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Image for Promotion Pride For Canterbury RFC

Article by Kaz Russell-Graham | 12th June 2019

Promotion Pride For Canterbury RFC

Canterbury RFC is celebrating – big time! Founded in 1929, when many players worked in agriculture and the team played on a hired pitch, Canterbury RFC has proudly thrust its way into the upper spheres of National Rugby – an achievement to give a boost to the whole city. 

Finishing the season runners-up in National 2 South, Canterbury won its home play-off match against Chester at the Marine Travel Ground to scoop the third promotion place. Now they will play in National League One, the third highest division in the country.

Head coach Andy Pratt said: “I’ll remember winning for the rest of my life! The spirit at this club is great, but this year there’s also been belief. We talked in the summer about finishing in the top five, with a vision of promotion in a few years. But when we got into the top five early on, we went for it.

“Minor changes have made a difference, and new guys have fitted in well.  We’ve driven to new standards.”

Pressing Forward

Looking ahead to next season, Andy adds: “We’re going to be tested against some of the biggest names in English rugby. Old Elthamians and Black Heath are both close rivals, so they will be special games – and we welcome big clubs like Sale, Rosslyn Park and Moseley. We’ll have to learn quickly, and we’re looking forward to the steepest learning curve of all. It’s the highest level before playing professionally, but once you have the challenge of something really tangible, it drives you on.”

Team Spirit

The club’s commercial manager, Giles Hilton, is equally as proud. “The club is buzzing. It’s the culmination of a long season, and no more than the club, our sponsors, our amazing volunteers – and Canterbury – deserve,” he says, adding: “All have played their part in achieving promotion. We always aspire to play to the highest level we can, and thankfully, we met that aspiration.

“Our 90th season has been phenomenal – with every side, from the U5s up, enjoying success. The ladies won their league; the second XI came second; junior sides have done well in Kent competitions – and the wheelchair rugby cemented their place in Division 1, also winning in Europe. We welcome people to come and see us play next season.”

Support Canterbury Next Season!

Get behind Canterbury RFC in the next season, with top clubs and players, an excellent standard of sport to watch and a great community spirit.

• Check the website – cantrugby.co.uk – for fixtures, and opportunities for rugby at all levels.

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