Old Albanian RFC
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|Full name||Old Albanian Rugby Football Club|
|Location||St Albans, Hertfordshire, England|
|Ground(s)||Woollam's Playing Fields (Capacity: 1,000)|
|Director of Rugby||James Osborn|
|League(s)||National League 2 South|
Old Albanian Rugby Football Club (OAs) is a rugby club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. The club currently plays in National League 2 South following their relegation from National League 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The club won promotion from National League 2 South in 2011–12 to National League 1, and in 2012–13 finished 5th, their highest ever place in the English rugby union system. The club was relegated from National One at the end of the 2014–15 season, after an administration error led to a five-point deduction; this meant that the club missed out on staying up by just a single point. However, They were promoted back into the division after winning the playoff in 2015–16 via the play-off.
Men's Teams & Honours
- London NW Division 3 champions: 1995–96
- Hertfordshire Presidents' Cup winners (2): 1998, 2010
- Hertfordshire Sevens winners: 2001, 2009
- National League 3 (south-east v south-west) promotion play-off winner: 2009–10
- National League 2 South champions: 2011–12
- National 2 promotion play-off winner: 2015–16
- London 2 (north v south) promotion play-off winner: 2002–03
The club was formed in 1924 by a group of far-sighted Old Boys of St Albans School with a mutual love of the game. They acquired their first pavilion which was a timber World War I Barrack Hut, and located at Beech Bottom. Organised rugby was thus established in St Albans, providing rugby union for all. They are the largest community sports club in Hertfordshire.
OA RFC's recent achievements
1987 — Selected, with two other Hertfordshire clubs, to form part of London League Division 2
1996 — Won London NW Division 3 gaining promotion to London League Division 2 North
1998 — Won the Herts. President's Cup
2001 — Won the County Sevens and were runners up in the Herts. President's Cup
2003 — Promotion to London League Division One
2005 — Reached their then highest-ever league position (5th place in Powergen London One)
2009 — Won the Herts County 7s, runners up in the Herts County Cup Final. OA Colts reach both National Cup & Herts County Cup Finals and finish as Runners Up.
2012 — OAs gain promotion to National League 1
2013 — Achieved their highest ever position in National League rugby, 5th place in National League 1
Mini and Junior rugby
OAs has recruited over 900 mini and junior rugby players. The MINIS enjoy good success in the Hertfordshire leagues, whilst the JUNIORS are well represented in the Saracens Herts and Middlesex Junior leagues. Most age groups are able to provide three squads to the leagues and provide very good competition.
Junior & Senior Women's rugby
OA Saints are the women's section of Old Albanians (OA) Rugby Football Club. The women's section were originally part of St Albans RFC, based in Smallford, which formed in 1989 from only four female players and grew to a squad of over 45 with a place in the top flight National Premiership League One in 1997/98 returning to the Women's Rugby Premiership for 2 seasons in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
In 2003, a year after the Old Albanians moved from Beech Bottom and took up residence in the brand new facilities at Woollam's playing fields, the Saints were invited to join OA Rugby. The women's section brought with them and keeps to this day their title ‘Saints’ as a nostalgic reminder of their roots at St Albans RFC.
Since joining OA Rugby, the Saints have established an excellent women's section with a reputation as one of the top women's club in the county, with regional, divisional and international representative honours amongst its ranks. In 2005 the first women's XV ('OA SAINTS'), unbeaten since November 2003, secured the South East One league title without losing a game. They won promotion to National League 2 in the subsequent play-off competition, securing victory over each of their regional rivals. In 2010 the OA Saints 1st XV gained promotion to the RFUW Premiership. They currently compete in the National South East 2 Championship and finished 3rd in the league for the 16/17 and 17/18 season, so are targeting to win the league in the 2018-19 season. In the 2018-2019 season with England and Saracens full back Sarah McKenna now established in the coaching team, the Saints won the Championship SE2 league by 8 points and then gained promotion to Championship 1 South by beating Guildford Gazelles in the playoff. They also completed the double by beating Harrogate RFC in the RFU National Intermediate cup final to record their most successful season
In 2017-18 the junior sides have won a multitude of tournaments and their league as well as getting Saracens, County and England Talent Development Group honours (detailed below)
2017-18 Saints Success Summary
The U13s don't play in a league but had a very successful season only losing 3 games.
Waterfall Series-, played a series of round robin tournaments, topped 3 of the 4 and finished 2nd in one
Peterborough Tournament- finished Top of their pool, lost Semi Final 10-15 so finished 3rd.
St George's Day (Middlesex) Tournament, finished top of their pool, no playoffs.
RAF Halton Tournament- finished top of their pool, no playoffs.
Worthing Tournament- won the whole tournament.
National Cup-Topped their Pool in Area 2 overall finished 4th in Area 2 (A1, A2, A3 are South England &
A4, A5, A6-North)
St George's Day (Middlesex) Tournament, finished 4th.
RAF Halton Tournament- finished 4th.
Worthing Tournament- runners up in Plate.
7 selected to represent Herts County U15s
National Cup- (A1, A2, A3 are South England & A4, A5, A6-North)
A Team- Topped their Pool in Area 2 and are Area 2 Cup Winners, then played A1 & A3 winners to
establish South England Champion but lost those finals so ended up as 3rd best team in South.
B Team- Topped their Pool in Area 2, won their QF but lost the Semi-final so finished 4th in Area 2.
Inv XV Series- runners up
St George's Day (Middlesex) Tournament, finished 1st, Cup Winners.
RAF Halton Tournament- finished 3rd.
Worthing Tournament- Plate winners.
17 selected to represent Herts County U18s
1 selected to represent Essex County U18s
10 selected to represent Saracens U18 Centre of Excellence (Academy).
Women's Intermediate Cup - reached the last of the pool stages
Women's South East 2 Championship - finished 3rd in the league - 3 tops from top spot.
5 Players selected to represent Herts County
1 Player selected to represent Essex County
10 players taking part in summer 7s tournaments in the UK and Europe.
After 78 years based at Beech Bottom, the club moved to their current playing fields following the development of Cheapside Farm into The Woollam Playing Fields, generally referred to as "Woollam's". The playing facilities opened in 2002 with a club-selected XV match against a star-studded international XV led by Peter Winterbottom which formed the centre-piece of the opening ceremony.
The state-of-the-art sporting complex on the northern outskirts of St Albans was acknowledged as the largest sporting development in Europe during its construction. It is regarded by many[who?] as the finest amateur sporting venue in the land. The Woollam Playing Fields is the choice of Saracens for their home training base and has hosted both England Under 16 and England RFUW International matches.
OAs have had players recognized at county level and national level.
England: Jeff Probyn, Maro Itoje, Max Malins
Wales : Paul Turner
Ireland : Darragh O'Mahony
Barbarians: Steve Pope, Greg Botterman
Serbia: Danilo Bulatovic
Sweden: Charlie Openshaw, Andrew Daish
Belgium : Craig Dowsett
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|7||Bury St Edmunds||2||1||0||1||72||55||17||1||0||5|
|16||Sutton & Epsom||2||0||0||2||19||120||-101||0||0||0|
|Green background is the promotion place. Blue background is the play-off place. Pink background are relegation places.|
Updated: 14 September 2019
Source: "National League 2 South". NCA Rugby.
- Brian Quinn (16 May 2016). "Old Albanian back in National One after play-off win secures promotion". The Herts Advertiser. Retrieved 2 September 2018.