Finchley Rugby Club hosting open day to kick start the new season

Finchley RFC under-12s at the Milan International tournament

Finchley RFC under-12s at the Milan International tournament - Credit: Finchley RFC

Finchley Rugby Club will launch the new season with an open-day for new and existing members on Saturday alongside laying out an ambitious two year development plan leading up to their centenary season in 2025.

The rugby-focussed event is for anyone to attend, even if you’ve never played before and for all age groups to take part in from 6-18 years old.

Later that day their 1st XV will take on on local rivals Hampstead in a pre-season warm up game. 

Combined age group mini rugby players (age 6-12) start at 11.30am, with touch rugby games and a chance for parents to meet coaches, register for the season and enjoy some good food.

Finchley RFC under-13s in action against Barnet

Finchley RFC under-13s in action against Barnet - Credit: Finchley RFC

Youth boys and girls (age 14-18) will play their touch games from 12.30pm, with the 1st XV match kick-off at 3pm.

With a dedicated rugby stadium on Summers Lane boasting a grade II listed stand and irrigated main pitch plus five junior pitches the club is vibrant, hosting more than 600 playing members aged 6 to 50+ every weekend from September to April.

With more than 2,000 wider club members and a busy social events calendar there is always something going on.

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To attract new members, improve facilities and enhance the rugby experience for players and supporters, a new development team has been appointed by the Finchley RFC committee with growth and development plans. 

The community club aims to provide access for everyone in north London to a brilliant rugby experience, and to create progression opportunities for those with rugby ambitions.

A new focus is also being applied around school outreach, cultural diversity and gender inclusion in the game, with the girl’s and women’s teams in particular growing quickly.

Finchley head coach James Clarke during Finchley RFC (red/white) vs Kilburn Cosmos RFC, London 3 Nor

Finchley head coach James Clarke during Finchley RFC (red/white) vs Kilburn Cosmos RFC, London 3 North West Division Rugby Union at Summers Lane on 18th February 2017 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

At the club’s recent AGM a number of new roles were filled, including the appointment of James Clarke as the club’s first ever director of rugby.

“Quite simply, the future of our sport and Finchley Rugby Club is dependent on new players entering a positive and well-structured set-up and enjoying the game at a young age," Clarke said.

"We help them develop technically and safely whilst learning what rugby at Finchley is all about - embracing our values of integrity, inclusion, enjoyment and ambition.

"Equally for parents it’s important to know we take player safety and friendship equally as seriously as we do the physical side of things when playing the game; these are core values we believe in on and off the pitch.  

"Rugby is a fantastic way to develop as an individual, no matter your shape, size, background and to make new friends beyond school or college.

"Many of our seniors came through the mini and youth system and I captained the 1st XV, so to be asked to lead rugby at this historic club is a privilege and with the support of the development team it is an exciting time to be at the club.”

The club has ambitions to grow membership across youth, colts and senior level and this season sees the launch of a new Finchley Rugby Academy to support young players, coaches and referees who have the talent and ambition to progress in the game.

A new club-wide coaching pathway will ensure consistent player development across age groups and all coaches are on the England Rugby coaching programme. 

“Just as past Finchley players have gone on to play professional rugby and  represent their country, so we are putting in the foundations in place for the next generation to enjoy and excel at the game.

"We have some outstanding talent at the club and are working hard to create opportunities through our ties with Middlesex Rugby, Saracens and London Irish, whose professional academies we feed."

The club intends to develop the clubhouse, main stands and grounds at Summers Lane, with the two year development plan culminating in 2025 when Finchley will celebrate their 100 year anniversary.

You can contact team administrators and coaches or enquire about membership or sponsorship opportunities via the website at