DSV 78 Hannover

DSV 78 Hannover, founded as DFV Hannover in 1878, is Germany's oldest rugby club. The club played in the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga under the name DSV 78/08 Ricklingen, having formed an on-the-field union with SV 08 Ricklingen, another club from Hannover.

DSV 78 Hannover
Hannover 78.png
Full nameDeutscher Sportverein 1878 Hannover e.V.
UnionGerman Rugby Federation
LocationHannover, Germany
ChairmanGünter Küster
Coach(es)Carsten Segert
2015–16Rugby-Bundesliga North/East, 3rd
Team kit
Official website

At the end of the 2008–09 season, SV 08 declared, it would leave the union with DSV 78, leaving the latter to field its own team from 2009–10 onwards.



The club was formed on 14 September 1878 as Deutschen Fußball-Verein Hannover gegründet 1878. Under the leadership of Ferdinand-Wilhelm Fricke, then only 15 years old, 24 young men formed the first football or rugby club in the country, a distinction was not made in Germany back then.[1][2] The move was inspired by watching, and occasionally joining the players of the English Hannover Football-Club.

The first proper game of rugby however was not played until 1883, when "England" played "Germany" in Hannover on 17 October.[3]

In 1899, Fricke discovered an ideal spot for the club to play at, Am Schnellen Graben, still the home of DFV today. A year later, the Verband Hannoverscher Fußball-Vereine (Association of Hanover football clubs) was formed and DFV won its first championship.

In 1909, the club adopted field hockey as another sport. In 1913, the DFV reached its first German championship final but lost to SC 1880 Frankfurt. Shortly after, the events of the First World War bring the activities of the club almost to a halt. Of the club members to lose their live in the war, Hermann Löns, "The Poet of the Heath", is the best known.[4]

On 17 January 1927, the founding father of the club, F.W. Fricke, died. A year later, the club played in its second German final, and lost once more. In 1929, the club changed its name to Deutscher Sportverein Hannover gegründet 1878 e.V., reflecting the fact that it didn't play football but rugby.

During the Second World War, the clubs facilities suffered heavily from allied bombing raids and in 1945, the club house was in ruins.[5]

In the post-war years, the DSV managed to rebuild its facilities and in 1949 it reopened its club house.

On 7 June 1964, Germanys oldest rugby club finally earned its first German championship, beating FC St. Pauli 11–0 in Offenbach am Main.[6]

78 won two more championships, in 1968 and 1970, before the Rugby-Bundesliga was established in 1971. The club was part of the new league but did not achieve highly in its first ten years.

Its fourth national championship came in 1982, when RG Heidelberg was beaten 15–6. The club was to play in seven championship finals in a row from then on, winning the first four and then losing three. With a years interruption in 1989, the team returned for another championship in 1990. After another championship in 1991, DSV reached the final for a last time in 1993.

In the German Cup, the club continued to be successful, winning it in 1996 and 1998 and making final appearances in the two years after.

Up until the merger with SV 08 Ricklingen, the DSV 78 continued to be a top side in German rugby. DSV 78 finished first in their group in the 2012–13 season and qualified for the north/east division of the championship round, where it also came first. The club was knocked out in the quarter finals of the play-offs after a 7–13 loss to RG Heidelberg.

The club finished first in the north-east championship round again in 2013–14, received a bye for the first round of the play-offs and, after defeating SC Neuenheim in the quarter finals, lost to TV Pforzheim in the semi finals. In the 2014–15 season the club finished first in the north-east championship group but was knocked out by SC Neuenheim in the quarter finals of the play-offs, losing 42–21.

DSV 78/08 RicklingenEdit

DSV 78/08 Ricklingen colors

In 2003, the club decided to join up with SV 08 Ricklingen to form an on-the-field union and play under the name DSV 78/08 Ricklingen. Both clubs however continue to exist as separate entities. In 2009, SV 08 decided to leave this joint venture.

Club honoursEdit

DSV 78 HannoverEdit

  • German rugby union championship
    • Champions: 1964, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1991
    • Runners up: 1913, 1928, 1966, 1971, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993
  • German rugby union cup
    • Winner: 1969, 1972, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1996, 1998
    • Runners up: 1970, 1973, 1993, 1999, 2000

DSV 78/08 RicklingenEdit

  • 2nd Bundesliga
    • Runners-up: 2005, 2009
    • Division champions: 2005, 2009

Recent seasonsEdit

DSV 78 HannoverEdit

Recent seasons of the club:[7]

