How Many Teams Have Finished a Season Winless Like Newcastle Falcons?

The 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season saw a truly dismal performance from Newcastle Falcons. Their disheartening campaign culminated in a winless record, leaving them firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. This begs the question: how often does such a feat, or rather misfortune, occur in professional rugby? Well, let’s find out.

In this article, we will take a look at how many other teams have finished a season winless like Newcastle Falcons. Let’s get right into it.

How Many Teams Have Finished a Season Winless Like Newcastle Falcons?

The Unfortunate Few

Newcastle Falcons aren’t the first, nor will they likely be the last team to endure a winless season. While uncommon, professional rugby competitions have witnessed a handful of such cases. Here’s a glimpse into these instances:

Gallagher Premiership

Prior to Newcastle’s misfortune, the Premiership saw two other teams suffer similar fates. Rotherham in the 2003/04 season and London Welsh in the 2014/15 campaign found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table without a single win.

Both were newly promoted teams facing established giants, highlighting the significant gap in experience and resources that make it incredibly challenging for newcomers to find their footing in the top league.

Major League Rugby (MLR)

Looking beyond the Premiership, other professional leagues haven’t been immune to winless seasons either. In the United States’ Major League Rugby, the Austin Gilgronis finished winless in their inaugural 2020 season. This was mainly due to factors like building a new team and adapting to a different league format likely played a significant role in their struggles.

As you can see from these examples, winless seasons do happen from time to time in professional rugby. However, it’s extremely uncommon. There are only a few instances of winless seasons happening throughout rugby’s entire history, making the unfortunate few even more noticeable.

Beyond the Numbers

So, why are winless seasons so rare? Well, it's because of the fierce competitiveness of professional rugby. Teams invest heavily in talent, coaching expertise, and training facilities, all geared towards achieving on-field success. While dips in form and underwhelming seasons are a part of the game, a complete lack of victories across an entire season is a stark reminder of the razor-thin margins that separate victory from defeat.

The scarcity of such occurrences makes cases like Newcastle’s even more noteworthy. It signifies a significant struggle, a season where every hurdle seemed insurmountable. It’s also something that you never see in rugby betting circles - winless seasons are so rare that even bookies are not able to predict them.

Still, this scarcity shouldn’t overshadow the dedication and resilience that professional rugby teams exhibit. These teams put every ounce of effort they have into becoming the best they can be, and even teams that experience winless seasons still deserve our respect. They are still better than 99% of other teams in the world.

Learning from Losses

While a winless season is undoubtedly a setback, it can also be used to bring about huge positive change. There is nothing quite like an embarrassing sequence of losses to kickstart a team’s transformation - teams can use this experience as a springboard for improvement. Are there weaknesses in the playing squad? Does the coaching staff need a tactical overhaul? Addressing these shortcomings with a clear vision and a renewed sense of purpose is vital.

Newcastle Falcons undoubtedly have a long road ahead. Rebuilding team morale, potentially making strategic player acquisitions, and implementing tactical changes are all essential steps they are going to have to take. Can they learn from their mistakes and rise from the ashes? Only time will tell.


So, were you surprised to find out how few teams have experienced a winless season? If so, this is completely normal. It’s natural to think that there would be more instances of winless seasons when you consider how far back rugby’s history goes, but it’s actually extremely rare. Professional rugby teams are hand-crafted with the best players they can get their hands on, almost all of which are world-class players.

This means that almost every single game is competitive, reducing the chances that a team could finish a season winless to virtually zero. However, as can be seen with the Newcastle Falcons, it does happen. This is mainly due to a particularly poor team as well as simple bad luck - even sub-par teams usually pick up a win or two. Regardless, it’s a sight to see when it does occur. See you next time!

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