A Brief History Lesson

Rugby League came to Hemel Hempstead on the 5ht April, 1981 when Hemel played their first match at Pennine Way against Walthamstowe-based McEntee, losing 38-0. After a series of friendly fixtures during the summer of 1981 the club was formally constituted and joined the Second Division of the South Amateur Rugby League.

During the club's early seasons, success on the field was hard to come by. Nethertheless the club was determined to prosper and in their fourth season they opened their first social club at Pennine Way in February 1985 - a modest self-build affair.

A move to the Midlands & South West Rugby League brought playing success and on the club's return to the London Amateur Rugby League in 1987 the club became the dominant force in amateur rugby league in the South.

Their clubhouse was doubled in size in 1987 and by 1990 Hemel were ready to move up to the national stage of rugby league. In 1991 the club was admitted to the Rugby League Alliance playing the reserve teams of professional clubs. At the same time the Club appointed Chris Tate as their first full-time Development Officer with the task of developing junior and youth players in Hemel.

Growing confidence in the club saw the opening of a completely new social club with the old clubhouse being converted to changing rooms.

A move to the National Conference League saw the club narrowly miss promotion to the professional ranks in 1993. In 1994, the club had its finest day when they played London Broncos in the Regal Trophy. Superbly coached by David Ellis, who went on to become defence coach of the French National Rugby Union team, they led the Broncos 18-6 at half time only to succumb in the final 10 minutes. The club's playing depth that day was emphaised when, in the curtain-raiser, their reserves won the Southern Counties Cup against the all-Kiwi South London Warriors. To watch highlights from the games click on the link. youtube/xOS07Hyex9c

A switch to summer rugby and a return to the Rugby League Alliance in 1997 brought success under player-coach Jay Turrner who secured the First Division title in 1998 and the right to play Super League Alliance in 1999. At the same time the club applied to join the Northern Ford Premiership but were turned down due to the lack of a suitable ground.

Ground difficulties meant the club had to drop down to the Rugby League Conference in 1999 and in 2003 became founder members of National League Three, later to become the Rugby League Conference National. A Grand Final spot under new coach Troy Perkins was achieved in 2006 with the club losing to old rivals Bramley Buffaloes.

The arrival of Callum Irving as Community Rugby League Coach in 2006 revitalised junior rugby league in Hemel and subsequently led to the club joining the prestigious Gillette National Youth League in 2008.

From 2002 onwards the club had begun to address the ground issues at Pennine Way. In September 2008 they obtained planning permission for a small stadium at Pennine Way and in 2010 the first stage was completed with the enclosure of the ground and the opening of an all-weather training pitch and the floodlighting of the main pitch.

Joining the semi-pro ranks in 2013 saw the erection of a 406 seat grandstand at Pennine Way.

1981 - First match 3 April, 1981 v McEntee

1981-83 London League Division II

1982 Tour to Paris (Les Ulis)

1983 Floodlighting installed

1983-84 London League Division I

1983 Tour to Italy (Venice Sevens)

1984-86 London League Division II

1985 First social club opened

1985 Tour to Paris (Les Ulis)

1986-88 Midlands & South West League

1987 Clubhouse extension opened

1988 Tour to Holland (International Tournament)

1988-91 London League Division I

1990 Fulltime Development Manager appointed(Chris Tate)

1991 CASHLINE lottery launched

1991-93 Rugby League Alliance - Division II

1992 New social club opened

1992 Tour to Provence(Magic Ball Tournament)

1993-96 National Conference League Premier Division

1993 Tour to Provence(Magic Ball Tournament)

1994 New changing rooms opened

 

1996-97 London League Division I

1997-98 Rugby League Alliance First Division

1998 Rugby League Alliance First Division Champions

1999 Entered Rugby League Conference

2000 RLC Eastern Division Champions

2001 RLC Harry Jepson Trophy Semi-Finalists,RLC Eastern Counties Cup Winners, RLC Central Southern Champions

2002 RLC Harry Jepson Trophy Grand Finalists, RLC Central Southern Champions

2003 Entered National League Three

2005 Entered Northern Rail National Cup

2006 Grand Finalists National League Three

2006 Awarded Club Mark status at the Super League Grand Final

2007 Rugby League Conference National playoffs

2009 Rugby League Conference National playoffs

2010 Rugby League Conference National playoffs

2010 Awarded Club Mark Gold Status

2011 Official Opening of new Facilities

2012 NCL 3 Grand Final Winners

2013 Entry into Championship 1

Genesis

Alliance Division 1 Champions 1998!

Our first attempt to go pro!

National Conference League 3 Winners 2012

Successful entry into Championship 1

Hemel Stags Join Championship 1 2013