Lastest News

  • Kit out the Nation! We are collecting unwanted sports gear at the club to redistribute to children who want to play sport but don't have access to kit. Bring us what you have and make sport for all!
  • We are recruiting players! If you have played at National level or have aspirations to do so contact us at headcoach@cantrugby.co.uk
National League 2 South
DateOppositionVenue
4th September 2021Bury St EdmundsA
11th September 2021Old AlbanianA
18th September 2021WorthingH
25th September 2021RochfordA
2nd October 2021DingsH
9th October 2021BarnstapleA
16th October 2021Leicester LionsH
23rd October 2021BarnesA
30th October 2021HenleyH
13th November 2021HinckleyA
20th November 2021RedruthH
27th November 2021CliftonA
4th December 2021WestcliffH
11th December 2021EsherA
18th December 2021GuernseyH
6th January 2022Old AlbanianH
15th January 2022WorthingA
22nd January 2022RochfordH
29th January 2022DingsA
12th February 2022BarnstapleH
19th February 2022Leicester LionsA
26th February 2022BarnesH
5th March 2022HenleyA
12th March 2022HinckleyH
26th March 2022RedruthA
2nd April 2022CliftonH
9th April 2022WestcliffA
16th April 2022EsherH
23rd April 2022GuernseyA
30th April 2022Bury St EdmundsH
Invicta A
DateOppositionVenue
Postponed - 11th September 2021Old AlleyniansH
25th September 2021SevenoaksH
2nd October 2021 Old AlleyniansA
13th November 2021Westcombe ParkH
20th November 2021SevenoaksH
27th November 2021SevenoaksA
4th December 2021Tunbridge Wells 2ndsH
11th December 2021Old AlleyniansH
18th December 2021MedwayH
22nd January 2022MedwayA
12th February 2022SidcupA
5th March 2022SidcupH
12th March 2022Westcombe ParkA
26th March 2022Tunbridge Wells 2ndsA
Kent & East Sussex Devision 3
DateOppositionVenue
18th September 2021Cranbrook 2ndsA
2nd October 2021Medway 4thsA
9th October 2021Tonbridge Judds 3rdsH
16th October 2021Ashford 2ndsH
6th November 2021Snowdon 1st IXH
13th November 2021Thanet 2ndsA
27th November 2021Dover 2ndsH
4th December 2021Deal 2ndsA
11th December 2021Sevenoaks 4thsH
8th January 2022Medway 4thsH
15th January 2022Ashford 2ndsA
29th January 2022Tonbridge Judds 3rdsA
12th February 2022Snowdon 1st XVA
19th February 2022Thanet 2ndsH
6th March 2022Dover 2ndsA
12th March 2022Deal 2ndsH
26th March 2022Sevenoaks 4thsA
2nd April 2022Cranbrook 2ndsH
Kent & East Sussex Division 4
DateOppositionVenue
18th September 2021CRANBROOK 3RDS A
25th September 2021OLD GRAVESENDIANS 2NDSH
2nd October 2021SHEPPEY 2NDS A
16th October 2021GILLINGHAM 3RDS H
23rd October 2021GRAVESEND 4THH
30th October 2021NEW ASH GREEN 2NDS A
6th November 2021TUNBRIDGE WELLSH
13th November 2021LORDSWOOD 2NDS A
4th December 2021VIGO 2NDS A
18th December 2021OLD GRAVESENDIANS 2NDSA
8th January 2022SHEPPEY 2NDS H
15th January 2022GILLINGHAM 3RDS A
22nd January 2022GRAVESEND 4THA
29th January 2022NEW ASH GREEN 2NDSH
12th February 2022TUNBRIDGE WELLS 3RDSA
19th February 2022LORDSWOOD 2NDS H
12th March 2022VIGO 2NDS H
2nd April 2022CRANBROOK 3RDS H
Kent & East Sussex Division 5
DateOppositionVenue
4th SeptemberLORDSWOOD 2ndsH
18th September 2021WHITSTABLE 2NDS H
25th September 2021AYLESFORD 3RDS A
2nd October 2021FOLKESTONE 3RDSH
9th October 2021ASHFORD 3RDSA
30th October 2021KENT UNI 2NDS A
13th November 2021THANET 3RDSH
27th November 2021WEAVERING 2NDSH
4th December 2021DEAL 3RDSH
11th December 2021FAVERSHAM 2NDSA
18th December 2021AYLESFORD 3RDS H
8th January 2022FOLKESTONE 3RDSA
15th January 2022ASHFORD 3RDSH
22nd January 2022Maidstone VetsH
29th January 2022KENT UNI 2NDS H
19th February 2022THANET 3RDSA
26th February 2022Dover 3rdsH
5th March 2022WEAVERING 2NDS A
12th March 2022DEAL 3RDS A
19th March 2022Dover 3rdsA
26th March 2022Faversham 2ndsA
2nd April 2022WHITSTABLE 2NDS A
DateOppositionVenue
26th September 2021Tonbridge Juddian LadiesH
3rd October 2021Blackheath Ladies IIA
17th October 2021Cranbrook LadiesH
7th November 2021Streatham-Croydon LadiesH
28th November 2021Heathfield & W LadiesH
5th December 2021Beccehamian LadiesA
19th December 2021Guernsey LadiesH
9th January 2022Blackheath Ladies IIH
16th January 2022Cranbrook LadiesH
6th February 2022Streatham-Croydon LadiesA
6th March 2022Heathfield & W LadiesA
20th March 2022Beccehamian LadiesH
3rd April 2022Guernsey LadiesH
10th April 2022Tonbridge Juddian LadiesA

