Kent Rugby Football Union
|Full name||Kent Rugby Football Union|
|Region||Kent, parts of London|
The Kent Rugby Football Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Kent in England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Kent, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Kent county rugby representative teams.
One of the oldest unions in the country, the Kent Rugby Football Union was founded in 1880. In 1891, the Kent RFU created the Kent Cup as a county-wide competition for their members, one of the first few county cups established in England and the second in southern England after the Hampshire Rugby Football Union. They have a rich history in the men's senior County Championship since the early years of the competition, finishing as one of the regional winners in 1892, and became outright winners for the first time in 1897. They have gone on to win the top flight competition several more times, although the last time was way back in 1927.
In 2010, the Kent RFU were brought into national attention following an incident in a Kent Cup match between Maidstone and Gravesend where a Gravesend player was blinded in one eye as a result of eye-gouging. Despite a statement from the County Chairman that there would be a long ban for the perpetrator, there were no charges from either the Kent RFU, The RFU or Kent Police due to lack of evidence available. As a result instead, Maidstone were fined £2,000 and deducted 50 league points for failing to identify the player.
In modern times Kent have yo-yoed between Division 1 and Division 2 of the championships, with the most recent silverware claimed being the 2014 Plate when the defeated Durham 30–23 at Twickenham Stadium. They also run regular county tours overseas including to New Zealand in 2012 and to Argentina in 2016.
Kent senior men's county side
Kent senior men's county side currently play in the Bill Beaumont Division 1 South – the top level of the County Championships, having been promoted despite losing 33–27 to East Midlands in the 2016 Plate final.
There are currently 55 clubs affiliated with the Kent RFU, most of which have teams at both senior and junior level. The majority of clubs are based in Kent, but there are also clubs from south-east London and even East Sussex.
- Aylesford Bulls
- Blackheath[a 1]
- Charlton Park
- Dartford Valley
- Deal & Betteshanger
- Gillingham Anchorians
- Guy's Hospital
- Hastings & Bexhill[a 2]
- King's College Hospital
- New Ash Green
- Old Colfeians[a 3]
- Old Dunstonian
- Old Elthamians
- Old Gravesendians
- Old Williamsonians
- Park House
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Shooters Hill
- Snowdown Colliery
- Southwark Lancers[a 4]
- Thanet Wanderers
- Tonbridge Juddians
- Tunbridge Wells
- Westcombe Park
County club competitions
- Shepherd Neame Kent 1 – a league ranked at tier 9 of English rugby union league system
- Shepherd Neame Kent 2 – tier 10 league
- Kent Cup – founded in 1970, for club sides at tiers 5–6 of the English rugby union system as well as 2nd teams for local clubs in higher divisions (tiers 3–4)
- Kent Shield – founded in 2015, for club sides at tiers 7–8
- Kent Vase – founded in 2001, for club sides at tiers 9–10
- Kent Plate – founded in 1993, for club sides knocked out of the first round of the Kent Cup and Kent Shield
- Kent Salver – founded in 2005, for club sides knocked out of the first round of the Kent Vase
- Kent 3 – tier 11 league, ran between 2000 and 2008
- Kent 4 – tier 12 league, ran for one season in 2000–01
- Blackheath are joint members of both the Kent RFU and Middlesex RFU.
- Hastings & Bexhill play in the Kent regional leagues but are members of the Sussex RFU.
- Old Colfeians are joint members of both the Kent RFU and Middlesex RFU.
- Southwark Lancers are joint members of both the Kent RFU and Middlesex RFU.
- "Kent County Rugby Football Union Celebrated 125 Years of Rugby 2005/2006" (PDF). Kent RFU. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- Collins, Tony (2009). A Social History of English Rugby Union. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 1134023359.
- "English County Championship". Rugbyhistory.com. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Disappointment as Kent rugby player cleared of gouging". BBC News. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "County RFU chief hints at lengthy ban for 'gouger'". Kent News. Retrieved 20 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
- Mairs, Gavin. "Maidstone Rugby Club docked 50 points over gouging incident that left Gravesend player blind in one eye". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "Kent 31–23 Durham". News Shopper. 3 June 2014.
- "RUGBY REPORT: Durham 23 Kent 31, Durham lose County Championship final at Twickenham". News Shopper. 1 June 2014.
- "Canterbury RFC contingent set for NZ tour". Kent News. Retrieved 20 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Four chosen for Argentina". Canterbury RFC. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "Rugby: Bedfordshire players inspire East Midlands to Twickenham triumph". Bedfordshire News. 29 May 2016.
- "East Midlands win County Champs Division 2 Plate". England Rugby. 29 May 2016.
- "Accredited Clubs within Kent". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Kent Cup (Men)". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Kent Shield". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Kent Vase". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Kent Plate". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Kent Salver". Kent RFU. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.