Our History


For our club history follow the link http://www.archive.rumneyrfc.com


The 1950’s

1949 and WRU referee Bill Breeze and his pals have the idea of forming a Rugby Club in East Cardiff. After a few friendlies Rumney RFC’s first fixture list is assembled for 1950-51. 

First game is against British Electrical Repairs Ltd of Penarth Rd, Cardiff Players Tony Gentile, Tom Jones, Graham Gerrard and Vernon Sheryn join. Viv and Doris Irons run a small dining and dance club where the fledgling Rugby Club holds meetings. Viv and Doris also provide a garage, supplied with hot water and a galvanised iron bath for use after matches. 

Trevor Jenks, landlord of the Carpenter’s Arms, gives the Club a room which is used for meetings, as a changing room and for after match entertainment. With such a fine facility the players think they are in clover. 

Ken Gooding and John Wheeler join, “Squeak’ Wheeler going on to play 593 games for Rumney.


The 1960’s

In 1961 Ken Gooding becomes Captain and regular training sessions are held at Rumney Recreation Ground, the Club’s home ground. 

With post-war expansion of the city of Cardiff, new housing is built all around the area, and with increase interest in rugby, a new base is needed. Viv Davies, Terry King, George Burges, Smudge Smit, Mick Carey and Peter and Dennis Murphy are all members of the Royal British Legion Club. They pull strings and get the club the use of old outhouses at the rear of the Legion which, with the use of discarded building materials from the new estates, are rapidly converted into changing rooms. 

New schools, built in the 1950s, start producing players for Rumney including schoolboy internationals John Carey and John Dommett, WJRU cap Adrian Hill and Ian Robinson, who goes on to play for Wales.

The Mallett and Ninian Stuart Cups are won, and plans are made to apply for WRU status. In years to come influential Chairmen Roger Leyshon, Viv Davies, Graham McCormack and Con Ritchie steer the club towards this goal. 


The 1970’s

After twenty years consolidating their position at the top of the Cardiff and District Rugby Union, Rumney starts on a programme of further major advances. 

Eddie Hunt becomes Coach and fills the position for twenty years. 

Viv Davies and his Committee see the opening of the Clubhouse and changing rooms at Riverside Park on 13th March 1972. 

Rumney play Neath in the WRU Cup in 1977, Bridgend in the Schweppes Cup in 1979, and win the Welsh District Cup at the national Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park in 1978 and 1979. 

In the 1070s the 1st XV play 358 games, winning 267, losing 77 and drawing 14.



The 1980’s 

In 1981 Rumney play Neath at The Gnoll in the Schweppes Cup. 

In June 1986 Rumney becomes a full member club of the Welsh Rugby Union. Three highly successful tours of the American Midwest take place, forging friendships which continue to this day. 

Rumney win the East District Championship in 1989-90, and along with Llanharan, qualify to represent the district in forthcoming National Leagues. 

In the 1980s the 1st XV play 316 games, winning 247, losing 62 and drawing 7. 


The 1990’s

Leagues are introduced into Welsh Rugby and although Rumney do not find it plain sailing and are relegated two years running, they reorganise in 1994-95 and are promoted in the next three seasons. Coaches Roger Powell, Spike Watkins and Les Brown lead the side to successful mid table positions in division 1 in the 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. 

Dave Escott, Rugby Secretary since 1985, successfully steers Rumney through the leagues, enjoying victories over Aberavon, Pontypool, Maesteg and Newbridge. Captains in the 1990s are Bobby McCarthy, Paul Reagan, Terry Lee, Keith Lee and Glenn George. 

Established in the 1960s, Rumney Youth, under the coaching of Shaun Lee becomes an important academy for future 1st XV players such as Michael Peard, Wayne O’Connor, Grant Harrington, Simon Greedy and Neil Coles. Colin O’Donoghue and Dean Simons win Wales Youth Caps. 

In the 1999-2000 season Rumney play Cardiff for the first time at full first team level in the WRU Challenge Cup at Riverside Park. 

In the 1990s the 1st XV play 280 games, winning 150, losing 118 and drawing 12.


The 2000’s

In the Club’s 50th Anniversary season 2000-2001, Coaches Shaun Lee and Nigel Bezani take the 1st XV to its highest final league position, fifth in Division 1. Highlight of the season is when Captain Michael Peard leads Rumney against Swansea at Riverside Park in the WRU Principality Challenge Cup, Swansea field their full side including Gavin Henson and Garin Jenkins. 

2002-03 is a difficult season with Christian Wills replacing injured Andrew Grabham as Captain. Despite battling all the way, Rumney are relegated to division 2 at the end of the 2003-2004 season.

Coaches Gavin Cooper and Danny Wilson arrive and in 2004-05 Rumney conclude a very successful season in fifth position in division 2. 

Steve Ford takes over as Coach in the middle of the 2005-06 season and with Forwards coach Mike Peard and Captain Paul Niblett, develops a very young side in spectacular fashion, achieving promotion back to division 1 in 2007-08 and finishing in a strong mid table position. 2008-2009 is another successful campaign and marks the end of the ford/Peard coaching era and Paul Niblett’s fifth season as 1st XV Captain. Michael Feneck becomes Captain for the 2009/10 season and coached by Matthew Silva and Graham Daley, Rumney finish sixth in the division 1 table. In the 2000s the 1st XV play 274 games, winning 109, losing 158 and drawing 7.

The first season of the new decade, 2010-2011, proves to be another successful one for Rumney, who finish in eighth place in the WRU SWALEC League Division 1 East. Michael Feneck continues as Captain and with the Coaching Team of Matt Silva, Graham Daley and Mike Morgan again in place, they score forty-nine tries in the process. 

The 2010’s

In May 2011, as a prelude to the 2011-2012 season, Rumney return to the USA for a tour of the Mid West. The tour is great success and victories are recorded over old adversaries Kansas City Blues and Kansas City RFC. Immediately after returning from New Orleans, planning starts on putting in place a tour of California and the west Coast for 2013.