Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students RFC

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students RFC
Full name Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students RFC
Union Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s) RUMSRFC
Founded 1867 – oldest constituent element
1998 through merger of three older sides
Location London, England
Ground(s) Shenley Sports Ground
Captain(s) Charlie Holden
Official website

Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students RFC is the rugby union club for UCL Medical School, which is part of the University of London.[1] The rugby club is commonly referred to by its shortened name of RUMS RFC or RUMS Rugby. The club is registered with the RFU[2] and plays in the traditional colours of the medical school: sky blue, yellow and black.

RUMS RFC is one of the largest and most successful clubs of UCL Medical School, with over 50 members and three teams competing in the BUCS SE league.


The London teaching hospitals began playing rugby union in the 1860s, with many of its members former Cambridge and Oxford graduates. Although rival sporting hospital team Guy's claims to have been founded in the 1840s, there is little evidence of this, and it is generally accepted that both clubs emerged during the same period. The United Hospitals Rugby Football Club was formed in 1867,[3] before the founding of the Rugby Football Union, and by 1874 had initiated the United Hospital's Challenge Cup, a competition for the rival hospitals. Although Guy's provided far more international rugby players, the United Hospital club saw many notable players join the team, including notable Barbarian, Brigadier Glyn Hughes.

The Royal Free and University College Medical School was formed in 1998 following a series of mergers between a number of existing medical schools: in 1987 the Middlesex Hospital Medical School (founded 1746) merged with University College Medical School (1825) to form the University College and Middlesex School of Medicine. In 1998 the University College and Middlesex School of Medicine merged with the Royal Free Hospital Medical School to form the Royal Free and University College Medical School. In 2008 the medical school changed its name to UCL Medical School; however at a meeting in 2009 all the medical school sports teams voted to alter their traditional name slightly, adding Middlesex, to honour the heritage of the Middlesex medical school. Thus the club name changed to The Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students (RUMS), not using the new medical school name.[4]

The current rugby club is an amalgamation of the rugby clubs of these previous medical schools. Thus the club has an illustrious history and has been competing in the oldest rugby competition in the world, the United Hospitals Cup, in one guise or another since 1874.


  • 1st XV: The 1st XV of RUMS RFC has been competing at a very high level for several seasons. They are currently ranked higher than UCL RFC, in the BUCS league standings, and are the highest ranked sports team within UCL Medical School and one of the highest within University College London. The team attempts to play an expansive style of rugby, utilising their pace and skill.
  • 2nd XV: This team is also known as 'The Boars', a nickname descending from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School rugby team. The Boars claim to be the heart and soul of the rugby club, playing with pride and passion, and have had several members make the step up to the 1st XV in recent times.
  • 3rd XV: As of the AGM on 27 March 2009, a 3rd XV has been created, playing under the name of 'The Piglets'. This team acts as a training buffer for potential Boars, and has been accepted to play in the BUCS league starting in the 2009/10 season.


  • United Hospitals Cup: The 1st XV compete annually in this prestigious competition, and have won the plate final for the previous five years. However it has been many years since the club has been represented in the cup final.[5]
  • BUCS SE 1A: The 1st XV competes in the highest university league of the SE area of England. The team has been in this league for the past three seasons having been promoted in 2006, and regularly competes against university teams with much larger resources. During the 2008/09 season, RUMS RFC played their parent university team UCL RFC in the league, with one win each in two tightly fought games, there was not much between the sides.[6]
  • BUCS SE 3A: The 2nd XV won promotion to this league by winning the 4A league during the 2007/08 season. They have done well to adapt to the league and have managed to secure their league status with several gutsy performances.[7]
  • BUCS SE 5A: The 3rd XV have joined the BUCS leagues for the first time in the 2009/10 season. Hopes for their success are high, but it may be difficult as the league contains four other 1st XV teams.[8]
  • Munich Sevens: RUMS RFC competes annually in this international tournament, entering two teams. The club won the plate competition for 11 years straight, but this succession was broken by Munich RFC in 2007, when RUMS, led by Toby Ikwueke, lost a thrilling final for the first time. This monopoly of the plate competition has led the Bavarian organisers dubbing RUMS RFC as the 'plate specialists'. In the 2009 competition the 1st VII reached the cup final, knocking out hosts Munich in an epic semi-final. The team lost a very close final to the British Army team, 'The Rifles'.[9]
  • Bill Smith Cup: This is held every December between the first and second years of the medical school. It was named in honour of Prof. Bill Smith who was a great supporter of the rugby club during his time teaching at UCL Medical School.
United Hospital Challenge Cup wins
Hospital Team First Competed Last Competed Current Status Wins Total Wins including constituent elements
RUMS RFC 1998 present Active 0 1
Middlesex 1874 1997 Part of RUMS RFC 1 1
Royal Free ? 1997 Part of RUMS RFC 0 0
University College Hospital RFC ? 1997 Part of RUMS RFC 0 0


Over the years the club and its predecessor clubs have fostered a number of international players.

University College Hospital[edit]


External links[edit]