History courtesy of
A Brief History of Canterbury RFC
In the most rewarding season in the club’s history they also won the Kent Cup for a second successive year and gained further recognition when named rugby’s Team of the Year by Rugby World magazine.
Modern players might even envy them in that the season rarely started in earnest before October when all the fruit picking in the area was over and farmer/rugby players could start thinking about a free Saturday afternoon.
Apart from the interruption of the Second World War, Canterbury built steadily over the years and boasted one of the strongest fixture lists in the county. They produced a number of fine players who represented Kent but the only tangible reward came in the 1974/75 season when the club beat old rivals Maidstone to win the County Cup.
Some indeterminate years followed but the advent of leagues in the late 1980s was, like the experience of so many other clubs, a culture shock.
After first being placed in London 3 South East, Canterbury went steadily downhill.
They fell as low as Kent Division 2 at the start of the 1990s but from that unpromising position a revival was born, which included the expansion of the junior and colts section.
Lesser sides may have crumbled but they won a place in the top London division two years later. Since then the club has become even stronger at every level.
In 2008/09 the county committee decreed that Kent’s National League clubs must enter their second teams in the competition and the club’s grip on the cup was loosened. It was four years before the trophy returned to Canterbury when they defeated Westcombe Park in 2012.
The 2010/11 season, however, proved to be a bridge too far and the team was relegated on the final day of the season. They responded in positive fashion to win back their place in National 2 South at the first attempt and since have re-established themselves. In the 2013/14 season Canterbury equalled their highest ever position at National level by finishing in fourth place.
The club was rewarded in the 2015 RFU Presidents Awards when named as winner of the Community Engagement category, following success the previous year when Canterbury won the Best Managed Club accolade.
David Haigh 2015