Essex Rugby Football Union

Essex County Rugby Football Union. (Essex RFU)

Essex RFU was established in 1885.

The first recorded match by a team of players from Essex was played as a inter county match against Suffolk at Chelmsford with a return match at Ipswich. Though Essex lost the first match, they were victorious in the return match. The team in those days was made up of 9 Saracens, 4 Becton and 2 Wanstead.

On the 28th October 1890 at a meeting of the Counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex at the Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool street, the Eastern Counties Rugby Union was formed, presided over by H.L.Garrett of Essex. Eastern Counties first appeared in the list of Rugby Union Clubs in 1892. Eastern Counties meetings were held at Liverpool Street as there were advantages to both Essex and Eastern Counties representative due to the good rail links and they were held there for a number of years.

Initially County boundaries were loosely designated for the selection of players for the County Championship matches. With a small number of clubs playing rugby in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk the counties combined to become an integrated Constituent Body of the RFU, though clubs were then members of a County Union it was not until the early 50s that the respective Counties accepted the administration responsibilities of its member clubs from Eastern Counties.

In the eary 1950’s, it was agreed that each County would take over its own administration as a sub committee of Eastern Counties and that in 1954, the first Essex RFU constitution was accepted, and the Essex badge as created, although players could be selected for Essex, the county was still represented by Eastern Counties in the County Championship.

The first AGM was on thev 24th May 1956 with 32 clubs in attendance.

In 1959, Essex set up its Schools Union, with 35 schools joining the union.

In the seventies Essex tried 3 times to become a Constituent Body (CB) in its own right, but the RFU refused their application. However in 2003, the County was finally awarded full status and would compete in the County Championship as an Essex side.

Essex RFU are one of 28  County CB’s that exist in England to support the RFU and the game locally and are seen as a valued and essential part of delivery and promtion of the game in support of RFU.

Role of a Constituent Body:

  • Safeguarding
  • Discipline
  • Competition & match Approvals
  • Election of Council Representatives
  • Accounts
  • Tours

As a CB we gain funding from the RFU to support our members clubs and grow the game through Local Rugby Planning and by working closely with RFU specialist staff using data insight we are best plasced to deliver:

  • Local Rugby Plan
  • Promote Core Values
  • Club Meetings
  • Club Assistance
  • Local Volunteer reward & recognition
  • Representative teams
  • Development Squads
  • Work with other organisations

Essex Club Rugby.

Essex currently have 44 Clubs, playing in leagues from London & South East Regional 1 to Essex Merit Table 3, across all clubs a total of 84 teams take part in competitive matches.

Essex County Rugby.

Essex County runs representative teams at.

Girls U16, Girld U17 and U18.

Ladies Senior Xv, who play in the Gill Burns County Championship..

Boys, U17 and U18.

Mens U20, who play in the Jason Leonard U20 Championship.

Mens Senior Xv, who play in the Bill Beaumont County Championship


Here you can read our Annual Report

Read the minutes from the Annual General Meeting held on 23rd August 2023

Here you can find a link to the Essex RFU Constitution


RFU Council

The RFU council meets 4 times a year and Essex is represented by Nick Bracken OBE.

Update on the meeting held on 14th June 2024



Essex County Rugby is responsible for managing an annual budget comprised of grant money for specific initiatives directly from the RFU as well as the CB’s on direct funds.

The Accounts are auditted annually by Laher GoodwinJones, Certified Chartered Accountants, and put before the AGM for scrutiny and acceptance.

Essex County Rugby also operates a Club Grant and Loan scheme and you can apply using the forms below.


Take a look at a copy of our Audited Accounts

Club Grant Scheme


International Tickets

The following are allowed to apply for International Tickets via Essex RFU.

  • Essex RFU Patrons.
  • Essex Past Presidents.
  • Officers of Essex County RFU
  • Volunteers of Essex County RFU
  • Essex Club’s Chairman and Presidents.
  • Sponsors.

To be added to the International List, please email [email protected]

The County will issue an email to everyone on the list with the details of the games, ticket categories and application process.

All tickets are distributed via the Twickenham Stadium app.






Details on how to Sponsor us will follow soon


Become a Patron of Essex County Rugby

Do you want To Support The Development Of Essex Rugby?

As a Patron, you will be able to apply for,

  • Tickets to England Home matches.
  • Attend the Annual Awards Dinner.
  • Attend the Essex Presidents Dinner.
  • You will be entitled to attend ouir AGM’s and EGMs, in a non voting capacity.
  • You will invited to attend Representative Matches.
  • You will receive regular updates about Essex County Rugby.

The annual subscription is £20 a year, payable in June each year.

To apply to join, contact the [email protected]