Sun 21 Nov 2021 19:29

MRFC History 1982 - 2010    

Minchinhampton Mini Rugby was started in 1980 after a meeting arranged by Derek Hogg and including J.V. Smith, Brian Gabbett and Iain Cuthbert. Boys ranging in age from 5 – 16 ran around the common for an hour and a half every Sunday morning. In 1982, after a couple of trying years, some of them began to look more like rugby players so it was decided to form a senior section. An inaugural meeting was held in The Crown Inn on Friday 13th August 1982. Twenty-two people attended that meeting, 16 of whom were playing age. J.V.Smith was elected President and Iain Cuthbert as Chairman.

When the Club was incorporated in 1983 we had an amazing link to the RFU as J.V Smith was also the serving President of both Minch and the RFU.

The National Trust granted us the use of a pitch at the top of Windmill Road and posts had to be erected before the game and removed immediately afterwards. The Old Lodge Inn was our first home but with only one shower to use after the game. Wycliffe Motors kindly provided a set of posts, Listers donated a set of touch flags and The Crown gave us our first rugby ball.  Rob Howe became 1St team captain and Minchinhampton lost their first game away to Cirencester 8 – 3. The first home game played on the common was against Widden Old Boys which was won 36 – 0.

 In 1984 negotiations were opened up with Whitbread to lease the vacant Ram Inn as the rugby club headquarters. A general meeting was convened to explain the ratifications and it was agreed to go ahead. The Ram Inn opened on a temporary licence on 9th March 1984 after much hard work in knocking down walls and moving rubble. Thanks to a small band of hard working individuals a lot more compulsory work was carried out before the grand opening as a club on the 4th September 1984.  The occasion was marked with Minchinhampton playing a Gloucestershire County Presidents XV.  

A second XV, The Rams, were formed in 1985.  Pete Cooper was their first captain and in their next season 1986/87 he led them to victory in the Bill Adams Cup. The mini section was unfortunately wound up due to the fact that all the juniors were now playing for the senior section. The next 5 years saw the club growing in strength until in 1989 Whitbread announced they would be selling off the Ram Inn under the monopolies commission rule of a brewery only allowed to have 2000 pubs. This meant we were now looking for our third home since 1982. The Blackhorse Inn at Amberley came to our rescue and we started to use Highwood School pitch and changing facilities at Forest Green. The Britannia in Nailsworth became our 4th home as it was closer to Highwood School. The Village Inn then offered the use of the room downstairs for after match drinking but the pub closed a year later. The next year was spent at Egypt Mill until it was decided to go to Minchinhampton Sports and Social Club (M.S.S.C) so we could once again play on the common.  

A new mini and junior section was started in the mid nineties and has grown in strength over the last 20 years.  Also in the mid nineties John and Betty Hayward allowed us to use Haywards farm as our second pitch and training area. This became very important as we now had enough players to start our 3rd XV, The Tups. 

M.S.S.C became our home for the next 14 years, the last 6 years being under the sole control of the rugby club and renamed Minchinhampton Sports Bar. Then in 2007 we found ourselves homeless again as the landlords called time and we moved training to Stroud RFC and games to Marling School. It wasn’t always possible to play at Marling School due to weather conditions so Painswick RFC stepped into the breach and offered us both training and a pitch to play games. 

All our sections started playing at our new home at Hollybush in 2016 with the clubhouse officially opened by Princess Anne in March 2017.

Current Playing Strength

Minis and Juniors numbering 400 members ranging from Under 6 through to Colts Under 18s. Ethos is very much of inclusivity although Minchinhampton have also had success at County Festivals, and a number of Players are on the Gloucester DPP, quite the accolade of a junior club.

Last year’s Colts have bridged the gap between Juniors and Seniors with a number becoming established players in the 1st XV and 2nd XV (Rams).

1st XV play in Gloucester North League 2 and Rams Play in Reserve League Three North, thoroughly enjoying their rugby, despite recent results! Last year 107 players played for the Rams. Clive Eagles is our longest serving player with some 400 games at the Club, a truly remarkable achievement.

Touch Rugby

We are an accredited O2 Touch Centre. 40-50 players both men and women regularly play each week (winter session at Wycliffe on Astroturf, summer sessions at Hollybush), giving avenues to play rugby in this format.


The Minchinhampton RFC Executive long recognised the need to secure the long term future of the Club, an investment needed to be made in purchasing land and then developing the facilities. The first phase was the purchase of the land in 2013, followed by pitch improvements and rudimentary changing and kitchen facilities. In the summer 2015, work started on the construction of the Clubhouse consisting of main club area, and a pair of changing rooms which was completed in March 2017 and formally opened by HRH Princess Royal. The occasion was marked by a match between a Mike Tindall Select XV against a Gloucestershire XV. 

The job is not finished yet with Phase 3 to include the extension of the changing room area for a further two sets of changing rooms.


The Club has been extremely lucky to count such a dedicated band of Club supporters amongst its membership who have been exemplary in their passion and determination for fundraising for the rugby club through auctions, raffles and summer balls, bag packing, sponsored walks, and even clay pint mugs to name but a few of the many initiatives. We have been extremely lucky to have been supported by RFU, Sport England, Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and numerous Donors. After an expenditure of £400k we now have our glorious new clubhouse that is in keeping with the local vernacular, and the Minchinhampton RFC ethos.