West Hartlepool R.F.C.
West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club (nicknamed West) is an English rugby union club who play in North 1 East following their promotion from Durham/Northumberland 1 via the playoffs at the end of the 2018-19 season.
|Full name||West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club|
|Union||Durham County RFU|
|Location||Hartlepool, County Durham, England|
|Ground(s)||Brinkburn (Capacity: 1,000 (76 seats))|
|League(s)||North 1 East|
|2018-19||Promoted from Durham/Northumberland 1 (playoff)|
West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club was formed in 1881.
Before the game turned professional, the club enjoyed several seasons in the Courage League and Allied Dunbar premiership during the 1990s before finally being relegated in the 1998–99 season. There followed a drop through the divisions over the next three years that took them out of the national leagues and into the regional leagues.
In the 1990s, when the club was at its peak positions they played at Brierton Lane. When the ground was sold they entered into one year ground share agreements, first with Hartlepool United Football Club at Victoria Park and then with Hartlepool Rovers RFC.
The club's Junior Section then went on to play at West Hartlepool Technical Day School Old Boys RUFC (Tech) for a few years and in the early 2000s there was an agreement with the Hartlepool Sixth Form College for the whole club to play at Brinkburn which is located on Catcote Road.
West have two Senior Teams within the club.
- 1st team
- 2nd team (Stags)
|Tim Stimpson||England (and British & Irish Lions)|
|John "Jack" Taylor||England (captain)|
|Rob Wainwright||Scotland (captain) (and British & Irish Lions)|
|Alan Whetton (AJ)||New Zealand|
|Gary Whetton||New Zealand (Captain)|
|Mike Brewer||New Zealand|
|Micky Young||England Sevens and England Saxons|
|Chris Murphy||England Colts, England Students, U-21 (Captain) & England A|
Other international honours
|Micky Young||England U-16 & U-18, England Saxons|
|Sean Dougall||Ireland U18s, U19s & U20s|
Mini and junior
West have a very successful mini & junior set up with teams from under-8 to under-18 with a large percentage going on to represent Durham County & The North.
Newcastle Falcons have now emerged as good stage for new and exciting players from West's to play at a higher level of rugby, such as Micky Young, Aaron Myers and Mark Laycock who is now the Falcons academy coach.
In the 1990s when West Hartlepool were in the top leagues there was a rivalry with Newcastle Gosforth (now the Newcastle Falcons). However the real derby matches were with Hartlepool Rovers. Even though Rovers have always been in lower leagues the historical Boxing Day match between the sides has continued and Rovers have always given West Hartlepool good competitive matches and beat West in the 2008 Boxing Day derby but West have won all the other years. In recent years the games have come down to the last few seconds or injury time before the eventual winners were known, with side line conversions winning or losing matches.