Oxford University RFC

The Oxford University Rugby Football Club (Oxford University RFC or OURFC) is the rugby union club of the University of Oxford.[2][3] The club contests The Varsity Match every year against Cambridge University at Twickenham.

Oxford University RFC
Full nameOxford University Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s)Blues
Founded1869; 152 years ago (1869)
LocationOxford, England
Ground(s)Iffley Road (Capacity: 5,500[1])
Captain(s)George Messum & Fiona Kennedy
Team kit
Official website
www.ourfc.org

HistoryEdit

Men's teamEdit

 
1906 joint team photo of Oxford University RFC and the South African national rugby union team

The University of Oxford RFC was founded in 1869, fifteen months before the creation of the Rugby Football Union. The first Varsity Match was played in February 1872 in Oxford at 'The Parks', the following year the return game was played in Cambridge on Parker's Piece. In 1874 it was decided that the game be played on a neutral ground. Oxford, like rivals Cambridge, have supplied hundreds of players to national teams, and was key in spreading the sport of rugby throughout Britain as past students brought the game back to their home counties. The very first international player to be capped whilst at Oxford was Cecil Boyle, who represented England in 1873, one season before Cambridge University. In 1951 OURFC became the first Western rugby team to tour Japan after World War II.[4]

OURFC currently has 3 Men's teams: 1st XV Blues, 2nd XV Greyhounds and 3rd XV Whippets. All three teams play Varsity matches against their respective Cambridge opponents. Additionally, there is also a Men's U20s squad which contest their own Varsity Match alongside the Women's 2nd XV.[4]

Major Stanley's Match[5]Edit

 
The 1889 Oxford University Rugby Union Varsity Match team

Major R. V. Stanley was an Oxford local who took a hearty interest in the development of OURFC, becoming its first representative on the RFU Committee 1903–27. The first recorded Stanley's Match took place in 1919, after the 1914 match was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I. An invitational squad, similar to the Barbarians, the Major Stanley's XV historically drew in big name players such as Thomas Voyce and William Wavell Wakefield. Major Stanley's Match is an annual fixture played in preparation of the Varsity Match and recent Stanley's XVs have included Cardiff RFC.[6] In 2019, the centenary year of the first Major Stanley's fixture, the Women's Blues faced the first ever Major Stanley's Women's XV.[7]

Women's TeamEdit

 
Sue Day (St. John's) as England Captain in 2007

Oxford University WRFC was founded in 1988 and has been playing Cambridge University WRUFC annually since. The first women's Varsity was won by Cambridge; Oxford currently have 20 Varsity victories to Cambridge's 13. Notable players include Sue Day (St John's), who has won 59 England caps.[8]

As of May 2015, Oxford University RFC and Oxford University WRFC have officially merged into one University RFC.[4] 2015 also marked the first year that the women's Varsity Match was held at Twickenham on the same day as the men's game. OURFC Women's 1st XV compete in BUCS Premiership South.[9]

HonoursEdit

Oxford University Greyhounds:

Oxford University Women's Blues:

  • BUCS Vase Champions 2017
  • BUCS Vase Runners Up 2019[10]

Notable former playersEdit

Oxford University RFC has fielded over 300 international rugby players, many of whom were first Capped during their time playing for the club.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hats off to the Wallabies". BBC Sport. 5 November 2001.
  2. ^ "Men's Rugby Union". Oxford University Sport. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Women's Rugby Union". Oxford University Sport. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Oxford University RFC | About". Oxford University RFC. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Oxford University RFC | Stanleys Match". Oxford University RFC. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Men's Blues Squad Announced to Face Cardiff in the Major Stanley's Match". Oxford University RFC. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Oxford University RFC | Stanleys Match". www.ourfc.org. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ "International Women's Day 2019". Oxford University Sport. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  9. ^ "BUCScore - Oxford University Womens 1st Rugby Union Team". BUCS. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Oxford University RFC | News". Oxford University RFC. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Oxford University RFC | Internationals". Oxford University RFC. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Faces in the Crowd," Sports Illustrated, January 27, 1975. Retrieved December 8, 2020
  13. ^ Godwin, Terry; John M. Jenkins (1987). Complete Who's Who of International Rugby. Poole: Blandford Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 0-7137-1838-2.

External linksEdit