Harlequins Rugby: Premiership Rugby Titles and Key History
Harlequins Rugby History and Highlights
The team was founded in 1866 and was one of the founding members of the Rugby Football Union that formed in 1970.
Originally, Harlequins Rugby was called Hampstead Football Club but changed its name just four years later, keeping the HFC monogram but with the loss of one of the founders, William Alford. He left the club to form another, now known as Wasps.
The club, which is also nicknamed ‘Quins,’ originally wore black and gold. However, a new kit had to be created due to the members splitting. This saw the introduction of the now-famous quartered shirts with multiple colors on show, while the Wasps kept the black and gold.
In the early days, the Quins didn’t have a ground to call home, spending most matches either playing away or at several different venues. This continued for the first 40 years of the club’s existence until 1909 when it was invited to use Twickenham stadium. While this was fantastic for the club, the drawback of having a stadium capacity bigger than the number of fans in attendance at games was the lack of atmosphere.
In 1963, Harlequins took ownership of land that was local to Twickenham, developing it into a stadium and training ground. Originally, the club named it the ‘Stoop Memorial Ground’ before renaming it in 2005 to ‘Twickenham Stoop.’
Gaining a Reputation
The first rugby match that the Harlequins Rugby participated in was held in 1867, one year after the club’s formation. Like many teams in England, Harlequins played many amateur matches as a club and gained a strong reputation.
This was further recognized on the global stage when the Harlequins Rugby defeated the US Olympic team during the warm-up for the 1924 Games. Despite facing a team who was about to defend its Olympic title, the Quins showed no signs of backing down and won 21-11. The team then repeated the feat two years later, this time against the New Zealand team, winning 11-5.
Not bad for an amateur team
Earning Your… Quarters?
Since the sport turned professional in 1995, Harlequins Rugby fans have celebrated their fair share of success on the pitch.
The team has spent the fifth-highest amount of years in the top-flight of England’s rugby union league pyramid, having been relegated only once before getting promoted immediately at the first time of asking.
The club is also just 1 of 9 teams to have won the Premiership Rugby since being relaunched in the 1997-98 season. The club’s first title came in 2012, after having topped the table by a single point with Leicester Tigers breathing down their neck.
The Harlequins then went on to the play-off semi-final, where the team faced Northampton Saints, winning 25-23. In the final, the Quins then defeated the Tigers 30-23.
It took another nine years, but the Quins won a second Premiership Rugby title in 2021. Despite coming 4th in the league table, the team managed to beat table-toppers Bristol in the semi-final before edging a tightly-contested final against Exeter Chiefs, 40-38.
With 3 European Challenge Cups and an RFU Championship title to boast about since the turn of the century, Harlequins Rugby has earned a reputation as one of England’s most successful rugby clubs. The players that have represented this great organization and were successful have more than earned their quarters throughout the teams history.