Branded as underdogs in their first season in National 1, Loughborough Students RFC had an unpredictable year ahead. Despite losing the first six matches of the season the Students went on the finish 7th out of 16 in the league. The fantastic achievement gave Loughborough a huge boost as they headed into their second season in the third tier of the English leagues as the best student side in the country.
Heading into their second season in National 1 Loughborough were more prepared for what they would face. They started strongly winning the first three matches of the 2013/14 season, the Students’ luck didn’t last, however, and after losing 16 of the 29 matches they went into the 30th and final match in a precarious position in terms of staying in the league. The last match of the season was at home to Blaydon and was a must-win game for Loughborough if they wanted to stay in the National 1 league. Despite an early try from the visitors, the Students held out to an impressive 29-10 win and secured their place in the third tier English league for the 3rd successive season.
Off the back of their tight end of the previous season, the 2014/15 campaign began shakily for Loughborough. They lost five consecutive matches and were on the back foot at the start of the season but bounced back to win 11 of the 25 remaining matches securing their place 12th position place in National 1 with two matches spare at close of the season.
During the 2014/15 season, Loughborough Students gained two new members of coaching staff. Ex-England hooker George Chuter retired from playing at Leicester Tigers and joined the coaching set-up here at Loughborough alongside former Scotland Sevens scrum-half Ciaran Beattie. The pair have settled into the club immensely well and we hope to continue to work with them over the coming years.
As the 2014/15 season came to close many of the regular 1st XV players, as always, said goodbye to the club. For Captain James Freeman and fellow players Rhys Owen, Henry Taylor, Harry Elrington and Matt Rogerson, their rugby careers are continuing to exciting new places. James and Rhys join Championship side Jersey, whilst Saracens, London Irish and Sale Sharks gain Henry, Harry and Matt respectively.
At the end of season dinner captain of two years, James Freeman, handed the role over to lock Ed Taylor. We spoke to Ed about taking on the role:
“It’s an honour to be announced captain of Loughborough RFC 1st XV next season. I have a lot to live up to with the departure of James Freeman, who was respected and loved within the club. I look forward to another exciting season in National 1. The league is becoming more and more competitive, which means that LSRFC attracts talented rugby players from around the country and I look forward to the next batch of freshers to making their mark at the university. We had a very successful season last year as a club after BUCS 1 reached the Championship final, BUCS 2 were rewarded with promotion and BUCS 3 remained in their division, so let’s hope we can replicate that in the 15/16 season.”
The club would like to thank the continued support of the fans, parents of the players, and all the volunteers that have helped the club this year and invite you all to look forward to the season ahead with us.