Our History

Risca RFC was founded in 1875 and it has been one of the leading clubs in what was, before the advent of the leagues, known as the "Monmouthshire League".

Many fine players who have worn the black and amber jersey have gone on to play at the higher level for Newport, Newbridge, Cross Keys and to gain representative Honours with Crawshays and at International Level.

Long history of the club began in the 19th century when a group of quarrymen at Risca Quarry each put six pence a week from their pay to a kitty until they had enough cash to start a rugby club in Risca. They purchased Jerseys, knicks and a ball and they got permission to play on the Church House Field, opposite the Church House Hotel (since rebuilt as the Darren Hotel). The landlord agreed that they could change at the back of the pub and wash in tin baths. He also provided the sawdust to mark out the pitch. No formal records were kept of the few games played against some scratch sides assembled for each occasion, so the match results are not available.

Church House Field was an open field and the club soon moved to play on a well grassed and more suitable field lower down, called Dr. Robathan's Field (Grove Road today). During the few years the club spent at this new base, their first committee was formed. Eventually their playing field was purchased by Risca Council for the building of houses (Grove Road and Exchange Road). The only field available for the enforced move was at Pontymister, where Ty-Isaf Estate now stands. As this field was so far away, the club decided to change its name to Pontymister RFC. Pontymister become the most powerful playing club in the Monmouthshire valleys. Capped players from the Monmouthshire valleys were few and far between and they usually found their way to the bigger clubs, such as Newport, to receive their due recognition.

RISCA RFC re-emerged in 1906 and settled down permanently at the Stores Field. During the 1920s, many prominent people of Welsh Rugby were to be found amongst the players or committee of Risca Rugby Club, too many to mention individually. However, special mention should be made of their 17 year old trainer at the time, who went on to become world-famous in rugby circles. The young trainer was Ray Lewis, "Mr. Magic hands", who progressed to become trainer of Cross Keys, Newport and Wales. His son, Gerry, took over his duties as Wales' official masseur following his father's death in 1969.

Over the years Risca have supplied Newport with many fine players - four of them becoming captains of that famous club. The reverse was rarely the case and most of Risca's captains have been born, bred and learned the basics of the game with Risca. From 1921 to 1958 there was never one season without at least one ex-Risca player in the Newport first team, a period of 37 years!

A memorable day in the history of the club was the 21st October 1961. This date marked the official opening of the new social club, sited at the ground. As well as their welcoming new clubhouse the club also has fine dressing rooms, showers and all the conveniences associated with clubs much richer than Risca. Even these fine facilities have been superseded in recent times by the building of a Sports and Leisure Centre as the result of a Sportlot grant and a vision for ensuring the future of Risca RFC by the then chairman Clive James. The centre, which is sited at the ground, was opened in 1998 and this has provided modern changing rooms and indoor training facilities for the rugby players as well as an opportunity for local clubs and young people to play and train for cricket, badminton, tennis, bowls, netball, basketball and volleyball in the excellent sports hall. More recently, the sportshall has been converted to an indoor 3G training facility.

The 2013/14 season saw Risca win the WRU League Division 3 title and therefore gained promotion. However, with the restructure of the leagues, Risca RFC now play in Division 1 East. A level of rugby not experienced before by the club.

A progressive club with facilities which are the envy of many clubs, both great and small. With a thriving mini and junior section, and a successful youth team, the future for Risca Rugby Club looks bright and is a tribute to those few quarrymen who founded the club over 125 years ago.