|Full name||Heidelberger Ruderklub 1872 e.V.|
|Union||German Rugby Federation|
|Founded||9 May 1872|
|Ground(s)||Sportgelände an der Speyererstraße (Capacity: 1,500)|
|2012–13||Rugby-Bundesliga South/West, 1st|
The club is one of only two professional rugby clubs in Germany, the other being SC 1880 Frankfurt. The turn to professionalism in a sport otherwise fully amateur in Germany was made possible through the support of Hans-Peter Wild, who owns a soft drink manufacturing business.
The clubs origins date back to 1872, when, on 9 May, the Deutschen Flaggen-Club Heidelberg was formed, a rowing club. In the early days, several rowing clubs were formed in Heidelberg and disappeared again, but the remaining ones merged in 1875 to form the Heidelberger Ruderclub, under the leadership of the Flaggen-Club.
The game of rugby was introduced in the club in the early 1890s by Edward Hill Ullrich, who was partly of English descend and had a great love of "English" games, translating the rules of rugby into German. It is from this beginnings that the HRK claims to be the oldest rugby club in Germany. This is true in the sense that its the oldest rugby-playing club in Germany but other clubs have an older rugby department.
The club had a golden era in the late 1920s, when it reached the German championship final three years in a row, winning the title in 1927 and 1928.
After years of stagnation and a lack of home ground, the HRK formed a youth department and moved to the Sportgelände an der Speyererstraße in 1961, which is still its current home. This development soon bore fruit and the club earned three championships in the 1970s, also qualifying for the new Rugby-Bundesliga in 1971. The club continued to be a force in German rugby well into the 80's, earning its last championship in 1986.
After a period of decline, it found itself in the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga, where it was promoted from back to the first division in 1997. After a short stint in this league, the team had to return to the 2nd Bundesliga in 2000, where it was to remain for the next couple of seasons.
The club dominated the 2nd Bundesliga South/West in 2004-05, winning all 16 regular season games, the largest win being a 146-5 victory over BSC Offenbach. In the final against the North/East champion DSV 78/08 Ricklingen, a 18-6 victory meant promotion back to the Bundesliga.
Since then, the club has existed as a lower table side in the league, sitting just above the relegation zone. In 2008-09, the club's performance has much improved and a second place saw the team return to the German finals for the first time in over 20 years. In the semi-finals, the club beat SC Neuenheim, to reach its first national championship final since 1986, where it narrowly lost 11-8 to SC 1880 Frankfurt. The following season, HRK finished third in the league but reached the final once more, this time defeating SC 1880 39-22 in extra time, to earn its first national championship since 1986. It repeated this achievement in 2010-11 when it defeated Frankfurt once more in a closely fought final, winning 12-9. Having won the men's national cup and sevens championship as well as the national championship and sevens championship with the women's, the HRK took out all five available national titles in 2010-11.
In 2011-12, the club also took part in the North Sea Cup, a European Cup competition made up of two clubs each from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The club once more finished top of the table in the league in 2011-12, losing only one of its 18 games, reaching the final for a fourth consecutive time, but facing TV Pforzheim there rather than SC 1880 Frankfurt, its opposition in the previous three finals. HRK won the final 20-16 and won its ninth German championship.
In the 2012–13 season the club took part in the European Clubs Championship, a new competition, on the strength of its North Sea Cup runners-up finish in the previous year, facing the Croatian champions RK Nada in the semi-finals, which HRK won 43–0. The club consequently qualified for the final against Lituanian club RC Šiauliai who had knocked out SC 1880 in the semi finals, winning this game and the competition 60–10. The European Clubs Championship is open to the winners of the Baltic and Balkan Cups as well as the winners and runners-up of the North Sea Cup.
HRK finished first in their group in the 2012-13 season and qualified for the south/west division of the championship round, where it also came first. The club won its fourth consecutive German championship defeating SC Neuenheim 41-10 in the final. In the North Sea Cup the club reached the final where it defeated Belgian club Boitsfort Rugby Club 34-10 to take out the competition for the first time.
The clubs reserve side has played for many years in the league below, the 2nd Bundesliga South/West, but stepped down to the third level for 2012–13.
The club also has a successful women's team, which plays at the highest level in Germany, the Women's Rugby Bundesliga, but it took the team until 2010 to win a national championship at this level. It has however won the national sevens championship in the past.
