Rossendale RUFC were formed in 1969 and the club played its early games on farmland above Rawtenstall where changing facilities were non-existent and training venues impossible to find. Since then the club has progressed through the various divisions of the North-West league structure to attain their present status and now play at the Marl Pits Sports Centre in Rawtenstall.
Rossendale were promoted as champions from the North Lancashire and Cumbria Division One in 2004-05 and were runners-up to Rochdale in 2008-09, gaining promotion to National Three North via the play-offs. In 2011-12 they were runners-up to Darlington Mowden Park but on this occasion they were defeated in the play-offs. Last season they again finished second in the table to champions Huddersfield, just two points above ourselves, but surprisingly they lost a real cliff-hanger of a game by 32-31 at home to Sheffield RUFC in the play-off
Last season was the first time our two clubs had played each other and Rossendale had the upper hand in both games winning 30-21 at Marl Pits and by 21-13 at the Ferens Ground. With both clubs very likely to be in contention for promotion this coming season Saturday’s clash should be a cracker and also perhaps give an indication how they will fare this coming season.
Compiled by Norman Angell