Our History

Oakdale Rugby Club's history can be traced back to the start of the village when the local colliery was sunk in approximately 1914. For many years it remained a social side that did not have full membership of the Welsh Rugby Union but had a full and varied fixture list against other local teams.


It was not until 1947-48 that the Club gained full membership status and were allowed to compete in all WRU competitions. Since its inception, the "home' of Oakdale Rugby has always been the local Recreation Ground provided by the Colliery owners over ninety years ago but its clubhouse has known three different venues. For many years the side socialised at the local Miners Institute in the village which provided social opportunities for a range of activities and was used by the majority of the village.


In the 1970s the Club moved to the Llwynon Club at the lower end of the village and hosted visitors there for twenty years. It was not until the 1980s and the Miners Strike that Oakdale Rugby Club had a clubhouse that they could call their own. In 1983, two retail premises were purchased in the Village and members contributed to the extensive work needed to turn the premises into a fully functioning clubhouse. Over the years the clubhouse has provided many memorable experiences and still, today, hosts all of Oakdale Rugby Club's social events.


The playing side of Oakdale Rugby Club has experienced mixed fortunes throughout the years. In the late 1950s & 60s they were a club to be feared and in two particular seasons they only tasted defeat on three occasions. The Cyrus Davies Cup was also won five times in this period. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw one of the most successful sides in Oakdale history when the Ben Francis Cup was lifted twice in quick succession. Before the advent of league rugby in the 1990s Oakdale produced a formidable team which competed strongly on a regular basis in the Monmouthshire divisional championships, ultimately becoming Division One Champions in 1993-1994.


When league rugby was introduced in the mid 1990s, Oakdale competed at a national level for a number of years and hosted teams from the length and breadth of Wales. They enjoyed a successful period and maintained their league status in the higher eschelons of the structure until the late 1990s. A combination of player movement and management issues saw the club slide down the league structure until in 2004 it had to suspend its fixtures due to a lack of players.


Since then a lot of work has gone into building the club back into a competing force and there has been a tremendous amount of work completed by a small dedicated group of people who wish to see the game of rugby remain available to all in the village. To this end, the fruits of their labour have started to materialise with one of the most successful seasons in 2009/10 that the senior side has witnessed in the sixty year existence as a WRU affiliated club. The Club became champions of Division Five (East) playing twenty two games, drawing two, winning twenty and losing none. In season 2014/15, the Club reached the semi-finals of the WRU Bowl & the Ben Francis Cup, and just missed out on promotion in the league. They currently play in WRU Division 3 East A. There have also been mini and junior sides established after a long period of inactivity for junior rugby in the village and the Club currently runs under 7s, under 8s, under 9s and under 10s teams.

 

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