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.
- German rugby union championship
- Champions: 1927, 1928, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1986, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Runners up: 1929, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1985, 2009
- German rugby union cup
- Winner: 1973, 1976, 2011
- Runners up: 2003
- German sevens championship
- Champions: 2011, 2013
- Runners up: 2012
- 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga
- Champions: 1997, 2005
- North Sea Cup
- Champions: 2013
- Runners up: 2012
- German rugby union championship
- Champions: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Runners up: 2007, 2009
- German sevens championship
- Champions: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
Men: First team
Recent seasons of the club:
|Bundesliga qualification round||3rd|
|Bundesliga qualification round||5th — Relegated|
|2000-01||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West (II)||5th|
|2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West qualification round||1st|
|2001-02||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||3rd|
|2002-03||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||2nd|
|2003-04||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||2nd|
|2004-05||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||1st — Promoted|
|2008-09||Rugby-Bundesliga||2nd — Runners up|
|2009–10||Rugby-Bundesliga||3rd — Champions|
|2010–11||Rugby-Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
|2011–12||Rugby-Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
|2012–13||Rugby-Bundesliga qualification round – South||1st|
|Rugby-Bundesliga championship round – South-West||1st — Champions|
|2013–14||Rugby-Bundesliga qualification round – South||1st|
|Rugby-Bundesliga championship round – South-West|
- 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.
Men: Reserve team
|2007–08||Rugby-Regionalliga||1st — Promoted|
|2008–09||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West (II)||8th|
|2009–10||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||8th|
|2010–11||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||5th|
|2011–12||2nd Rugby-Bundesliga South/West||5th — Withdrawn|
|2012–13||3rd Liga South/West - West (III)||3rd|
|2004-05||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||5th|
|2005-06||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||3rd|
|2006–07||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||2nd — Runners up|
|2007–08||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||3rd|
|2008–09||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||2nd — Runners up|
|2009–10||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
|2010–11||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
|2011–12||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
|2012–13||Women's Rugby Bundesliga||1st — Champions|
In the 2010–12 campaign, Raphael Pyrasch, Pieter Jordaan, Alexander Widiker, Arthur Zeiler, Daniel Armitage, Sean Armstrong and Kehoma Brenner were all new additions to the club's list of German internationals, while Patrick Schliwa, Anjo Buckman, Steffen Liebig and Tim Kasten appeared again.
For the opening match of the 2012–14 edition of the ENC against the Ukraine Sean Armstrong, Anjo Buckman, Pieter Jordaan, Alexander Widiker, Arthur Zeiler, Steffen Liebig, Kehoma Brenner and Rafael Pyrasch where once more selected while Benjamin Danso, Raynor Parkinson and Samy Füchsel were new additions to the club's list of German internationals.
- Getränke-Hersteller gegen Gold-Händler (German) Offenbach-Post, published: 28 May 2011. accessed: 21 August 2011
- Club history (German) accessed: 30 March 2010
- 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga 2004-05 rugbyweb.de, accessed: 23 January 2009
- HRK holt 7er-Titel (German) DRV website, accessed: 21 August 2011
- North Sea Cup (German) www.rugbyweb.de, accessed: 21 August 2011
- Rugby-Bundesliga 2011-12 (German) rugbyweb.de, accessed: 3 May 2012
- ERCC: Heidelberger RK gewinnt Europapokal (German) totalrugby.de, published: 7 October 2012, accessed: 10 October 2012
- European Clubs Championship: Heidelberger RK steht nach Sieg in Spilt im Finale (German) totalrugby.de, published: 17 September 2012, accessed: 17 September 2012
- European Rugby Clubs Championship: SC Frankfurt 1880 verpasst das Finale (German) totalrugby.de, published: 9 September 2012, accessed: 17 September 2012
- Der HRK eroberte den Nordseecup (German) Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, published: 21 May 2013, accessed: 24 May 2013
- RugbyWeb Ergebnisarchiv (German) rugbyweb.de - Results archive, accessed: 24 July 2012
- DRV XV: Kader für EM-Auftakt gegen Ukraine fast komplett (German) totalrugby.de, published: 16 October 2012, accessed: 17 October 2012
- (German) Official website
- (German) Official website of the rugby department
- Heidelberger RK team info at TotalRugby.de
- Tables and results of the Rugby-Bundesliga at rugbyweb.de