Cinderford RFC was formed in 1886 in the Forest of Dean a mining area in West Gloucestershire situated between the Rivers Severn and Wye. The area, a source of iron ore and coal since pre-Roman times, also provided timber for Nelson’s navy and was seen as remote and the inhabitants as wild and unpredictable.
By the turn of the twentieth century Cinderford were playing leading teams from England and South Wales but after the Great War the club’s fortunes, and the local coal mining industry declined, and many good players ‘went North’ to seek employment in the coalfields and rugby in the ‘Northern Union’. Nevertheless, A D ‘Bumps’ Carpenter gained an England Cap against South Africa in 1931.
The club’s re-emergence after WW2 owes much to the efforts of the late Bob and Mary Beavis. ‘Cinderford White Rose’ a club mainly of miners, had kept rugby going over the war years. When they decided to re-form as Cinderford RFC Mary became Hon. Sec. and remained so for the next fifty years.
The club started league life at level 6 and by 2001 was at level 4. Relegated after just one season Cinderford were back by 2004 and made it to Level 3 in 2007-08 after a nail-biting North/South play-off with Darlington Mowden Park. After eight seasons in National One they were relegated at the end of 2015-16. During that time budding internationalists Freddie Burns, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams and Josh Adams all gained valuable experience as dual-registered players. At the end of season 2017-18 Cinderford, captained by George Porter, regained National One status by becoming National 2 S) Champions with 143 league points from 29 wins and 1 defeat. At the end of 2021/22 season Cinderford, captained by Harry Hone, achieved fifth place in National League One its best place since gaining National One status.
The 2022/23 Season
The 2022/23 coaching team is led by DOR Paul Morris and Head Coach Clive Stuart-Smith the former Gloucester, Leeds, Llanelli, Barbarians and England Saxons number-nine and Forwards Coach former Gloucester back-row player Andrew Stanley. The senior coaching team has been strengthened with Player Coaches Tim Brockett and George Boulton. Adam Farr continues as Head Physio along with his team to keep the squad healthy through the season. Harry Hone remains as Club Captain. Danny Pointon remains as United Player Coach. David Didcote remains as Stags Coach with Billy Head retained as Captain. The newly resurrected Bucks squad will be coached by Jack Gardner. Shane Ranford and Jonny Kibble head up the Mini section and the Girls section will be led by Paul Lydiard.
The club’s Senior XV (1st) play in National League 1; the United (2nd) XV play in the Counties 1 Tribute Western North; and the Stags (3rd) XV play in Counties 4 Tribute Gloucestershire North leagues. The club has a full mini and junior section with age group sides Under 7s to Under 18 (Colts) and a thriving Ladies/Girls section.
The Cinderford RFC Clubhouse bar opening hours are as follows:
Wednesday: 7pm to Midnight
Thursday: 7pm to Midnight
Friday: 7pm to Midnight
Saturday: 12pm to Midnight
Sunday: 12pm to Midnight
Function rooms are available to hire, please contact the club house directly to check on availability.