Newport HSOB RFC

Early Years

Newport High School Old Boys Rugby Club has been in existence for nearly 85 years having been founded in the season of 1923/24. Although the present ground at Yew Tree Lane Caerleon has been the Club’s home for many years, as a club, it has led a very nomadic existence.  During the early years the teams played on pitches at the Royal Oak, Bettws, Ponthir, Llanfrechfa, and even the old Caerleon Racecourse. In 1949 a field at the present site at Yew Tree Lane became available for rent and this was to become the Club’s permanent home. At first the players used the buildings of the derelict Caerleon gasworks as a changing room. This housed a large communal bath, which was a concrete lined pit inside the building filled with water from an ancient coke fired boiler which had to be lit several hours before the start of the match.  After the match all the players got in the bath together which was considered great fun at the time, although some less well brought up would try to wash their boots as well ! Both teams then had to travel to 37 Stow Hill by bus as very few players had cars in those days. This was the venue for the after match hospitality which included a meal of (always) sausage beans and mash and joint singing of the traditional rugby songs.

A major milestone was achieved in 1954 when probationary membership of the Welsh Rugby Union was granted, followed by full WRU membership in 1957.  In 1960 the ground and the adjoining land became available for purchase and an area of 10 acres was bought for £975.  Eventually the land was developed and a new pitch and club house were built and officially opened in 1967.

Membership was opened to non Old Boys of Newport High School in the mid sixties and as a result, by the early seventies the Club had four senior teams.  Following this development a mini rugby team was formed in 1973 and then a junior section which ran for a few seasons before folding. The junior section was revived in 1982 when a group of teams from under 8′s to under 13′s made Yew Tree Lane their permanent base.  These teams, which were previously known as Caerleon Mini Rugby Club, changed their name to Newport High School Old Boys Junior RFC and this section of the Club has  expanded to field 10 age groups teams from  8′s to 17′s. To cope with the demand of 4 senior teams and ever increasing  junior teams the original clubhouse was extended and officially opened in 1987.

The Future

With all this rugby activity facilities are at a premium particularly the changing and clubhouse facilities but Newport High School Old Boys is almost unique in that its home ground encompasses 17 acres of land which are all owned by the Club. The club has ambitious plans to build new changing rooms so the girls in particular can be accommodated . Funding is urgently needed for an upgrade of facilities, training areas and pitches. In return for financial support the Old Boys can pledge to continue to play their part in player development by producing players of all levels, ages and abilities and to fly the flag for Community rugby in the south east corner of Gwent.