County Championships renamed to honour rugby legends

  • Competitions named after Bill Beaumont, Jason Leonard and Gill Burns
  • Folow the latest from the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship here

The County Championship divisions have been renamed after some of England’s most distinguished rugby players.

The divisions will now be known as the Bill Beaumont Senior Men’s County Championship, the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship and the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship.

The Bill Beaumont Senior Men’s County Championship is made up of the Bill Beaumont Division 1, Bill Beaumont Division 2 and Bill Beaumont Division 3 competitions (formerly the Bill Beaumont Cup, Division 2 Plate and Shield).

The Jason Leonard U20 County Championship will include the Jason Leonard Division 1 and Jason Leonard Division 2 competitions (formerly the National U20 Cup and National U20 Shield). 

Following on from the success of the inaugural Women’s County Championship and Regional Plate, the women’s division of the competition will now be named the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship, encompassing the Gill Burns Division 1 and Gill Burns Division 2 competitions. 

'The best of grassroots rugby'

“The renaming of the County Championship divisions makes the competition structure a lot clearer and more consistent while honouring three of England’s most celebrated rugby players," said Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director. 

Surrey were crowned winners of the first-ever Women’s County Championships last May, defeating Lancashire 32-17 at Twickenham Stoop. 

“It’s an honour to have the Women’s County Championship named after me," said Gill Burns MBE.

"Last year’s inaugural competition, which involved 16 women’s teams, showed the appetite for a competitive competition for women across the country and I hope that the tournament becomes a pillar of county rugby, helping develop the women’s game across the regions.“

The Jason Leonard U20 County Championship is now into the quarter-final stage and the competition's namesake said he was happy to be part of it. 

“I’m delighted to put my name to this great competition which showcases the very best of grassroots rugby across the country.”