Birmingham’s leading rugby union club is the Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, which was founded in 1873. In the 2016/17 season, the team played in the third-tier National League 1 of the English rugby union system. A disastrous spell in the late 1990s and early 2000s caused the team—one of the more famous in the country—to sell its home ground (The Reddings) to property developers after buckling under the financial pressure of professional status.
For a while, it seemed like Moseley Rugby Club would move to Oxford after an interim spell at the University of Birmingham. Finally, after much political back and forth, a stadium was built at Billesley Common in Birmingham which is currently owned by Birmingham City Council.
This colorful recent history was an unsettling adjunct to a story dotted with success. Having been relegated to National League 1 at the end of the 2015/2016 season, the team finished a with decent fifth place in the table at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Despite its recent upheaval, Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club can call upon a rich history of achievement for future motivation. During the 1960s and 70s, the team was regularly playing top English and Welsh sides and boasted several international players.
Here are some of the club’s top achievements:
- Anglo-Welsh Cup: joint winners in 1982
- Anglo-Welsh Cup: runners-up in 1972, 1979
- EDF Energy Trophy: winners in 2009
- National Division Two: winners in 2005/2006
Moseley fields a full range of teams representing both sexes and almost every age level. Aside from the professional men’s first XI side, notable success has come from the women’s XI. The female Moseley team were RFUW National Challenge Midlands 1 champions in 2009 and RFUW National Challenge Midlands 2 champions in 2008.
Renowned Moseley Players
Many of Moseley’s players have been awarded international caps while at the club. Some of these include Guy Evers (1874-1959), Keith Fielding (1949-), Sam Doble (1944-1977), Nick Jeavons (1957), and Alex Grove (1987).
Birmingham-born Ollie Thomas, the club’s record points scorer, is rejoining the team in the 2017/18 season as a coach.