- Henley Hawks
Henley Rugby Club is the leading
rugby unionclub based in the ThamesValley (London Irish play their matches at the Madejski Stadiumbut their headquarters are still at Sunbury, Middlesexwhere all their junior teams are based), playing in English National Division Twowhich places them amongst the top 42 clubs in England.
Henley have developed a working relationship with
London Wasps, who use Dry Leas for their A-team matches, and also loan Henley squad players for development.
Henley RFC was founded in August 1930 as Old Henleiensians (old boys of Henley Grammar School). After a break during the war years it was re-founded in 1954 and changed it's name to Henley RFC in 1963. It has been based at Dry Leas since then.
The ground is leased from the Town Council with the unexpired portion being nearly 50 years. When the leagues were started in 1987 Henley were placed in South West II.
Henley's fortunes stood still until
Clive Woodward, England's future World Cup winning manager, became the 1st XV coach in 1990. His introduction of the "flat ball" philosophy was a pioneering event for British rugby and brought promotion in 1992. Henley gained a further promotion in 1994 to the National Leagues and, after Woodward departed to coach London Irish, Henley continued to play fluid rugby and two further promotions ensued (in the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons), landing the club in what is now National Division One. Also in 1999, Henley enjoyed a record run in the Tetley's Bitter Cup, defeating Premier 1 club Bedfordin the fourth Round before bowing out to Gloucesterat Kingsholm, in a game that saw roughly 1000 Henley supporters in attendance. They finished ninth in National One in 1999-2000, seventh in 2000-01 but finished 13th in 2001-02 and were relegated to National Division Two. They regained their place in National One by finishing second in 2002-03 but two years later were relegated back into National Two.
Summary of current league positions.
* [http://www.henleyrugbyclub.org.uk Official Website]
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