We can today announce the outline fixture list for the 2021-22 RFC Championship season. At present, we are only able to confirm the weekend of each game, as discussions continue with other clubs to identify exact kick-off times. As usual, we would expect home fixtures to be a mixture of Saturday afternoons and occasional Friday night matches.
|17-19 Sep||Ealing Trailfinders||A||17-19 Dec||Ealing Trailfinders||H|
|24-26 Sep||Cornish Pirates||H||24-26 Dec||Cornish Pirates||A|
|1-3 Oct||Nottingham Rugby||A||1-2 Jan||Nottingham Rugby||H|
|8-10 Oct||Coventry Rugby||H||14-16 Jan||Coventry Rugby||A|
|22-24 Oct||London Scottish||A||21-23 Jan||London Scottish||H|
|29-31 Oct||Bedford Blues||H||27-29 Jan||Bedford Blues||A|
|5-7 Nov||Jersey Reds||A||11-13 Feb||Jersey Reds||H|
|19-21 Nov||Doncaster Knights||H||18-20 Feb||Doncaster Knights||A|
|26-28 Nov||Ampthill||A||25-27 Feb||Ampthill||A|
|3-5 Dec||Richmond||H||11-13 Mar||Richmond||A|
|10-12 Dec||Bye||–||18-20 Mar||Bye||–|
Hartpury could barely have asked for a more demanding start to the campaign, with an opening day visit to last season’s runners-up, Ealing Trailfinders, followed by our first home game – a week later – against another team we have never beaten, Cornish Pirates. That first home game is already fixed as a 2.30pm start on Saturday 25th September.
We can also confirm that our following – equally tough – home game will be our first “Friday Night Lights” of the campaign at the Alpas Arena, when we will welcome Coventry Rugby.
There is a very ‘merry Christmas’ for the Red & Blacks as we can look forward to the reverse fixtures with both Ealing and the Pirates in late December and we can also expect the New Year to start with a bang when Nottingham are the visitors on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
The league season concludes in mid-March, although we will not take part in the final weekend as we have a ‘bye’ on that date. We will want to ensure we have the title wrapped up when we visit Richmond on the weekend of 11-13 March!
The bye weeks are a result of the league having 11 participants again this year. Saracens, of course, were promoted last season and London Scottish return, having elected not to play in 2020-21.
Hartpury Director of Rugby, Jon Barnes, commented “A tough start away at the title favourites, but upsets can happen on first days of the season as Saracens found out!”
“The league will be as competitive as ever and we know at times it will be tough, but we are looking forward to hopefully a full season and less disruption.”
One other firm date is our home match with the Ospreys of the United Rugby Championship (formerly Super 14) on Saturday, 4th September, as part of our pre-season programme. Put it in the diary!