Blaydon RFC – North Premier 2019/20 Champions


Blaydon Rugby Club are pleased to confirm receipt of the Rugby Football Union’s decision to promote the club to National Two North for the 2020-21 season.

Blaydon were 4 points clear at the top of North Premier competing with Sandal, Harrogate, Macclesfield and Billingham for promotion, when the RFU took the decision to cancel the remainder of the season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The RFU committed to undertake a review to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game, and that review has concluded.

Proposals from the RFU governance committee to conclude the season for those leagues at both professional and community level were ratified by the RFU Council. It was agreed that final standings for the Greene King IPA Championship and men’s and women’s community game would be calculated on a best playing record formula, maintaining promotion and relegation for those leagues.

RFU President, Peter Wheeler, said: “We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions. We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU Council.

“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club, but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England.

“With 80% of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues. We have clubs that are clear league leaders and worthy of promotion, but also other clubs who have said they would benefit from relegation, to play more meaningful rugby.”

Blaydon Head Coach, Keith Laughlin said, “This is a huge achievement for the club and one which has taken a lot of hard work and buy in from players, coaching staff and club staff over the season.”

“It could not have been easy for the RFU to come up with a process for predicting the outcomes for all the leagues, there will obviously be disappointment amongst the leagues but we feel the outcome is a fair one.”

“I would like to make special mention to all the players at the club, there were a lot of changes and new ways of working at the start of the season and the buy in and commitment shown really paid off in the latter parts of the season. Our style of play achieved us 16 try bonus points this year. This was pivotal considering our predicted points total was less than a point greater than Harrogate, who will join us next season.”

“It has been a tough few seasons for this group of players where they have learnt a lot, built resilience and now have something positive to build on. This is a surreal ending to the season and we fully appreciate the bigger picture regarding COVID-19. I hope everyone is staying safe and staying healthy at this tough time. With that in mind, celebrations are overshadowed with thoughts for everyone who has been affected by the whole situation.”