Your Club

Club History

Summer 1929

Founder members such as Ernie Knew, Clifford Allen, Henry Westron and Dudley Hallwood meet at the Fleur de Lys in Canterbury High Street to discuss the formation of a rugby club. They write letters to the press with an excellent response. This leads to well attended meetings, practice matches and the creation of the club.

1929

October 12th 1929

The first match is held at Jackey Baker’s Sports Ground in Ramsgate. The Canterbury captain is Dudley Hallwood, a speedy threequarter. They lose to a well established Thanet team. Hallwood moves jobs mid-season and is replaced by Clifford Allen.

1929

1930s

The club regularly field two Saturday sides as well as a mid-week, Thursday, team The home matches are played on a ground in the New Dover Road ground – this is now the Barton Estate. Success on the field does not come easily and there are just two winning seasons under captains Francis Gilder and Will Simpson. Scrum half, Ernie Knew, becomes the first Canterbury player to represent Kent.

The HQ is the Royal Fountain Hotel in St Margaret’s Street, where there are changing rooms, baths and hospitality.

In July 1937, the club gets its own ground when president Stephen Williamson, owner of the St Mildred’s Tannery, buys the Merton Lane ground and rents the eleven acres to the club. This major step is celebrated in October 1937, when there is a match between C G Williamson’s Blackheath XV and Canterbury. The club has a pitch but there are no facilities there except a small hut.

1930s

World War II

Many Kent clubs go into abeyance during the war but chairman Henry Westron and captain Will Simpson are determined that the club should keep playing. Farmers Jack Hirst and Strib Helbling keep the club operating, helped out by local military personnel and with matches, often against military units. Part of the ground is let out to other sports such as cricket or to grazing and growing crops.

WW2

1940s

In 1946, the founder-president, Stephen Williamson, resigns and Gabriel Hews, owner-editor of the Kentish Gazette becomes president.

In July 1947, brothers Philip and Thomas Wacher buy the Merton Lane ground. In December they buy more land to the south where the club now has its second pitch. The Wachers lease the land to the club on favourable terms.

On October 15th1947, Kent play Eastern Counties at Canterbury, the first county rugby in East Kent.

1940s

1950s

In May 1953, the club begins to build its first pavilion, overseen by Martin Osborne, who becomes honorary secretary for over twenty years. On December 10th 1954, the new pavilion is opened by Gabriel Hews.

On the field, the club develops into one of the strongest clubs in East Kent with winning seasons under skippers, Hugh Kelsey, followed by Kent cricketer, Geoff Smith, Australian Adrian Kent and David Parker. Parker would be regularly selected as a centre for Kent over several seasons.

