|Full name||Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club|
|Location||Plymouth, Devon, England|
|Ground(s)||The Brickfields (Capacity: 8,500)|
|League(s)||National League 1|
Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club are a rugby union club who play in Plymouth, England. The present club was founded in 1920 from a merger between Plymouth RFC (founded 1876) and Devonport Albion RFC (founded 1876). Since 2003 they have played their home games at The Brickfields stadium. Albion's traditional strip and club colours are white, strawberry (red or cherry) and green.
After thirteen seasons in the second tier of English rugby union, Plymouth Albion finished last in the 2014–15 RFU Championship, and currently play in National League 1.
Formed 1876, the Plymouth Football Club, also known as Plymouth Chiefs, played at South Devon Place. In 1912, the Northern Union attempted to form a Western League of clubs in Devon and Cornwall. Huddersfield beat Oldham 31–26 in an exhibition game at South Devon Place in front of 7,000 spectators and as a result a meeting was held and the club joined the Northern Union. The first match under the new rules was lost, 22-17, against Coventry on Christmas Day. The club later re-emerged as part of a merger with Devonport Albion to become Plymouth Albion.
Albion was formed in 1876 from apprentices at Devonport Dockyard and originally played at Devonport Park. After moving to Bladderly in 1887 they then moved to Home Park in 1893. The club stayed at Home Park for one season only, returning to Bladderley Lane in 1894, then, in 1896, Albion took a 14-year lease of Rectory grounds, (the current home of Devonport Services R.F.C.).
Devonport Albion continued at the Rectory until it merged with Plymouth RFC to become Plymouth Albion and moved in 1920 to Beacon Park. In 2003, they moved from the run-down Beacon Park ground to a newly built ground, The Brickfields, in Devonport. The Brickfields also has an adjacent athletics stadium.
Albion were a major force in English rugby union in the 1920s having five internationals on their books at one time. Around this time they attracted a crowd of 18,000 to a midweek game against Oxford University which established a record crowd for a club match in England which was not exceeded until the 1980s.
They were promoted to National Division One in 2002, and finished third in the 2003–04 season. Observers say it was Plymouth Albion's best position nationally since the 1920s. On their way to promotion, the team went on a two-season unbeaten streak of over 50 games, starting when the club was in Division Three South and ending after their promotion to National Division One.
The major local rivals are Exeter Chiefs who also have an impressive new stadium at Sandy Park perched above the services junction of the M5. Devon local derbies have become major popular events. Together these clubs have reinvigorated the passion for rugby in the county.
Albion currently play in the National League 1, the third tier of English club rugby. The club have financial problems and only avoided entering administration early in 2015 following a cash injection of £250,000 by local businesses. Albion entered administration on 8 April 2016 and were deducted 30 pts by the RFU. Following administration they were taken over by former players, Bruce Priday and David Venables who put forward a business case to the RFU. Since then, Priday has moved to pastures new, whilst Max Venables is the Club's Managing Director.
The club also has a successful women's team and a new Under 18s Academy. They played their first game against a Cornwall XV in February 2019, finishing 50 - 7 victors.
|Season||League||National Cup(s)||County Cup(s)|
|1987–88||Courage 3 (3)||3rd||16||John Player Cup||Quarter-finals||Devon Senior Cup||Winners|
|1988–89||Courage 3 (3)||1st (promoted)||22||Pilkington Cup||3rd Round|
|1989–90||Courage 2 (2)||7th||10||Pilkington Cup||3rd Round|
|1990–91||Courage 2 (2)||11th||8||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1991–92||Courage 2 (2)||12th (relegated)||6||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1992–93||Courage 3 (3)||12th (relegated)||0||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1993–94||Courage 4 (4)||4th||18||Pilkington Cup||3rd Round|
|1994–95||Courage 4 (4)||8th||10||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1995–96||Courage 4 (4)||10th[a]||8||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1996–97||Courage 4 South (4)||6th||29||Pilkington Cup||2nd Round|
|1997–98||National 2 South (4)[b]||13th[c]||12||Tetley's Bitter Cup||1st Round|
|1998–99||National 2 South (4)||12th[d]||15||Tetley's Bitter Cup||2nd Round|
|1999–00||National 2 South (4)||4th||36||Tetley's Bitter Cup||1st Round|
|2000–01||National 3 South (4)[e]||1st (promoted)[f]||52||Tetley's Bitter Cup||4th Round|
|2001–02||National 2 (3)||2nd (promoted)||46||Powergen Cup||2nd Round|
|2002–03||National 1 (2)||9th||60[g]||Powergen Cup||5th Round|
|2003–04||National 1 (2)||3rd||92||Powergen Cup||4th Round|
|2004–05||National 1 (2)||3rd||94||Powergen Cup||6th Round|
|2005–06||National 1 (2)||5th||75||Powergen Trophy||Quarter-finals|
|2006–07||National 1 (2)||6th||97||EDF Energy Cup||Semi-finals|
|2007–08||National 1 (2)||8th||64||EDF Energy Trophy||Semi-finals|
|2008–09||National 1 (2)||11th||66||EDF Energy Trophy||4th Round|
|2009–10||RFU Championship (2)[h]||8th[i]||48[j]||British & Irish Cup||Pool Stage|
|2010–11||RFU Championship (2)||10th[k]||36[l]||British & Irish Cup||Pool Stage|
|2011–12||RFU Championship (2)||11th[m]||30[n]||British & Irish Cup||Pool Stage|
|2012–13||RFU Championship (2)||9th[o]||40||British & Irish Cup||Pool Stage|
|2013–14||RFU Championship (2)||8th||40||British & Irish Cup||Quarter-finals|
|2014–15||RFU Championship (2)||12th (relegated)||21||British & Irish Cup||Pool Stage|
|2015–16||National League 1 (3)||7th||72[p]|
|2016–17||National League 1 (3)||2nd||118|
|2017–18||National League 1 (3)||3rd||108|
|2018–19||National League 1 (3)||5th||83|
|2019–20||National League 1 (3)||6th||89.13[q]|
|2020–21||National League 1 (3)||Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom|
|2021–22||National League 1 (3)||11th||60|
|Green background stands for either league champions (with promotion) or cup winners. Blue background stands for promotion without winning league or losing cup finalists. Pink background stands for relegation.|
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points||Points deducted|
|12||Darlington Mowden Park||28||11||1||16||656||763||−107||8||5||59|
|Green background will be promoted to the RFU Championship. |
Pink background are relegation places.
Updated: 1 June 2022
Source: "National League 1". RFU.