The National Two clubs racing to the top in 2023
For many years, National League Rugby was split into two divisions, National One and National Two.
National Two was later split in half into North and South, and for the 2022 season, the Rugby Football Union split it further into three sections; National Two North, East And West. These sub-sections are delineated by geographical location. That means the clubs in the East of the UK are in National Two East, etc.
While National One is the higher league, and the one that many clubs aspire to ascend to by winning their National Two games, many fans love watching the National Two games. And the fact that teams can reach National One by winning the second league means that the contest is incredibly fierce and gripping for spectators. The teams that come second and third go into a play-off to decide which one gets to join National One, so there’s a lot at stake.
Considered an amateur league, National Two is home to plenty of hard-working players and managers. It’s also the shot at the big leagues and a chance to showcase talent and potentially get picked up by scouts, meaning that most players will give it their all in every game. That makes for a great spectator sport and a thrilling experience for everyone involved.
If you’re new to Rugby or National Two, then you’ll need to know about the clubs to watch this season. That’s why we’ve created this list of some of the top National Two teams who are the clubs you should check out and could be the winner of the league this year.
Usually known by the affectionate nickname the Worthing Raiders, this Littlehampton club was previously in National Two South but is now in the East division of the league. The club is known for taking risks and making bold moves that can bring amazing results. For fans who want to get a rush while they watch, you could explore online casinos or try betting on the match results. You’ll be able to get a thrill and potentially win some extra cash that you use to spend on the game, team merch or snacks to enjoy while you cheer on the Raiders! The team has the potential to make it to the top this year, thanks to its strong early performance.
A talented team of Rugby Union players from South East London, Blackheath is currently leading the pack in the National Two East League. Formed in 1858, the club is among the oldest Rugby teams in the UK, with an extensive legacy of excellence and major wins. The club’s distinctive red and black uniforms set them apart and strike fear into the hearts of many opponents. Blackheath was relegated from National One last season, so the team has a lot to come back from and prove. It looks set to return to its former stomping ground and start playing in National One next season, so they’re definitely ones to watch.
With its fun name and great players, the Leicester Lions are a great team for anyone who wants to get into National Two rugby. Over the years, the club has launched the careers of some memorable players, including Martin Johnson, who went on to captain the England national team. Many of the current team line-up are tipped for stardom in the future, as they work their way up the league and help bring the Lions to success. Leicester fans are deeply passionate about the Lions, as well as the other teams associated with the club, including the female Lioness team, the seniors and the junior groups.
Don’t be fooled by the name: the Loughborough Students team does represent the University, but they’re not just a bunch of bored students. They’re a group of highly-skilled rugby players who are passionate about the game. These young players have thrived and are now an integral part of the National Two competition. The team is well-managed and works hard, so they could be in at a shot of rising up the leaderboard this year to achieve even greater success and potentially hit the big leagues for the next season. As the team is made up of students, it does have a high turnover of players, but they’re hard-working and well-managed. As a result, the team has achieved impressive success and earned many accolades against other teams throughout the league.
A city renowned for its history and beautiful Roman wall, Chester had a Rugby Union team in the 1800s, but this disbanded. In the 1920s, the team was revived, and it has thrived over recent years to become the team we know and love today. Since then, the club has achieved incredible success, and while the city will always be more well-known for horse racing than Rugby, the team has become a renowned fixture in the National Two league. Playing in the North division of the league, Chester is pitted against some amazing teams but has a strong line-up this year and could quickly rise up the leaderboard to reach the top this season with some hard work and good luck.
National Two is a fast-paced competition that can be a great watch for Rugby Union fans who’ve never strayed out of National One. This list of clubs that are working their way up the league tables should help you to find the perfect one to cheer on this season.