Exeter Saracens – A Brief History
Exeter Saracens RFC was established in 1953 following some “ad hoc” matches the previous year.
In 1954 Derek Headon became Chairman having been one of the main driving forces behind the formation of the Club. Derek was Chairman and later President for many years and it was under his leadership that the Club became firmly established. In the following years the Club grew and in 1958 Sarries were joined by members of the Technical College Old Boys team which had disbanded. Also in this year Sarries ran a Colts XV for the first time.
By 1958/60 a second team was established known as Sarries United XV.
In the early years games were played at Countess Wear and in 1963 the Club obtained the use of pitches at Exhibition Fields in Whipton. At that time this site was also the home of the Devon County Agricultural Show and this shared use caused some management problems.
During the 1950′s and 1960′s visiting teams were entertained at the Black Horse Inn in Longbrook Street. Later the Club obtained the use of premises in Coombe Street and created a new bar. When this arrangement ended the club moved to the Cricket Pavillion at Prince of Wales Road. Also during this period the Club was joined by members of the Old Heleans RFC which had been disbanded.
In 1971 a new clubhouse was created in the existing building at Exhibition Fields and in the same year the Mini/Junior section was formed.
In 1987 Sarries won the Devon Junior Cup. When the Rugby Union League structure was established, Sarries won promotion into the Devon & Cornwall League but were relegated back to Devon 1 in 1991. At this time, following the departure of the County Show the complete redevelopment of Exhibition Fields was undertaken by Exeter City Council. This included the construction of the Arena and new rugby pitches.
The rugby clubhouse was remodelled with Sarries making a substantial financial contribution. During the reconstruction work the Club occupied temporary accommodation on the site. In 1999 the Club was relegated to the Devon 2 League, but gained promotion back to Devon 1 the following year. During this period the Mini Section grew rapidly and became one of the most successful in the region.
In 2003 the Club celebrated its Golden Anniversary with several formal and informal events – but unfortunately were again relegated to Devon 2.
In 2006 promotion was gained to Devon 1 and in 2008/9 further promotion was gained to the Devon & Cornwall League and the Club also won the Devon Junior Cup.
2009/10 was another successful year when Sarries were promoted to the Western Counties – West League – the highest level in the Club’s history. At the time the United XV (2nds) were playing at a higher level in the Devon Merit Table ll.
In 2010/11 Sarries played in the Western Counties West League and produced some very fine rugby and achieved notable wins against clubs such as Torquay and Tiverton. The Club finished the season around the middle of the table.
For 2011/12 – watch this space!!!