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South West Rugby League
Country England
Number of teams5
Level on pyramid5
Promotion toConference League South
Domestic cup(s)Challenge Cup Harry Jepson Trophy
Current championsCornish Rebels
Current: 2015 South West Rugby League season

The South West Rugby League (SWRL) also known as the South West Men's League, is a rugby league competition for teams in the South West of England. The competition is one of many fifth tier leagues of the British rugby league system.

It was formerly part of the Rugby League Conference.

The SWRL is a semi-autonomous league with a five-member committee under an Rugby Football League (RFL) appointed chairman. The SWRL has five member clubs from Devon and Cornwall.


See also: History of the Rugby League Conference

The Rugby League Conference was founded in 1997 as the Southern Conference, a 10-team pilot league for teams in the South of England and the English Midlands.

The conference made the leap from 30 to 52 teams in 2003 and a South West Division appeared for the first time. It disappeared in 2004 as South West teams took part in the Western Division and Cardiff Demons joined the newly created Welsh Division.

The Premier divisions saw a change in boundaries leaving the North Premier division covering a larger area to give the English Midlands clubs their own premier division without having to face heartland teams, this left the West Midlands division with too few teams to run, resulting in a merged West Midlands and South West Division.

After a campaign by the RFL to form new clubs in the South West, a new South West division was created in 2007 for teams from the West Country. By 2010, there were enough teams to have a South West conference split into two pools.

For the 2011 season, there was a new RLC West of England alongside the RLC South West. The initial idea was that the two leagues would compete side by side with play-offs at the end of the season to decide an overall South West champion. In 2011, Gloucestershire Warriors defeated Somerset Vikings in the Championship play-off. In 2012, the intended play-off match was cancelled as the majority of the Devon Sharks team, the South West Champions, were unable to break off from the start of the rugby union season to fulfil the fixture.

The South Western Rugby League was formed in February 2013 to organise and administer the South West Men's League following the switch of the majority of community clubs in England to a summer season and the ending of the Rugby League Conference in 2011.

Rugby League Conference Pyramid

See also: British rugby league system

This is officially the highest tier 4 league that South West clubs can play in.

2019 South West Men's League

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2023)
Club Founded Location RLC Honours
Cornish Rebels 2013 Redruth, Cornwall RLC South West: 2014, 2015, 2017
Devon Sharks 2006 Torquay, Devon RLC South West: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2019
Exeter Centurions 2007 Exeter, Devon 2016, Folded in 2017
North Devon Raiders 2009 Barnstaple, Devon Name Change 2018: Tarka Storm
Plymouth Titans 2007 Saltash, Cornwall RLC South West: 2007, 2011, Name Change: Saltash Essayons 2018
Teignbridge Trojans 2017 Newton Abbot, Devon

South West Cup

The South West cup is a knock-out competition played for by members of the South West Division. It was originally known as the Devon Cup.

South West Nines

The South West Nines is a rugby league nines competition. It is competed for by RLC South West and RLC West of England teams and local student rugby league sides.

County Challenge

In 2010, a ″one–off″ match was played between Devon and Cornwall with Devon winning 44–20.[1] The match was featured on the BBC national news and was widely covered by the rugby league press. It is now competed for annually and known as the Martin Roddy MBE Trophy.

South West County Championship Festival

The first South West County Championship took place on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2011 at Aretians RFC in Bristol. The 2012 Event took place at Bridgwater RFC in Somerset.

Participating teams by season

South West League

West of England League


See also: Rugby League Conference trophy winners

South West League

West of England League


  1. ^ "Devon face rivals Cornwall in historic match". BBC. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2013.