Photo: RFU Archive
Rotherham Rugby Club was formed in1923 and moved to their current home ground Clifton Lane in the late 1930’s. The introduction of league rugby in 1987 allowed Rotherham to achieve enormous success and gained seven promotions culminating in playing in the Premiership. In the 1988/89 season, Rotherham won the North East Division 1 title and so began their rise up the rugby pyramid.
This was immediately followed up by five further promotions in six seasons to propel the club to the forth tier of English rugby by 1995/96. Rotherham eventually reached SSE National Division 1 in season 1997/98 and won this league and the subsequent play-off against Bedford to enter the Premiership in 2000/01.
However with only a matter of weeks to restructure and prepare, Rotherham’s debut in the Premiership proved to be a difficult campaign, which saw them relegated after registering just two league victories against London Irish and Saracens. The highlight of that season was in the European Shield when Rotherham travelled to the South of France and beat Perpignan 20-19 at the Stade Aimé Giral.
The following season Rotherham won SSE National Division 1 again, but were denied promotion due to failing to meet ground requirments. In the same year (2001/02,) Rotherham won the Powergen Shield at Twickenham, defeating Exeter Chiefs 35-26 in the final.
The following season Rotherham won the Championship equivalent again, playing their home fixtures at Millmoor, the home of Rotherham United. This gave them a second tilt at the Premiership. However, this again proved very challenging and were again relegated.
In August 2004 the club was on the brink of extinction and was a matter of days away from ending its 81 year existence. But, thanks to the arrival of Nick Cragg and Martin Jenkinson and, with the help of Rotherham Borough Council, supporters and previous players, they were able to rescue and stabilise the club.
Since then Rotherham has been a consistent and regular member of the RFU Championship, with ambitions of competing once again at the top table of English rugby.
Clifton Lane Sports Ground
Badsley Moor Lane
Tel: 01709 388540