Northumberland RFU
Full nameNorthumberland Rugby Football Union
Founded1880; 144 years ago (1880)
Region Northumberland
PresidentEngland Ruth Scott
Coach(es)England Darren Cunningham
Team kit
Official website

The Northumberland Rugby Union is the governing body for rugby union in the historic county of Northumberland, England and one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union having been formed in 1880.[1] In addition, the county has won the county championship on two occasions, and finished runners-up on a further five occasions.


The Union was founded in 1880 by six club sides. The six founding members were The Northumberland Football Club (defunct), The (original) Borough of Tynemouth Football Club (defunct), The Northern Football Club, The (original) Gosforth Football Club, The Tynedale Football Club and The Percy Park Football Club.

Northumberland were one of the very few counties to own their own ground. In 1912 they began using the land of the Northumberland County Ground and later built a stadium. Many international fixtures were played there; all County Finals were played at the ground until it was demolished in 1988.

Northumberland County Ground 1965
Northumberland County Ground in 1965

After moving from Scotland where he played for Royal HSFP and Edinburgh, James Robertson then played for Northumberland, a local club - but not the County team. Robertson was the first known black rugby union player.[2]

Northumberland senior men's county honours

Affiliated clubs

There are currently 24 clubs [3] affiliated with the Northumberland RFU, making it one of the smaller unions in England. Most of the clubs in the Northumberland RFU have teams at both senior and junior level and are based either in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear.

County club competitions

The Northumberland RFU currently runs the following competitions for club sides based in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear:




Discontinued competitions


  1. ^ Despite being based in Northumberland, Berwick play in the Scottish Regional League and are joint members of both the Northumberland RFU and the Scottish RU.

See also


  1. ^ "History - Northumberland Rugby Union". Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  2. ^ "The hidden history of Scotland's first black rugby player".
  3. ^ "FIND A CLUB". Northumberland RFU. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Senior Cup". 27 August 2014.