Rugby union in the Isle of Man
|Rugby union in the Isle of Man|
The 1888 British Isles side including Manx player A.P. Penketh
|Country||Isle of Man|
|Governing body||Rugby Football Union|
|National team||Isle of Man|
|First played||late 19th century|
Rugby is played in the Isle of Man under the auspices of the Manx Rugby Football Union which is affiliated to the (English) Rugby Football Union. The Isle of Man is politically neither part of the UK nor of England, but Manx rugby has a relationship with English rugby for practical reasons.
Due to its proximity to England, and the major rugby nations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Manx rugby is amongst the oldest in the world, dating back to the mid 19th century. King William's College, the island's best known private school took the game up early and it is still one of the school's main sports, and a number of other Manx schools also play, such as Castle Rushen High School, Ramsey Grammar School. The Manx Government also funds a full time rugby development officer.
There are a number of rugby union clubs within the island that contest the domestic competitions the Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield and the Dorchester Maritime Manx Cup. Reigning Shield Champions are Ramsey Rugby Club with the Manx Cup yet to be decided. Other clubs include Castletown Rugby Club, Douglas Rugby Club, Southern Nomads Rugby Club, Vagabonds Rugby Club and Western Vikings R.U.F.C
Like many small islands, the Isle of Man has a population problem. The main sport is association football, and the national population is under 80,000.
As yet, the Isle of Man has not fielded a national team.
Notable players connected with the Isle of Man
The following are notable Manx rugby union players, or people with a connection to the island.
- G.A.M. Isherwood, British Lions player, attended Ramsey Grammar School, but was born and spent most of his life in England... for which he was strangely never selected.
- A.P. Penketh, of Douglas RC, who took part in the first 1888 British Isles tour to New Zealand and Australia
- Doug Davies, 24 caps for Scotland, died in Peel.
- Neil Bennett, played for England, born in Ramsey.
- Douglas Bader, better known as a flying ace, spent the first two years of his life in the IOM.
The Isle of Man has no television of its own, but does have its own radio station. However, British and Irish television can both be received on the island, and often include extensive rugby coverage - such as the Rugby World Cup and Six Nations Championship
- Castletown R.U.F.C.
- Douglas R.U.F.C.
- Ramsey R.U.F.C.
- Southern Nomads R.U.F.C.
- Vagabonds R.U.F.C.
- Western Vikings R.U.F.C.
- Isle of Man Government website
- Sporting Honours : Old Alleynians from the 1910 yearbook Page 245/395
- Griffiths, John (1990). British Lions. Swindon: Crowood Press. ISBN 1852235411
- Manx Rugby Football Union
- Manx Rugby (Commonwealth Games)
- BBC's Manx sports page
- Sale Sharks To Stage Rugby Camps For Manx Children
- RFU launch Manx learning courses
- Western Vikings RUFC