Wed 04 Sep 2019 15:30

The “Blood & Sand” were formed in 1923.  The club currently competes in National League 1, the third tier of English rugby, making it the leading club in the Eastern Counties region.  We play our home matches at the 1,250 capacity Grantchester Road ground “Volac Park”, in the suburb of Newnham, approximately1 mile south-west of the city centre.

The club runs three senior squads: the national league squad, a development squad, and a social squad. At junior level the club runs one of the oldest mini and youth rugby sections in the country, starting back in the early 1970s, with a colts team for under-18s, and 3 girls teams.

A number of our players, we are proud to report, have gone on to gain International Rugby honours, being Dickie Jeeps (England and British Lions), Andy Hancock (England), Bob Steven (Scotland), Trefor Evans (Wales), Ben Spencer (England) and Alex Goode (England) who played all of his junior rugby at Grantchester Road.

1st XV

Cambridge RUFC joined the newly formed league structure in 1988 and by 1991 was playing in London 3 North East Division. After five years in this division, in 1996 the Club was promoted to London 2 North. The following charts our progress in English National Rankings since that time:

  • 1998-99: London 2 North Champions and promotion into London 1, a feeder league for the National Leagues
  • 2001-02: Player attrition and an ageing squad led to relegation back to London 2 North
  • 2003-04: A rebuilt side was second to an all-conquering London Scottish team in London 2 North and won an exciting play-off against Barnes 21-19 to regain promotion to London 1
  • 2004-05: League victory came down to the last match of the season when we beat Bassingstoke 96-15 to pip Worthing to the title on points difference
  • 2005-06: For the third consecutive season Cambridge were promoted at the end of the first season under player-coach, James Shanahan
  • 2008-09: A run of 15 games without defeat culminating in a fine display in Birmingham to defeat the already crowned champions by 45–29 on the last day of the season. The final table had Cambridge on 108 points, three adrift of Birmingham. In previous seasons a finish in 2nd place would have seen us promoted but the RFU chose this season to reorganise the leagues and so far, this represents the highest ranking CRUFC have achieved
  • 2012-13: Financial issues at the club led to a rapid departure of players and coaches in the middle of the 2011-12 season. At that point we had enough points already to maintain our National 1 status but in the 2012-13 season we could not compete with a very young an inexperience side
  • 2015-16: After 2 seasons of rebuilding under new coaches Rowland Winter and Craig Newby, Rowland led us to win National 2 South and take us back into National 1
  • 2018-19: “The Great Escape” saw us move up from a relegation spot to 13th in the final minutes of the season with a bonus point 5-24 away win, and a late Moseley try to default Caldy and drop them below us

Mini & Youth

Mini and Youth Rugby was started at Cambridge in January 1975, the first club in the Eastern Counties to take up this new and exciting challenge. From the initial 60 boys who turned out on that first morning, it rapidly expanded to over 350 players in 12 age groups from U7s to Colts, a participation level which is maintained to this day. We have also added girls’ rugby at U13, U15 and U18 in recent years. 

The basis of the coaching is built upon ex-players, and parents with regular input from current first team players and coaches. This involvement of a new population of rugby enthusiasts has not only fed players through, but also provided stability and personnel to the club committees at all levels; 3 recent Club Chairmen and a Club President have come from the ranks of the Mini & Youth parents. During the past 30+ years, countless players who cut their rugby teeth at Grantchester Road have gone on to play for senior clubs throughout the world, and we are proud that our own National Squad includes several players who started in our Mini and Youth Section.

Volac Park

CRUFC was settled in its current ground on Grantchester Road by the 1950s. In 1993 the Club was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to buy the lease on its existing three pitches and to buy adjoining land for a further three pitches from King's College.

Floodlights were added to one of these pitches in 2003 so that evening games might be played and the light available for training was improved beyond recognition.

2005 saw a brand-new clubhouse rise above the old to accommodate our growing support and rising sponsorship; two years on and a 200-seat grandstand was added to the front of the clubhouse to give one of the most attractive rugby venues in the National Leagues.  Our upstairs suite regularly seats 180 for pre 1st XV match lunches, and we have on occasion boosted this to 240 with downstairs seating.

In 2017 we completed renovations of our training rooms adding 4 changing rooms, a dedicated referees room, offices, gym and physio rooms giving a facility to lead us into our 2nd century of rugby.

