NYRC – EST. 1929
NEW YORK RUGBY CLUB
The New York Rugby Club traditions are rooted in a group of players who met in New York City in 1929 to form the New York Nomads. The Nomads subsequently began competing as the New York Rugby Football Club (“New York RFC”).
The New York RFC played a principal role in the development of the Eastern Rugby Union. It was the only team in the United States to be accepted for membership in the Rugby Union for the 1932-33 international directory and in 1933, hosted the Cambridge University Vandals, the first European club to tour the United States.
New York RFC continued to compete successfully until the beginning of World War II. It disbanded during the War and resumed activities afterward.
In 1957 New York RFC created the New York Rugby Football Club, Inc. (“NYRFC”) under the Membership Corporations Law of New York State.
In 1959 NYRFC organized its first seven-a-side rugby tournament. Since then “New York Sevens” has been conducted annually on the first Saturday following the Thanksgiving Holiday and grown into the largest and longest running international sevens tournament in the United States.
In 1960 some members of NYRFC split off and formed Manhattan Rugby Club. Meanwhile during the 1960s and 1970s NYRFC was a dominant force in the Eastern United States. In 1982, NYRFC merged with Eastside RFC, formerly Hunter College RFC. NYRFC was the first United States team to be invited to compete in Scandinavia, touring Denmark in 1986. The team competed in Mexico in 1986, Japan, Thailand, Italy and Philippines in 1989, Bahamas in 1991, Argentina and Brazil in 1992, England, Ireland and Wales in 1994 and Spain in 1997.
In 1997 NYRFC voted to field a women’s team and offered playing membership to players of the Gotham Women’s Rugby Club.
On July 1, 2002, the New York Rugby Club, Inc. (“NYRC”) was incorporated as a non-profit and tax-exempt entity.
In 2004 Manhattan Rugby Club men’s team and the New York Rugby Club men merged to reunite two clubs that split in 1960. For a full history please see the men’s team pages. In August of 2004, members past and present gathered in New York City to celebrate 75 years of New York Rugby at the 75th Anniversary Gala.
In 2006 Annie Collier and Lisa Lake began the NYRC’s U19 Boys program which was quickly followed by the addition of the NYRC U19 Girls.
In recent years the NYRC’s teams were highly successful:
In 2001, the men’s team was undefeated and named the 2001 Northeast Men’s Division I Club Champion. It also competed in USA Rugby National Club Championship Tournaments in 1996, 2001 and 2002.
The women’s 15’s team has gone from strength to strength, never having finished outside the top 5 in the nation since 1999. In 2006 they became National Champions after 3rd place finishes in 2003, 2004 and 2005. They came 3rd again in 2007 and were finalists in 2002 and 2008, finishing as 2nd in the nation. The team has supplied numerous players to representative sides such as the NRU XVs and 7s teams as well as the USA Eagles.