Year Division Position
1997–98 Rugby-Bundesliga (I) 4th
1998–99 Rugby-Bundesliga North/East 3rd
Bundesliga championship round 4th
1999–2000 Rugby-Bundesliga North/East 3rd
Bundesliga championship round 4th
2000–01 Rugby-Bundesliga North/East 2nd
Bundesliga championship round 6th
2001–02 Rugby-Bundesliga 6th
2002–03 Rugby-Bundesliga 3rd
2003–2009 see DSV 78/08 Ricklingen
2009–10 Rugby-Bundesliga 9th
2010–11 Rugby-Bundesliga 7th
2011–12 Rugby-Bundesliga 7th
2012–13 Rugby-Bundesliga qualification round – North 1st
Rugby-Bundesliga championship round – North-East 1st — Quarter finals
2013–14 Rugby-Bundesliga qualification round – North 1st
Rugby-Bundesliga championship round – North-East 1st — Semi finals
2014–15 Rugby-Bundesliga qualification round – North 1st
Rugby-Bundesliga championship round – North-East 1st — Quarter finals
2015–16 Rugby-Bundesliga North-East 3rd

DSV 78/08 RicklingenEdit

Year Division Position
2003–04 Rugby-Bundesliga (I) 8th — Relegated
2004–05 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga North/East (II) 1st — Promoted
2005–06 Rugby-Bundesliga (I) 7th
2006–07 Rugby-Bundesliga 8th — Relegated
2007–08 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga North/East (II) 4th
2008–09 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga North/East 1st — Promoted
  • Until 2001, when the single-division Bundesliga was established, the season was divided in autumn and spring, a Vorrunde and Endrunde, whereby the top teams of the Rugby-Bundesliga would play out the championship while the bottom teams together with the autumn 2nd Bundesliga champion would play for Bundesliga qualification. The remainder of the 2nd Bundesliga teams would play a spring round to determine the relegated clubs. Where two placing's are shown, the first is autumn, the second spring. In 2012 the Bundesliga was expanded from ten to 24 teams and the 2nd Bundesliga from 20 to 24 with the leagues divided into four regional divisions.

Rugby internationalsEdit

In Germany's 2006–08 European Nations Cup campaign, Raphael Pyrasch, Benjamin Krause and Benjamin Simm were called up for the national team.

In the 2008–10 campaign, all three appeared for 78 and Germany again.

In the 2010–12 campaign, Benjamin Simm and Benjamin Krause were both selected for Germany again while Mika Tyumenev was a new selection.

For the opening match of the 2012–14 edition of the ENC against the Ukraine the club had Benjamin Simm and Benjamin Krause selected for the team.[8]

The club had four players selected for the German under-18 team at the 2009 European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship, these being Michail Tyumenev, Nicolas Müller, Dennis Denzin and Phil Szczesny.[9] Of these, Phil Szczesny and Nicolas Müller also played at the 2010 tournament, while Adrian de Riz and Pascal Fischer were new additions.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Die große Tat des Ferdinand-Wilhelm Fricke (in German) DSV 78 website – History, accessed: 24 January 2009
  2. ^ Hanover '78: Germany's Oldest Field Sports Club Archived 15 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine City of Hiroshima website (Partner city of Hannover) – Article on Hannover 78, accessed: 25 January 2009
  3. ^ 130 Jahre Sport Bei Hannover 78 – ein gestraffter Überblick (in German) DSV 78 website – Chronic: 1883, accessed: 24 January 2009
  4. ^ 130 Jahre Sport Bei Hannover 78 – ein gestraffter Überblick (in German) DSV 78 website – Chronic: 1914, accessed: 24 January 2009
  5. ^ 130 Jahre Sport Bei Hannover 78 – ein gestraffter Überblick (in German) DSV 78 website – Chronic: 1945, accessed: 24 January 2009
  6. ^ 130 Jahre Sport Bei Hannover 78 – ein gestraffter Überblick (in German) DSV 78 website – Chronic: 1964, accessed: 24 January 2009
  7. ^ RugbyWeb Ergebnisarchiv (in German) rugbyweb.de – Results archive, accessed: 24 July 2012
  8. ^ DRV XV: Kader für EM-Auftakt gegen Ukraine fast komplett (in German) totalrugby.de, published: 16 October 2012, accessed: 17 October 2012
  9. ^ U18-EM: Deutschland feiert klaren Auftaktsieg[permanent dead link] (in German) Rugby-Journal – 2009 squad, published: 4 April 2009, accessed: 30 April 2010
  10. ^ U18 in Bestbesetzung zur EM nach Italien (in German) totalrugby.de, published: 23 March 2010, accessed: 30 April 2010

External linksEdit