Captains, Presidents and Chairmen

Year
Captain
President
Chairman
2019
G.Bretag-Norris
S.Bowller
R.C.Dean
2018
M.Ayrton
S.Bowller
R.C.Dean
E.Griffiths
2017
M.Ayrton
S.Bowller
R.C.Dean
E.Griffiths
2016
S.Liebenberg
S.Bowller
R.C.Dean
2015
S.Liebenberg
A.Banks
M.I.Watson
2014
S.Liebenberg
A.Banks
J.Jeffrey
2013
R.Kevan
A.Banks
J.Jeffrey
2012
G.McComb
A.Banks
J.Jeffrey
2011
D.Fox
A.Banks
S.Bowller
G.McComb
2010
D.Fox
A.Banks
S.Bowller
2009
D.Fox
J.Otter
I.Wilson
2008
D.Fox
R.Bishop
I.Wilson
2007
J.Ross
R.Bishop
J.F.G.Otter
2006
D.Remnant
R.Bishop
J.F.G.Otter
Year
Captain
President
Chairman
2005
S.T.Bell
R.Bishop
H.S.Kirk
2004
S.T.Bell
R.Bishop
H.S.Kirk
2003
S.T.Bell
R.Bishop
H.S.Kirk
2002
G.D.Stubbings
R.Bishop
A.Smith
2001
D.S.Messenger
R.Bishop
H.J.Fear
2000
D.S.Messenger
R.Bishop
H.J.Fear
1999
M.I.Rennell
R.Bishop
H.J.Fear
1998
M.I.Rennell
J.F.Ashley
H.J.Fear
1997
A.R.Atkinson
J.F.Ashley
H.J.Fear
1996
D.J.Brain
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1995
D.M.Tanner
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1994
R.J.Doel
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1993
S.Gadsby
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1992
C.I.Jackson
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1991
C.I.Jackson
J.F.Ashley
M.I.Watson
1990
K.Isbister
J.F.Ashley
P.J.Harvey
1989
K.Isbister
J.F.Ashley
P.J.Harvey
Year
Captain
President
Chairman
1988
K.Isbister
J.F.Ashley
D.R.Beck
1987
S.T.Gibbens
R.E.G Jeeps CBE
D.R.Beck
1986
S.T.Gibbens
J.A.Laurie
D.R.Beck
1985
T.W.Hague
J.A.Laurie
P.T.Corker
1984
D.R.Beck
J.A.Laurie
P.T.Corker
1983
A.D.Lee
J.A.Laurie
P.T.Corker
1982
A.D.Lee
J.A.Laurie
J.H.Archer
1981
S.J.Wilson
J.A.Laurie
J.H.Archer
1980
D.H.Howell
J.A.Laurie
J.H.Archer
1979
S.C.Tennant
J.A.Laurie
M.P.Schofield
1978
J.F.G.Otter
J.A.Laurie
1977
C.M.Kidman
J.A.Laurie
1976
C.M.Kidman
J.A.Laurie
1975
E.H.Goulding
J.A.Laurie
1974
C.M.Kidman
G.T.Rolfe
1973
C.M.Kidman
G.T.Rolfe
1972
S.Aitken
G.T.Rolfe
Year
Captain
President
Chairman
1971
K.D.Mellor
K.S.Few
1970
S.M.McDouall
K.S.Few
1969
A.V.Bevan
K.S.Few
1968
J.W.Thompson
K.S.Few
1967
P.A.Goodman
W.J.R.Jarvis
1966
R.Steven
W.J.R.Jarvis
1965
R.Steven
W.J.R.Jarvis
1964
S.F.B.Lowe
F.C.Stiles
1963
D.C.Shelbourne
F.C.Stiles
1962
R.E.G Jeeps
F.C.Stiles
1961
A.W.Hancock
F.C.Stiles
1960
G.E.Kitt
F.C.Stiles
1959
J.R.McBain Allan
F.C.Stiles
1958
J.B.Stiles
F.C.Stiles
1957
J.B.Stiles
F.C.Stiles
1956
J.B.Stiles
F.C.Stiles
1955
D.G.W.Pettitt
F.C.Stiles
Year
Captain
President
Chairman
1954
D.G.W.Pettitt
F.C.Stiles
1953
K.B.Naylor
F.H.A.Thoday
1952
K.A.N.Spray
F.H.A.Thoday
1951
R.A.Fison
F.H.A.Thoday
1950
R.A.Fison
B.J.Matthew
1949
R.A.Fison
B.J.Matthew
1948
E.J.Hawkins
K.K.Bailey
1947
E.J.Hawkins
K.K.Bailey
1946
J.A.Laurie
K.K.Bailey
1945
I.N.Reynolds
DR.H.L.H.H.Green
1944
~~~ war ~~~
1943
~~~ war ~~~
1942
~~~ war ~~~
1941
~~~ war ~~~
1940
~~~ war ~~~
1939
~~~ war ~~~
1938
I.N.Reynolds
DR.H.L.H.H.Green
Year
Captain
President
Chairman
1937
E.G.Davies
DR.H.L.H.H.Green
1936
W.J.R.Jarvis
DR.H.L.H.H.Green
1935
A.W.Hunt
Dr.H.Richards
1934
P.T.Howard
S.A.Wight
1933
T.N.B.Barker
S.A.Wight
1932
F.C.Stiles
M.G.Comber
1931
C.G.Engelmann
M.G.Comber
1930
J.H.Elliott
M.G.Comber
1929
M.N.Bradford
M.G.Comber
1928
M.N.Bradford
M.G.Comber
1927
K.R.J.Saxon
M.G.Comber
1926
B.J.Matthew
M.G.Comber
1925
W.Duncan Jones
M.G.Comber
1924
F.H.A.Thoday
M.G.Comber
1923
H.K.P.Smith
M.B.Bailey

