Preston Grasshoppers
Full namePreston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club
UnionLancashire RFU
Nickname(s)Hoppers
Founded1869; 152 years ago (1869)
LocationPreston, Lancashire, England
Ground(s)Lightfoot Green (Capacity: 5,000)
ChairmanGeorge Erdozain
CEORichard Ellis
PresidentKeith Brierley
Coach(es)Paul Arnold
Captain(s)Christian Taylor
League(s)North Premier
2021/2022Northern Divison, 2nd Place
Team kit
Official website
www.pgrfc.co.uk

Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club is an English rugby union team from Preston, Lancashire. The men's senior team play in North Premier - at the fifth level of the English rugby union system - following their relegation from National League 2 North at the end of the 2019-20 season.

History

The club was founded on 28 September 1869 at a meeting held at the Bull Hotel, Preston, making it one of the oldest 'northern' rugby union teams.

The club were based at Farringdon Park (the location today is Farringdon Crescent), New Hall Lane from 1924 until 1932, an old Amusement Park and Cycling Track. In 1929 the club agreed a six year sub-tenancy with Preston (speedway) and a dirt track was constructed around the perimeter of the rugby pitch. The speedway syndicate folded in 1932 but a greyhound syndicate paid the Grasshoppers £2,000 (a huge sum at the time) to vacate the ground the same year.[1][2]

Grasshoppers' players who have progressed to bigger stages include A.N. Hornby, the first man to captain both the English national rugby and cricket sides, Dick Greenwood and his son Will Greenwood, later to play outside centre for Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and England, second row star Steve Borthwick, captaining Bath and playing a key role in the England international side, Wade Dooley, who won 55 caps in the second row for England and represented the British and Irish Lions on tours to Australia (1989) and South Africa (1993), and Paul Grayson, who went on to play a number of games at fly half for England. Other past players gaining England caps include Don Rutherford and Iain Balshaw.

Wigan Athletic F.C. striker James Vaughan also played rugby union for the side, before switching to football.

When the national league structure was introduced in the mid nineties, Hoppers remained in National League 3 (North) until their promotion in 1998–99 season. This was achieved with the help of Australian Michael Lough and winger Ian Bruce who, between them, scored over 50 tries.

In 2013 Preston Grasshoppers 2nd team won the Preston Sports Awards Team Performance of the Year.[3] At the end of the 2015–16 Season Preston Grasshoppers accepted an offer from the RFU to replace the grass surface at Lightfoot Green Lane with an artificial 3G pitch. The terms of the agreement mean that the RFU have exclusive use of the pitch for the next 30 years.

In 2017/18 the club made an immediate return to National 2 North by winning the Northern Premier League at the first attempt. Under Head Coach Paul Arnold the side were the stand out side in the division with Number 8 Matthew Lamprey scoring 32 league tries during the campaign to set a new club record for tries in a league season, beating the previous best of 27 set by Michael Lough in the 1998/99 National 2 North Championship winning season.

Honours

[4][5]

Current standings

2019–20 National League 2 North Table watch · edit · discuss
Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Losing bonus Points
1 Caldy (C) 25 25 0 0 1002 279 723 19 0 119
2 Fylde 25 17 1 7 790 447 343 16 4 90
3 Hinckley 25 17 0 8 634 461 173 12 5 85
4 Sedgley Park 25 17 0 8 627 549 78 11 4 83
5 Loughborough Students 25 14 0 11 749 605 144 13 5 74
6 Chester 25 13 1 11 690 618 72 12 4 70
7 Stourbridge 25 11 1 13 679 616 63 13 9 68
8 Hull 25 12 2 11 479 472 7 5 6 63
9 Wharfedale 25 11 2 12 528 539 -11 5 6 59
10 Huddersfield 25 9 4 12 528 592 -64 9 4 57
11 Tynedale 24 9 2 13 583 592 -9 10 7 57
12 Sheffield Tigers 24 12 0 12 516 570 -54 5 3 56
13 Luctonians 25 9 1 15 496 609 -113 8 8 54
14 Otley (R) 25 9 3 13 508 628 -120 5 5 52
15 Preston Grasshoppers (R) 25 4 3 18 385 656 -271 3 4 29
16 Scunthorpe (R) 25 0 0 25 341 1302 -961 4 2 6
  • 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: 14 March 2020
Source: "National League 2 North". NCA Rugby.
Notes


References