St Austell RFC - The Early Years
Brief History of St Austell RFC 1 of 4

1. St Austell RFC - The Early Years

From 1933 to the 1954-55 season, with an intermission for the war years, rugby in St Austell was centred upon the Hornets Club.
When the Hornets made the move to Newquay, it left a rugby void in St Austell and several years elapsed before the efforts of two men, Wilf Vernalls and Des Robbins, brought about the formation of what has become St Austell RFC.

The Saints’ founding fathers are remembered today with Des Robbins’ initials on the refurbished gates which were moved from the old ground to Tregorrick, while a plaque in memory of Wilf Vernalls is in the main stand.

On July 31, 1963 the Inaugural meeting of the club took place with the early meetings of the club taking place in the old YMCA.
For home matches the club played at Cyprus Avenue in Par Moor with changing facilities borrowed from the nearby Heavy Transport Social Club.
St Austell RFC played its first game against a senior side on April 11, 1975 losing 12-21 to Penzance-Newlyn.

On April 7, 1976 the Saints gained their first win over a senior side beating Truro 13-5. A further success against St Ives 19-11 a fortnight later opened the way to senior status the following season.

The Circus Field at Cromwell Road was purchased in 1967 for £950 through the generosity of Mrs Cobbold Sawle who donated half of that sum back to the club immediately. The Club grew from strength to strength and by the late 1970s the Saints were a real force in Cornish rugby with several players going on to represent the County. The high point was undoubtedly reach the Cornwall County Cup in 1978 when the Saints were narrowly beaten by 7-6 Camborne.

The second pitch was added in September 1981 at a cost of £8,000 with a loan from Restormel Borough Council. In 1986 the Club sold the its Cromwell Road ground to Asda so ended an era and a new beginning.