Aberystwyth University Rugby

By | 4th April 2017

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University Rugby

The 2016/17 season will see AURL celebrate 10 years of existence since it was formed in April 2007 by a small group of friends with a shared passion for sport and a desire to play Rugby League.

The rapid growth of the club within only a few months of inception saw BUSA (British Universities Sports Association) offer the team a place in the season ending BUSA Plate Competition of 2006/07. Allowing Mid-Wales and the Students of Aberystwyth University the opportunity to experience competitive Rugby League for the first time.

The following season saw the team entered officially into the newly formed BUCS (British Universities and Colleges of Sport) Rugby League Competition, with a last minute loss in the BUCS Semi-Final to Nottingham Trent University showing just how far the club had developed in such a short period of time. This success was rewarded with the club receiving the ‘Most Improved Club’ award at the annual Aberystwyth Athletics Union Dinner in May 2008.

Individual successes were experienced in that season with three players being rewarded with representative honours for Great Britain through the British Student Pioneers Rugby League. The tour of the Ukraine allowed the players the opportunity to improve their own personal skills alongside fulfilling the role of ambassadors in a developing Rugby League nation. This success aided in increasing the profile of the club in the National Press and the far-reaching Rugby League Community.

The following two seasons saw the club entered into the BUCS North-West League, allowing the team competitive fixtures throughout the season for the first time. In the season ending knockout competitions, the club built upon previous successes with a BUCS Quarter-Final (2008/09 Season) and further narrow loss, this time to Birmingham University in the BUCS Semi- Final (2009/10).

The 2010/11 season began with the club developing ties further with Aled James (Head Coach of South Wales Scorpions Rugby League and Wales Rugby League International) and Mark Jones (Development Manager for Wales Rugby League). Who were both able to attend our club launch in October 2010, as well as offering coaching advice and further support to improve the side over the coming seasons.

On the field, the team was drafted into a newly formed and extremely competitive BUCS Wales and West League, in which the team encountered opposition in the form of UWIC, Swansea, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Bristol over the course of the season. The 2010/11 BUCS season ended with a hard fought loss to the University of Chester in the newly formed BUCS Shield competition. Although success was to be experienced by the side in the season ending Varsity encounter against Bangor University, in which the side was able to gain a hard fought victory for the first time in the club’s history.

In the recent 2011/12 season the club managed to secure the coaching of Rodney Peake, who instantly showed he mark on the club by taking the club to the BUCS semi-final against Newcastle where the team narrowly lost.

In the 2012/13 season, the club saw the introduction of coach Richard Bryant. With his guidance through a tough season, the team made it all the BUCS plate final after tough games against UWE and Gloucester College. Aberystwyth met Chester in the final, where the AURL team put on a dominant performance to become BUCS Plate Champions 2012/13 under the captaincy of Rhys Morgan who continues his role as captain for the 2013/14 season.

In recent years there has been individual success within the club. Several players have represented the club through Wales Student Rugby League, as well as two players being selected to represent for Great Britain Prioneers Rugby League, going to develop and play rugby league in Ghana and Bosnia.

At the start of the 2016/17 season we welcome the club partnership with the West Wales Raiders. They bring a wealth of experience to the club with Jon Ellis, Andrew Thorne and Peter Tiffin all having experience with Wales RL throughout the age groups and senior levels, promises to be an exciting season for Aberystwyth University Rugby League.