1950s

1960s

The playing success continued under captains such as Eddie Hardy, Ken Phillips and Mike Roberts. It was an era in which the Sevens team blossomed, with frequent wins at Dover as well.  The creation of a further pitch meant that the club were able to run its own tournament. The additional pitch was essential as the club were able to field five sides by the end of the decade

Tony Redsell became chairman in 1967, forming an invaluable partnership with secretary David Hallwood that would see major changes in the club.

1960s

1970s

The early 1970s were some disappointing results on the field but the club bounced back. Several talented players arrived, notably Mike Nurton, Grame Lockhart, Gordon Seggar, Mike Tarbit and Kiwi, Peter Clotworthy. This group, coached by Terry Grayson and under the captaincy of Barry Jackson, lifted the Kent Cup in 1975, undoubtedly the highlight of the club’s first fifty years.

Off the field, there was a major extension to the pavilion in 1972, which was celebrated with a match against a side led by England skipper, Budge Rogers XV.

Alongside this, there was the installation of floodlights for training

Towards the end of the 1970s, there was upheaval caused by the Canterbury bypass which required turning the top pitch, moving power lines, water meters, fences, the installation of a safety screen with trees between the new pitch and the road and the building of a new concrete access road.

1979 was  50th jubilee season, which included a dinner at the Westgate Hall and a jubilee match that reunited the Kent Cup winning side, playing the current 1st XV.

1970s

1980s

This period marked a sea change in the game for every club when RFU official leagues were introduced in 1987. Earlier in the decade the club took a bold step by launching Kent’s first floodlit competition which quickly proved a major success with East Kent teams but adapting to the league system proved difficult. Canterbury were placed in the London South East Division and relegated in the first season, starting a decline which continued for four seasons.

1980s

1990s

At the start of the 1990s the team was playing at its lowest point in Kent Division 2  but from that unpromising position a revival was born. Throughout the next ten years the first team climbed steadily up the league ladder and made it their ambition to be a London Division One club by the millennium. They would have achieved that goal had it not been for the administrators.

Having won the London 2 South championship in 1999/2000 they were told there was no promotion because of re-organization of the leagues. The upsurge in fortunes had been achieved through better recruitment policies, properly organised coaching and increased sponsorship. In addition there was an expansion of the strong and successful Junior and Min Rugby sections which were to produce many fine players.  One of them was Andy Pratt who went on to make a record 26 appearances for the Kent County Championship side.

In this period, too, Leon White became the first of four Canterbury players to captain Kent. Leon was subsequently followed by Andy Pratt, Matt Pinnick and Jamie Forsyth. The club also broadened its commitment to the community game by the introduction of a Womens team.

1990s

New Millennium

In 2002 came consolation for the disappointment of two years earlier as promotion was won to London Division One.  This heralded one of the finest decades in Canterbury’s history. In 2006 they were promoted to the National Divisions and won the Kent Cup in four consecutive seasons, 2005 to 2008, beating Blackheath three times and Westcombe Park once.

There was a tentative start to the first venture into National League rugby but the team exceeded all expectations by ending 2006/07 in fourth position in National 3 South. The demands of the higher league, which subsequently became National 2 South, increased every season but Canterbury responded to the challenge and were consistently in the top half of the table. In what was now a semi-professional era this was an exceptional effort when competing against many clubs with heavy financial backing.

2000s

2010/2020

Having established themselves in the National structure the club suffered a temporary set back when they were relegated from National 2 South to National 3 in 2010/11.  The following season they bounced  back to Level 4 and made it an ambition to win a place in National Division One. This was achieved in the 1918/19 season when they defeated Chester in a play-off game in front of the largest crowd ever seen at Canterbury.

The step up proved difficult and relegation from Division One in 2020 coincided with the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic which was to bring rugby to a complete halt.  It was an unexpected end to a period in which the club had further broadened its reach by the introduction of a Wheechair rugby team, produced international players in the Touch Rugby game and made huge strides in strengthening its community engagement.

2010/2020