Henley Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club based in Henley on Thames and is one of the leading clubs in the Thames Valley. The first team play in Level 4 of the English League System – National League Division Two (South). The club have teams operating within the Raging Bull League – Division 2, Berks Bucks & Oxon League 2 (North) and the Surrey Vets League. 

The Women’s team play in Level 2 of the English League System - Women's Championship South.

The club has a very healthy Kids First and Junior Section offering rugby from U6 to U16 at the current time.

The club is developing teams to operate at U20 and U23 levels.


Henley RFC was founded in August 1930 as Old Henleiensians (old boys of Henley Grammar School).  After a break during the war years the club was re-founded in 1954 and changed its name to Henley RFC in 1963. It has been based at Dry Leas since then.

In 1997 the 1st XV was named Henley Hawks.

Playing History

When the leagues were started in 1987, Henley were placed in RFU South West II.

Henley’s fortunes stood still until Clive Woodward, England’s future World Cup winning manager, became the 1st XV coach in 1990. His introduction of the “flat ball” philosophy was a pioneering event for British rugby and brought promotion in 1992. Henley gained a further promotion in 1994 to the National Leagues and, after Woodward departed to coach London Irish, Henley continued to play fluid rugby and two further promotions ensued in the 1987-98 and 1998-99 seasons, landing the club in Allied Dunbar 2 (now the RFU Championship).

In 1999 Henley enjoyed a record run in the Tetley Bitter Cup defeating Allied Dunbar 1 club, Bedford in the fourth round before bowing out to Gloucester at Kingsholm in a keenly fought contest.

Henley finished ninth in Allied Dunbar 2 in 1999-00, seventh in 2000-01 but finished 13th in 2001-02 and were relegated to National League 1. Henley immediately returned to the Championship having finished as runners-up in 2002-03 season to Penzance & Newlyn (now Cornish Pirates) followed by a successful season in 2003-04 finishing in 7th place. Relegation back to National 1 followed in 2004-05 when finishing 13th .

Henley remained in National 1 until 2007-08 season when they were relegated to National League 2 (South). In 2012-13 season Henley were promoted as Champions of National League 2 (South) on 4 May 2013 defeating Worthing Raiders 55 -27 in from of a record National League 2 (South) crowd of 3,270 to National League 1.

Relegation back immediately to National League 2 (South) followed in 2013-14. However, promotion back to National League 1 was secured in 2014-15 only to be followed by relegation again back to National League 2 (South). The yo-yo years !!

Since 2016-17 Henley have continued at National League 2 (South).    

Henley Hawks

1987-88           South West II                                                             

1988-89           South West II                                                                         

1989-90           South West II                                                                         

1990-91           South West II                                                 

1991-92           Courage South West 1           1st        Champions

1992-93           South West II                                                                         

1993-94           Courage South West 1           1st        Champions

1994-95           National 5 South

1995-96           National League 2

1996-97           National League 2

1997-98           National League 2                 

1998-99           Jewson National League 1     1st        Champions

1999-00           Allied Dunbar 2                       9th

2000-01           Allied Dunbar 2                       7th

2001-02           Allied Dunbar 2                       13th      Relegated

2002-03           National 1                                2nd       Runners-up

2003-04           Championship                         11th

2004-05           Championship                         13th      Relegated

2005-06           National 1                                12th

2006-07           National 1                                3rd

2007-08           National 1                                13th      Relegated

2008-09           National 2 (South)                   9th

2009-10           National 2 (South)                   9th

2010-11           National 2 (South)                   6th

2011-12           National 2 (South)                   5th

2012-13           National 2 (South)                   1st        Champions

2013-14           National 1                                14th      Relegated

2014-15           National 2 (South)                   1st        Champions

2015-16           National 1                                16th      Relegated

2016-17           National 2 (South)                   9th

2017-18           National 2 (South)                   9th

2018-19           National 2 (South)                   4th

Henley Hawks Women

1996-97           Championship South West (East)3               

1997-98           Championship South West 2             

1998-99           Championship South West 1 

1999-00           Premiership 2

2000-01           Premiership 2                         

2001-02           Premiership    

2002-03           Premiership

2003-04           Premiership

2004-05           Premiership

2005-06           Premiership

2006-07           Premiership

2007-08           Premiership                            

2008-09           Championship South

2009-10           Championship South West

2010-11           Championship South 

2011-12           Championship South West

2012-13           Championship South West

2013-14           Championship South West                

2014-15           Championship South

2015-16           Championship South

2016-17           Championship South

2017-18           Championship South

2018-19           Championship South


The ground is leased from the Town Council with the unexpired portion being nearly fifty years.

During 2001 the car parking, pitch pathways CCTV and perimeter fencing were implemented to meet Championship Rugby ground standards. Floodlighting to the main pitch was added in 2007 with support from Wasps.

During 2003 Dry Leas was one of the host venues for the IRB U20 Rugby World Cup.

In October 2004 Clive Woodward official opened the Tiger Turf training facilities at Dry Leas. These new facilities were funded by the RFU, Sport England, member and sponsor donations. Work is in progress to develop plans and raise funds to replace this during 2020.

In 2016 the clubhouse was completely refurbished and in 2017 new changing rooms, medical room, match officials changing room and club shop were added.

The current capacity is 4,000 including seating for 150.


1st Team - Henley Hawks

Oxfordshire RFU County Cup Winners (8): 1979, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995

Courage South West 1 Champions (2): 1991-92, 1993-94

Jewson National League 1 Champions: 1998-99

National League 2 South Champions (2): 2012-13, 2014-15

2nd Team - Henley Bulls

Oxfordshire RFU County Cup Winners (3): 2001. 2003, 2005

3rd Team - Henley Vikings

Berks, Bucks & Oxon 1 South Champions: 2009-10

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier A Champions: 2010-11

Berks, Bucks & Oxon 2 Champions: 2016-17

4th Team - Henley Bears

Berks, Bucks & Oxon 3 Champions: 2016-17

Vets Team - Henley Vultures

Oxfordshire RFU Vets Cup Winners: 2013, 2016, 2018

Jersey 10’s Vets Winners 2016, 2018, 2019

1st XV Women - Henley Hawks Women

Championship South West (East) 3 Champions: 1996-97            

Championship South West 2 Champions: 1997-98                      

Championship South West 1 Champions: 1998-99          

Premiership 2 Champions: 1999-00

Championship South West Champions: 2009-10, 2013-14       


National Shield Winners: 2017

Notable Players

England           Ayoola Erinle               England, England Sevens, England Students, Barbarians

England           Alec Hepburn               England, England U20’s

England           Oskar Hirsky-Douglas  England Sevens

England           Piers O’Connor            England U20

Wales               Jonah Holmes              Wales

England           Mark Venner                Barbarians

Wales               Peter Davies                Barbarians

Australia           Trevor Walsh               Barbarians

England           Steve Barnes               England Counties

Canada            Dave Penny                 Canada

Canada            Kevin Tkachuk             Canada

Romania           Vlad Dumbrava            Romania U20

Italy                  Tomas Allen                 Italy

England           Rocky Clarke               England

England           Tamara Taylor             England

England           Rachel Burford            England

England           Danielle Waterman       England


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Dry Leas, Marlow Road, Henley on Thames RG9 2JA
01491 574499

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