice this large but this is the figure given in The Rugby Paper.

See also

References

  1. ^ "RFU ends the 2019/20 rugby season in England". EnglandRugby. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  2. ^ "RFU approve future competition structure for 2022/23". ncarugby. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Update on Structural Changes to National League Rugby". National League Rugby. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  4. ^ "National League 3 Playoffs 2000-01". englandrugby.com. 26 May 2001.
  5. ^ "Rugby Union: National Three Play-off - DK's dream shattered by Launceston power show; Launceston 26 Dudley Kingswinf'rd 0". Birmingham Post & Mail. 29 April 2002.
  6. ^ "National League Playoffs 2002-03". englandrugby.com. 26 April 2003.
  7. ^ "National League Playoffs 2003-04". englandrugby.com. 15 May 2004.
  8. ^ "Play-off agony for Halifax". Yorkshire Post. 17 May 2004.
  9. ^ "The 2004-2005 league season". trelawnysarmy.org. 1 May 2005.
  10. ^ "North Walsham 6-15 Nuneaton". BBC. 17 May 2006.
  11. ^ "National League Playoffs 2005-06". englandrugby.com. 13 May 2006.
  12. ^ "NINE-MINUTE BLITZ ENDS TYNEDALE'S DREAMS". News and Star. 4 May 2007.
  13. ^ "National League Playoffs 2006-07". englandrugby.com. 28 April 2006.
  14. ^ "Level 6". Rolling Maul. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  15. ^ "National League Play Offs 2007-08". englandrugby.com. 26 April 2008.
  16. ^ "Foresters play-off win 'no fluke'". BBC News. 30 April 2008.
  17. ^ "Championship plan gains support". BBC News. 14 November 2008.
  18. ^ "Party time for Rosslyn Park". Richmond and Twickenham Times. 21 May 2010.
  19. ^ "Students miss out on promotion in heartbreaker". Loughborough Echo. 21 May 2010.
  20. ^ "SSE National League Playoffs". englandrugby.com. 5 May 2011.
  21. ^ "Jersey beat Loughborough in play-off final". BBC. 28 May 2011.
  22. ^ "Heartbreak for Caldy as they lose National League Two play-off final against Richmond". Liverpool Echo. 7 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Richmond v Caldy play off". Rolling Maul. 5 May 2012.
  24. ^ "Results - SSE National League 2S". The Rugby Paper. 12 May 2013. p. 32.
  25. ^ Craggs, Andy (3 May 2014). "DMPRFC 30 - Ampthill RFC 28". DMP. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Ampthill in 'dreamland' after play-off final victory". Bedfordshire News. 2 May 2015.
  27. ^ "National League 2 Playoffs". The RUGBYPaper. No. 346. Rugby Paper Ltd. 3 May 2015. pp. 24 & 32.
  28. ^ "Old Albanian back in National One after play-off win secures promotion". The Herts Advertiser. 16 May 2016.
  29. ^ "National League 2 play-off". The RUGBYPaper. No. 400. Rugby Paper Ltd. 15 May 2016. pp. 26 & 36.
  30. ^ "Jewson National League 2 1999/00". rugbyarchive.net. 1 December 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Blaydon proving a point". Chronicle Live. 27 March 2007.
  32. ^ "Orrell 0, Fylde RU 106". Blackpool Gazette. 2 April 2007.
  33. ^ "National Two North All time leading scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 27 April 2019.
  34. ^ "National Two North All time try scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 27 April 2019.