Exeter Athletic


Exeter Athletic
Oil Mill Lane
Clyst St Mary


Black, pale blue and white

Founded in 2018

The formation of "Exeter Athletic Rugby Football Club".

Exeter Athletic was formed on the 1st June 2018 by the merger of Exeter based clubs Wessex RFC and Exeter Youth RFC. the newly formed club will be based at Bravelands, Oil Mill Lane, Clyst St.Mary on the outskirts of Exeter. The descion to merge the clubs would be beneficial to both clubs as Wessex RFC only had 2 adult teams and Exeter Youth RFC had youth teams ranging from under 7’s to under 18’s so the merger would offer junior players a pathway to progress from into adult rugby without moving clubs. This is a very exciting time for everyone involved with Exeter Athletic RFC.

History of Wessex RFC.

Wessex RFC was formed in 1995, when it was felt that the community in Exeter could benefit from a rugby club where the true traditions of grassroots rugby could be played and enjoyed. The team at that time was mostly comprised of players from Exeter RFC's disbanded Extra B team. During the first year, although not allowed to enter a league, the club was allowed to enter the Havill Plate (losers of the Devon Junior Cup). After defeating three Devon League 1 sides on the way, Wessex duly won the Cup by beating Newton Abbot in the final.

1996/97 season, Wessex were allowed to join Devon League 3 where, on a number of occasions the team ran up scores of over 100 points and went on to become the winners of the League.
1997/98 season, in Devon League 2, Wessex continued in their previous winning style and proceeded to come top of the league and to win the Havill Plate for the second time.
1998/99 season, this time playing in Devon League 1 and only the fourth since the creation of the club, Wessex went through the season confidently and again gained promotion, this time to the Devon and Cornwall league.
1999/2000 season, proved a harder league to be in, but the team did get to the final of the Devon Junior Cup this season, unfortunately not winning but going away with the Havill Plate instead.

2002/02 season, Wessex started well, but didn't live up to expectations in the second half of the season.
2002/2003 season, in the eighth season Wessex managed to keep going through the season, finished second and gained promotion to Western Counties West.
2003/2004 season, was tough and an eye-opener, but Wessex hung in there and with the usual Wessex spirit and survived.
2004/2005 season, unfortunately saw no improvement in form and Wessex were relegated to play in the Devon & Cornwall league again.
2007/2008 season, saw the introduction of the Wessex Ladies and links to Rugby league. Alas for the First XV we were relegated to Devon 1 and remained but were ever striving for better things.
2009/2010 season, saw an improvement on the 2008/2009 season. Wessex finished in 3rd place in the newly revamped Devon North and East League which in the second part of the season Wessex gained a place in the promotion play offs once again finishing in 3rd position. Wessex won the Devon Junior Cup against league champions Totnes at Totnes.
2010/2011 season, proved be another good season finishing 2nd in the Devon 1 League, winning the Devon Junior Plate against Dartmouth at Dartmouth. Wessex also went into the final play-offs but narrowly lost in the final play-off against Pirates in Penzance.
2011/2012 season, Wessex were crowned Devon 1 champions and promoted into the Cornwall/Devon League the season ended by winning the Devon Junior Cup.
2012/2013 season, for the second time after gaining promotion into the Cornwall/Devon League Wessex failed to capitalize on being crowned champions in 2012/2013 were unfortunately relegated into the Devon 1 League.
2014/2015 season, Wessex were entered into the RFU National Vase Knock-out Competition narrowly losing in the Southwest Final.
2016/2017 season, Wessex won the Devon 1 League and promoted into the Cornwall/Devon League.
2017/2018 season, Wessex once again unable to sustain playing in the Cornwall/Devon League and were relegated into the newly re-structured Devon 1 League, Wessex also merged with Exeter Youth RFC to become a brand new club Exeter Athletic RFC.

History of Exeter Youth RFC.

It was more than 20 years ago when we first formed the beginnings of an under 10s team at Barton Fields, next to the County Ground. Exeter Rugby Club was running a colts team at the time and over the next few seasons the Junior Section slowly organised itself with a target of running teams covering all the age groups from Under 7 to Under 16. After about 6 seasons that aim was achieved and Exeter Youth Rugby Club can now boast that it has a playing membership of over 280 young players from 6 to 18 years of age.

Prior to the move to Sandy Park, the now renamed “Youth Section” raised funds through the famous match day BBQ, registration fees and some generous sponsors. Today, Exeter Youth Rugby has its own affiliation with Devon RFU and is developing its own ground with the hope of in the foreseeable future also having a senior team.

There is a lot involved in running a Junior Club. Our Committee consists of 9 officers fulfilling roles which include finance, fixtures, refereeing, coaching, discipline, volunteering, and child protection. The costs of running the Club have also increased. As playing numbers have increased so too have the costs, providing numbers of coaching courses & first aid courses, additional equipment and playing kit all contribute.

We are now leasing our own land at Oil Mill Lane and developing this for the Club. This has involved so far a lot of hard work from our volunteers and we now have superb pitches used by all ages.

Each of our 11 teams has a team administrator and the section now has over 40 coaches. In addition, each team has a person qualified in first aid. Most teams have volunteers who carry out numerous other roles from photography to washing up. None are paid or receive re-imbursement of any kind. Most are parents who support their child’s love of our game. Their reward is seeing their proud son or daughter run out wearing a Chiefs shirt and having fun. Their sons and daughters will remain ardent supporters of the Exeter Chiefs for the rest of their lives and will forge lifelong friendships with their team-mates.

The Club relies heavily on volunteers and this is apparent also for fund raising. The majority of volunteers are passionate about rugby and without them it would be hard to provide what can be viewed as a great opportunity for the youngsters in the community in Exeter and surrounding areas.

Exeter Athletic RFC.

We are now the envy of many local clubs since Exeter Youth RFC agreed to with merge with Wessex RFC to form new club Exeter Athletic RFC with the pitches that we have at Oil Mill Lane. Changing rooms, showers and catering facilities are now in place, albeit in portacabins and catering van, we now need to target the next step in the new club’s development. The goal for 2018/19 has been to put planning in place to build our own club house. This will be no easy task and a lot of fundraising is now needed to make this a reality.

2018/19 Exeter Athletic RFC’s inaugural season saw the club gain promotion by winning the play-off against Cornish side Newquay Hornets at Bravelands, with Exeter Athletic gaining promotion into the Tribute Cornwall Devon League for the 2019/20 season. Unfortunately the Devon & Cornwall league proved to be strong for Exeter Athletic where the club was relegated back into Devon League one for the 2020/2021 season, however because of the COVID pandemic the 2020/2021 season never took off and no league fixtures were played this season.

With the COVID pandemic coming to an end it is hopeful that the 2021/2022 season will begin again with Exeter Athletic playing in Devon League 1.

Honorary Secretary

Helen Ward
6 The College

Honorary Treasurer

Richard Adams


Simon Farmer

Fixture Secretary

Phil Spearey

Director of Rugby

Dean Jeffery

1st Team Manager

Darren Russell

2nd Team Manager

Steve Partridge

Head coach

Simon Banks

Colts Team Manager

Adrian Williams

Junior Chairman

Nicky Askew

Junior Fixture Secretary

Wendy Brown

Child Protection Officer

Helen Eddy

Referee Liaison

Phil Roebuck

Under 16

John Clarke

Under 14

Hayley Jelley

Under 13

Georgia Parkhouse

Under 12

Zoe Bicheno

Under 11

Nicky Askew

Under 10

Mike Cobb

Under 9

Kate Acton

Under 8

Esther Williams

Under 7

Claire Causley


Harry Langley


James Morgan