South Shields RFC

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South Shields RFC
Full nameSouth Shields Rugby Football Club Ltd
UnionRugby Football Union
Nickname(s)Shields / Shieldsmen / South Shields Massive
Founded1956; 66 years ago (1956)
LocationSouth Shields, England
Ground(s)Grosvenor Road
ChairmanEngland Gary McKay
Coach(es)South Africa Gavin van der Merwe
England Lee Mckeith
England Jay Oxley
England Stephen Manuel
Captain(s)England Daniel McKay
League(s)Durham/Northumberland 3
2018–19Relegated from Durham/Northumberland 2 (14th)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

South Shields Rugby Football Club are an amateur rugby union team based in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England. Established in 1956, they currently play in Durham/Northumberland 3 following their relegation from Durham/Northumberland 2 at the end of the 2018-19 season. Since their formation in 1956, South Shields have played their home games at South Tyneside College a ground known as Grosvenor Road in South Shields. At the start of the 2019/20 season, the club committed to playing its home games at Brinkburn.


South Shields Rugby Football Club (Shields Rugby) was established in 1956. The club were previously known as South Tyneside College RUFC (STC RUGBY) and before that, South Shields Marine Technical College Rugby Union Football Club (SSMTC RUFC) and at this point had the longest rugby club name in the entire country.

When the club were created they took the name from the college of further education at which it has been based ever since. As SSMTC RUFC the rugby formed part of the offer made to students of the college, predominately for extra-curricular activities and was organised by staff from the college and linked to the activities of the Students' Association.

In 2005/06, under the stewardship of David Mackenzie, the club won its first league title in 10 years claiming the Durham & Northumberland Four division. In 2006/07, the club finished a disappointing 10th in its first season in Durham & Northumberland Three however went on to win the Durham County Plate two seasons running.

2010/11 saw South Shields RFC lose a close fought game to Newton Aycliffe in the Final of the Durham County Plate.

In 2012, after threat of going extinct, Shields Rugby was reformed and completely restructured under then club captain Chris Vacher, Team Manager Daniel McKay and the newly appointed Head Coach Tom Brooks. The club finished 4th in DN3 and were also beaten finalists in the Durham County Plate final losing 36 - 17 to Hartlepool BBOB. The club also regained the Bob Taylor Memorial Trophy from local rivals Jarrovians 34 - 7. The South Shields Mariners were defeated 48-0 by Blaydon Bricks, however fielded a competitive side throughout the season which led to the club being entered into a league for the first time in over a decade.

June 2013 saw Clayton Fox appointed as 1st XV club captain after Chris Vacher decided to step down and pass on the reigns. Stuart Robson was appointed as assistant coach; Tom Brooks also extended his stay as head coach.

In the summer of 2015, South Shields finally got its own rugby team as South Tyneside College RUFC became South Shields RFC with the name change being approved by the Durham County RFU and the RFU at Twickenham. The club had a new logo created by graphic designer Sam Monkhouse.

South Shields were crowned Durham/Northumberland Three Champions in May 2016 winning the title on the final day of the season. In the same season, the club's second team won their division too.

The 2017/18 season saw real change at the club. Ross Radford and David Bains were appointed as new coaches while Jordan Wright was named new Club Captain. In December 2017, both coaches resigned and a senior playing committee was put together to run the playing side of the club for the remainder of the season. The season ended in glory as the side were crowned Durham/Northumberland Three Champions once again however a mass exodus followed with players wishing to play at a higher level.

The following season, South African Gavin van der Merwe was appointed the new head coach however he saw the side win only two league games finishing bottom of the Durhan/Northumberland Two table and in doing seeing an instant return to DN3. GVDM kept his role for the 2019/20 season with Lee Mckeith appointed assistant coach and Jay Oxley stepping into a player/coach role.

Club Honours[edit]

  • Durham/Northumberland 3 champions (4): 1995-96, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017-18
  • Durham/Northumberland 4 champions (2): 2001-02, 2005–06
  • Durham County Shield Winners: 2001-02
  • Durham County Plate Winners: 2006-07, 2007–08
  • Durham County Junior Cup Winners: 2011-12
  • River Derwent League Champions: 2013-14
  • River Coquet League Champions: 2015-16


South Shields have played at Grosvenor Road since being established in 1956. This is also the South Shields campus of the college.

Grosvenor Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 6ET.

The club also has a pitch at the old Brinkburn School site on Harton Lane, South Shields.

At the beginning of the 2017/18 season, the club began to use the 3G pitch at Harton Sports Centre for all its 1st XV home games however still trained at its base at South Tyneside College. The 2019/20 season will see the club play all its home games at Brinkburn.

Club Colours[edit]

First Team[edit]

Club colours since the club was established have been black as primary with red and gold.

The playing kit was black top, shorts and red socks until the early 1990s when the socks were also made black. However, in 2007 the club reverted to red socks and currently play in a black top with hints of red and gold; black shorts; and red socks.

The kit manufacturers are currently Canterbury supplied through Sports World Rugby who are based in Alnwick, Northumberland.

South Shields Mariners[edit]

South Shields Mariners currently use a Canterbury black top supplied by club supplier Sports World Alnwick with black shorts and the traditional red club socks.

Change Kit[edit]

The 2019/20 change kit will be a blue Leinster style top with faint camouflage. The 2018/19 green kit with red sleeve trim will also be used as a third shirt.

First Team Squad List[edit]

Mariners Squad List[edit]


  • Cleadon Club
  • 1a Dentist
  • Tyne and Wear Sport
  • Grant Borrill Electrical Services
  • British Engines
  • CTP Taxation Services Ltd
  • A & M Digi Home Solutions
  • Radhuni
  • Da Vincis Italian Restaurant
  • Roxannes
  • Canterbury
  • Sports World Alnwick

Players Sponsors[edit]

  • J. Shipley Heating Engineers- Adam Whitfield
  • City Plumbing Supplies- Daniel McKay
  • Ox-Sm Ltd- Jay Oxley
  • 4A Windscreen Nationwide Services- Stephen Waddle
  • J. Shipley Heating Engineers- Ben Allison
  • Bill Dowens- Ryan Dowens
  • Bill Dowens- Sam Dowens


Training takes place at Brinkburn (Harton Lane, South Shields, NE34 0PJ)

  • Tuesday 18:30
  • Thursday 18:30

For more information visit the official South Shields Rugby website:


  • Porto, Portugal- 2019
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands- 2017
  • Benidorm, Spain- 2014
  • Malaga, Spain- 2013
  • Kraków, Poland- 2010
  • Shepshed, England- 2008
  • Prague, Czech Republic- 2007
  • Malaga, Spain- 2006
  • Ennis, Ireland- 2005
  • Isle of Man, England- 2004
  • Rome, Italy- 2002
  • Reims, France- 1998
  • Hull, England- 1997
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Larne, Northern Ireland- 1987
  • Liverpool, England- 1979

Social Media[edit]

  • Facebook: South Shields Rugby Football Club
  • Twitter: @ShieldsRugby
  • Instagram: Shields_Rugby


Mr Michael Elsy President
Mr Gary McKay Chairman
Mr Simon Jones Vice-Chairman
Mrs Lucy Summerside Secretary
Mrs Tina Jones Treasurer
Mr Kristian Summerside Club Captain
Mr Daniel McKay 1st XV Captain
TBC 1st XV Vice Captain
TBC Mariners Captain
Mr David Mackenzie Safeguarding Officer
Mr Lee Mckeith County Rep
Mr Bill Dowens Disciplinary Officer

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