International Playing Honours

We are proud to list the names of players who have played at CRUFC and then gone on to represent their country or appear in the Varsity match.

Year
Player
Team
2018
A.Rayment
England Counties U20
2018
B.Spencer
England
2018
F.Dingwall
England U20
2018
M.Hema
England Counties
2018
R.Conquest
England Counties
2017
A.Coles
England U18
2017
A.Portsmouth
England Counties
2017
D.Seal
England Counties
2017
F.Dingwall
England U18
2016
A.Coles
England U16
2016
A.Portsmouth
England Counties
2016
B.Daynes
England Counties
2016
D.Seal
England Counties
2016
F.Dingwall
Scotland U18
2016
J.Stokes
England Counties
2015
A.Gregory
Scotland U18B
2015
A.Portsmouth
England Counties
Year
Player
Team
2015
B.Penfold
England Counties U20
2015
F.Dingwall
Scotland U16
2015
J.Dix
England London & SE U16
2015
L.Bodrozic
Serbia U18
2014
A.Gregory
Scotland U16
2014
B.Penfold
England Counties U20
2014
J.Daly
England Counties U20
2014
J.F.Robinson
England Counties
2014
J.F.Robinson
England Counties U20
2014
J.Shanahan
Barbarians
2014
J.Wigglesworth
England Counties
2014
L.Fielden
England 7s
2014
M.Wolfenden
Zimbabwe
2014
R.Headington
England Colleges U18
2014
S.Harry
England Counties U20
2014
T.Powell
England 7s
2013
G.Baxter
England Counties U20
Year
Player
Team
2013
J.Wigglesworth
England Counties
2013
J.Wigglesworth
England Counties U20
2013
L.Fielden
England 7s
2013
M.Wolfenden
Zimbabwe
2013
S.Hipwell
England Counties
2013
T.Fidler
England Counties
2013
T.Powell
England 7s
2012
A.Goode
England
2012
DlR.Veenendaal
England Counties U20
2012
T.Powell
England 7s
2012
W.Hooley
England U20
2011
B.Spencer
England U20
2011
D.Mugford
England Counties
2011
T.Powell
England 7s
2011
T.Wheatcroft
England Counties
2010
T.Powell
England 7s
2010
T.Powell
England Counties
Year
Player
Team
2009
J.Shanahan
Barbarians
2005
A.Goode
England U18
2002
M.J.W.Miles
Wales A U21
2002
R.H.White
USA U19
2001
M.J.W.Miles
Wales A U21
2001
R.H.White
USA U19
1999
D.E.M.Jones
England A U16
1999
D.W.Dalrimple
England Clubs U18
1999
H.M.D.Whitford
England Students
1998
H.M.D.Whitford
Cambridge Blue
1998
S.K.Rodgers
Cambridge Blue
1997
H.M.D.Whitford
Cambridge Blue
1996
C.R.A.Simpson
Irish Students
1996
S.K.Rodgers
England Students
1996
T.A.Q.Whitford
England Students
1995
C.R.A.Simpson
Cambridge Blue
1995
S.D.Culhane
New Zealand
Year
Player
Team
1995
T.A.Q.Whitford
Cambridge Blue
1990
C.R.A.Simpson
England U18
1989
J.D.Motts
England U16
1986
T.O.White
England U16
1975
T.Evans
Wales
1966
A.W.Hancock
England
1965
A.W.Hancock
England
1962
Dicky Jeeps
England Captain
1962
R.Steven
Scotland
1961
Dicky Jeeps
England Captain
1960
Dicky Jeeps
England Captain
1959
Dicky Jeeps
England Captain
1958
Dicky Jeeps
England
1957
Dicky Jeeps
England
1956
Dicky Jeeps
England

1st XV Playing Records

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