Outlaws Returning To Action

There’ll be a new-look to the Nottingham Outlaws when they take to the field in late-April, ahead of the new Rugby League season.

Having spent the past eight seasons toiling through the mire of the Yorkshire League, the Outlaws have, at the start of this year, announced that the 2024 season will see them return to what is a revamped, Midlands League Premier Division.

It’ll be the first time in eight years in which the Outlaws have played rugby, and in doing so, will kick-start their season with their Lenton Lane home hosting the return of ‘The Heroes Trophy,’ the Outlaws doing battle with The Royal Artillery, on Saturday 27 April.

The season will begin in earnest a couple of weeks later when Joe Shepherd, Head Coach of the Outlaws, takes his charges on the approx. 120-mile round-trip to face the Leamington Royals, in Blackdown, Leamington Spar, on 11 May.

The first home game of the new campaign arrives a week later when, on Saturday 18 May, the Outlaws play host to that of the Oxford Cavaliers, as a season of new promise kick-starts for the Lenton Lane club.

Speaking of returning to the Midlands League, Outlaws Chairman Richard Johnson, said: “Our return to the re-vamped Midlands Premier is a huge opportunity to grow the game and show the rugby league community how strong the local game is in the Midlands.

“From an Outlaws perspective we can’t wait to resume our local rivalries against teams such as Coventry Bears and Sherwood Wolf Hunt in what promises to be a hotly-contested competition.”

With the Heroes Trophy being a mouth-watering, season opener, the league campaign sees the return of games with Sherwood Wolf Hunt, and with it, competing for the ‘Nottinghamshire Cup,’ the sides colliding on 7 June at Lenton Lane, before the return, on 20 July, at Debdale Lane.

Alongside those, the Outlaws will also be competing for Harry Jepson Trophy, which they won back in 2008 (vs. West London Sharks), as well as being afforded the opportunity to compete in the Challenge Cup.

The Outlaws Chairman added: “Moving into the Midlands offers our players and supporters a chance to see us play many of the teams we locked horns with prior to us heading north in 2015.

“This will open up the door for us to play against some of our local rivals in a competitive league fixture as well as giving us the chance to progress at a national level”.

The Outlaws have tasted past success, prior to the more that was the Yorkshire league, and, alongside lifting the Harry Jepson Trophy in ’08, they’ve also tasted glory when winning the RLC North Midlands Division, back-to-back, in 2003 and 2004, the Midlands Premier twice, in 2006 and 2008, as well as the Conference League South shy of a decade ago, in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Outlaws’ Development Squad will continue to ply their trade in the Midlands Merit League, whilst also diversify their fixtures by playing in the newly-expanded Yorkshire equivalent also.

Adding to the thoughts of his Chairman, the Nottingham Outlaws Head Coach Joe Shepherd, understandably excited at the prospect of playing in the new competition, added: “It’s really exciting to be re-joining the revamped Midlands Premier Division.

“The calibre of teams that have entered the league means that it will be a really tough competition, and it will be great to renew some old rivalries.”

With the league campaign running between 11 May and 27 July, the Outlaws fixtures for the upcoming, 2024 season, are scheduled as follows…


27.04.24 vs. The Royal Artillery (H, The Heroes Trophy)

11.05.24 vs. Leamington Royals (A)

18.05.24 vs. Oxford Cavaliers (H)

25.05.24 vs. Telford Raiders (A)

07.06.24 vs. Sherwood Wolf Hunt (H)

15.06.24 vs. Boston Buccaneers (A)

22.06.24 vs. Coventry Bears (H)

29.06.24 vs. Swindon St. George (H)

20.07.24 vs. Sherwood Wolf Hunt (A)

27.07.24 vs. Birmingham Bills (H)

(NB – August and early-September will see the latter stages of the Midlands play-offs, and the closing stages of the Harry Jepson Trophy)

Keep up-to-date with all the goings-on at Lenton Lane ahead of the 2024 Midlands League season via Facebook here; X/Twitter here and the official website here.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @outlawsRL the Outlaws will play in the Midlands Premier Division in 2024.

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