Gloucester Rugby

Plying their trade in the Guiness Premiership, Gloucester Rugby are currently regarded as one of the best rugby union teams both nationally and worldwide.

History

Early years

Gloucester Rugby Club was formed in 1873, following a meeting in a local pub, and by 1876 the club had established a permanent home for themselves at the Spa in Gloucester. During their first few years as a club, Gloucester proved themselves a dominant force in rugby union, winning seventeen games in the 1879-80 season and losing just two.

In 1891 the club left the Spa and moved to a bigger ground in Kingsholm, which has been the club’s home ever since. In 1926, a Grandstand was built to increase the stadium’s seating capacity, although in 1932 it was destroyed by fire, significantly denting the club’s finances. Shortly after their move to Kingsholm, Gloucester were suspended from the Rugby Football Union for breaching regulations against professionalism (the RFU were an amateur union at that point) but were soon reinstated after the club clamped down on their methods of recruiting players.

The first half of the twentieth century saw Gloucester continue to win more matches than they lost, enjoying a particularly good season in 1920 when the club won every game they played at home and lost only two away matches. A year later, the club had an uglier season when the team demonstrated regular violence on the pitch with fourteen players being sent off for fighting – seven for arguing and six for foul language.

Cup joys and making the professional leap

Gloucester kicked off the 1970s with their first trophy, winning the inaugural National Knock-out competition in 1972, beating Mosely in another violent game against Twickenham. In 1978, they enjoyed cup success again, this time in the first John Player Cup when they beat the Leicester Tigers for the trophy.

In 1982, the Gloucester were the shared winners of the John Player cup, which sadly proved to be their only high profile achievement during the 1980s. Despite coming close to winning the league on two occasions, the Gloucester team were twice beaten by archrivals Bath and finished league runners up in 1988-89 and in 1989-90.

In 1995 Gloucester finally became a professional club, although lack of investment hindered the club’s progression in the early stages of the professional era. In 1997, Tom Walkinshaw became the club’s owner and former French captain Phillpe Saint Andre was recruited to replace Richard Hill as club coach. The omens looked good for the future.

Return to the glory days

And so they were justified in reality. The recruitment policy paid off as, two years later in 1999-00, Gloucester made the semi-finals in the Heineken Cup before being beaten to the final by the Leicester Tigers. Long term the benefits were obvious though, as the Gloucester team were on top form in 2003 and won their first cup final for 25 years. That same year, Gloucester looked set to win the league after finishing 15 points ahead of their nearest rival but a disastrous final at Twickenham saw them finish runner-ups to the Wasps.

After failing to qualify for the Heineken Cup in 2004-05, Gloucester won the European Challenge Cup and the team looked like one of the strongest the club had seen in years. The following year, the team built on their success in Europe, finishing first at the end of the 2006/07 Guinness Premiership. Despite their first place finish though, Leicester beat the Gloucester team in the Championship final and the team were, frustratingly, named league runners-up once again.

Gloucester began the 2007 season winning their first five games and although they then lost to London Irish they are still one of the favourites to win the league. They have also performed well in Europe and are hoping to qualify for the Heineken Cup for the first time in four years.

Honours

  • National Merit Table ‘A’ – Winners (1985-86)
  • League/Premiership – Runners-up (1988-89, 1989-90, 2002-03, 2006-07)
  • Zurich Championship – Winners (2001-02)
  • John Player/ Heineken Cup – Winners (1977-78, 1981-82 (shared) 2002-03)
  • C & G League Cup – Winners (1997-98, 1998-99)
  • Powergen Cup – Winners (2002-03)
  • Middlesex 7s – Winners (2005)
  • European Challenge Cup – Winners (2005-06)

Contacts

For information about matches or for general enquiries contact the Gloucester Rugby Club at:

Address: Gloucester Rugby Ltd, Kingsholm Stadium, Kingsholm Road, Kingsholm, Gloucester, GL1 3AX
Tel: 0871 871 8781
Fax: 01452 383 321
Email: admin@gloucesterrugby.co.uk
Web: Gloucester RC

Tickets

Tickets can be pre-ordered online or through the Gloucester booking office on 0871 871 8781, or bought on match days at the following prices:

South Stand (covered seating)

  • Gold: £40 (early bird) £42 (match day)
  • Silver Adult: £33 (early bird) £35 (match day)
  • Silver Student: £26 (early bird) £28 (match day)
  • Silver Senior Citizen: £26 (early bird) £28 (match day)
  • Silver Junior: £18 (early bird) £20 (match day)
  • Bronze Adult: £24 (early bird) £26 (match day)
  • Bronze Student: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Bronze Senior Citizen: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Bronze Junior: £12 (early bird) £14 (match day)

East Stand (covered seating)

  • Adult: £24 (early bird) £26 (match day)
  • Student: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Senior Citizen: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Junior: £12 (early bird) £14 (match day)

The Shed (covered unallocated standing)

  • Adult: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Student: £16 (early bird) £18 (match day)
  • Senior Citizen: £16 (early bird) £18 (match day)
  • Junior: £10 (early bird) £12 (match day)

The West Terrace (unallocated standing)

  • Adult: £20 (early bird) £22 (match day)
  • Student: £16 (early bird) £18 (match day)
  • Senior Citizen: £16 (early bird) £18 (match day)
  • Junior: £10 (early bird) £12 (match day)

Travel

Gloucester Rugby Club is based at Kingsholm Stadium, which is easily accessible for fans travelling by car or by public transport.

By Car

Leave the M5 at Junction 11 and follow signs for Gloucester (A40). Continue along the dual carriageway and take the third exit at the roundabout marked Gloucester/ Ross on Wye. Continue to the next roundabout and take the first exit towards Gloucester City Centre. Then take the second exit at the third roundabout (still marked city centre) onto Kingsholm Road and, after 800 yards, the stadium will become visible on the right hand side of the road.

By Bus

Kingsholm stadium is a well-signposted ten minute walk from Gloucester City Centre. All ticket holders are entitled to free travel on any Swanbrook bus travelling to the city centre on match days, subject to the ticket’s validity.

By Train

Gloucester train station is a short walk from the stadium. On exiting the station, turn right and continue along the road to Kingsholm. From there, directions to the stadium are clearly signposted.