Hornets celebrate historical promotion to National 2 West

Hornets have secured successive promotions and will play Level Four Rugby Union for the first time in their history.

Hornets have secured successive promotions and will play Level Four Rugby Union for the first time in their history. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Hornets are celebrating after it was announced they had secured promotion to National Two West for the 2022/23 season to play at level four for the first time in their history.

The Nest-based outfit finished third in the South West Premier last season with 107 points behind winners Exeter University (116) and Old Redcliffians (114), with all three granted promotion.

Hornets will also play Barnstaple, Bournville, Clifton, Dings Crusaders, Hinkley, Leicester Lions, Loughborough Students, Luctonians, Newport (Salop), Redruth and Stourbridge next season.

The RFU have announced a restructure to allow less travel in England and help club's sustainability by reducing travel costs.

Altogether there are 14 teams in the North, 14 in the East and 14 in the West with each league having been grouped geographically.

And Director of Rugby Jon Richardson couldn't hide his delight at seeing Hornets securing promotion.

Hornets Director of Rugby Jon Richardson.

Hornets Director of Rugby Jon Richardson. - Credit: Josh Thomas

“We’re all very excited to test ourselves at the next level,” said Richardson.

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“It’s come as a bit of a shock but we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we’re going to give it our best shot. All the players and coaching staff are looking forward to what lies ahead immensely.

“We all very proud of where the club as a whole has found itself.”

It caps a remarkable rise for the Hornets after relegation from the South West Premier in 2018 and an 11th-place finish in South West One West a year later.

But the last two seasons have seen Hornets record successive promotions.

Matt Parker has captained the side for both of those and said going up is an “outstanding achievement”, hailing the rise his side have made.

Hornets captain Matt Parker.

Hornets captain Matt Parker. - Credit: Josh Thomas

“Some times it takes a knock back to make you realise how things can slip,” he said.

“The club as a whole, we picked ourselves up from a low and rebuilt. We now have the best squad that has ever played at Hutton Moor Road. It’s amazing and unbelievable to think what we have achieved.”

Number eight Parker has been with the Hornets since 2004 and says promotion has fulfilled a lifelong dream.

He added: “This has to be the greatest thing to happen to Hornets in my lifetime. It’s a level I would think we have a good chance to play well in week after week.

“After only hoping for a top-four finish this year who knows, we will take it one week at a time and see. Never rule us out, we are the underdogs this year nothing to lose, all to gain.

“With pre-season around the corner and back-to-back promotions it makes it all a dream come true.”