Richmond Rugby Football Club

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RRFC
RRFC.jpg
Full name Richmond Rugby Football Club
Union British Columbia Rugby Union
Founded 1957
Location Richmond, British Columbia
Region Fraser Valley Rugby Union
Ground(s) King George Athletic Park
Coach(es) Canada Kevin Nielsen
Captain(s) Canada Vacant
Team kit

The Richmond Rugby Football Club (usually shortened to RRFC) is an amateur rugby union team based in Richmond, British Columbia which competes in the British Columbia Rugby Union. The club has represented the city since 1957, and has been a successful mid-sized club for the past decade. Currently they are the only competitive rugby club south of Vancouver and west of White Rock, and provide a viable outlet for rugby enthusiasts throughout the city and outlying areas. The Richmond R.F.C. also work closely with local high schools and the community to foster the growth of the game on Lulu Island.

Teams[edit]

Senior Men[edit]

Richmond fields three Senior Men's teams. The First XV and Second XV play in the Province Wide First and Second Division, respectively. This competition is also known as the Okanagan Spring Brewery League.[1] Richmond's First XV (The Reds) competed in the 2011 Okanagan Spring Final played at Klahanie Park in North Vancouver ultimately losing to the Capilano RFC. Richmond's Second XV (The Blacks) won the provincial title in 2009, came second in the province in 2015 and came third in the province in 2011. The RRFC's Third XV, also referred to as the Flatliner-Heroes, are a joint effort by the Richmond Rugby Club and the Flatliners Paramedic RFC [2] to provide social level rugby to the growing rugby population south of Vancouver.

Junior Rugby[edit]

The RRFC has a mini rugby program (ages 5 – 12) which teaches young rugby players the basics of running and passing as well as the laws of the game. The club also fields teams in the U-14, U-16, and U-18 boy's leagues and in the U-18 girl's leagues. Since 2003, Richmond's U-19s and U-17s have won provincial titles. The RRFC's junior teams are nicknamed the Dragons.

Girls Rugby[edit]

Richmond currently runs a girls U-18 team and will be entering a team in the BC women's second division for 2017.

Club History[edit]

The Richmond Rugby club was born in August 1957 when a group of nine rugby enthusiasts met at Richmond City municipal hall in response to a small notice in the Richmond Review newspaper. Among the founders were Ron Cameron, a Municipal Engineer from Ireland who had played for the nearby Meraloma Rugby Club, town planners Bill Kerr and Herb Douglas, city-workers Mel Frith and Glen Beauchamp as well as school teacher Maurice Smith.[3] The team originally played their home games at Thomas Kidd field in South-East Richmond. After 1967 the team played their home games in Steveston. In the 1980s the club moved to Sea Island playing their home games on a field adjacent to Vancouver International Airport. After lengthy discussions with the City of Richmond, a permanent facility was created at King George Park in East Richmond. Richmond has two change-room facilities, as well as storage on-site, and a well-lit, sand-cell field with uncovered seating for about 100 spectators. The club routinely uses the East Richmond Community Hall for its socials.

Richmond has been a member of the Fraser Valley Rugby Union since its inception although it supplies age grade players to both the Fraser Valley Venom and Vancouver Wave junior representative teams.

In 2009, Richmond began a partnership with the Flatliners R.F.C. a social side of BC paramedics. The two clubs jointly hosted the Flatlander Sevens tournament, a new fixture on the BC Rugby Union Social Sevens summer schedule.[4]

In 2009, the club entered into a 'sister-club' agreement with member of the Ontario Marshall Provincial League club the Brampton Beavers by which players would be encouraged to play rugby year round between the two rugby hot-beds of the Lower Mainland and the Greater Toronto Area.

Since 2010, the club has awarded the Dickie Evans Cup to the Senior School champions of Richmond, and has since 2009, selected 15 male athletes and 10 female athletes from area high schools as Maurice Smith City All-Stars.

In 2013, the club partnered with local rugby league side Richmond Bears to provide rugby year-round in the city.

The club has two friendly challenge cups in which they compete against area teams. The Canada Line Cup, contested between the RRFC and the Vancouver Rowing Club, is named for the local transit line that runs from Richmond to Downtown Vancouver in close proximity to both club's playing fields. The Steven Hu Trophy, is a cup awarded to the winner of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the RRRFC's annual two-game series. It is named after former Richmond player Steven Hu, who was injured in a tragic touch rugby accident while enrolled at the University.

Notable Players[edit]

The RRFC has produced numerous players of distinction who have played representative rugby both for the BC Bears or for the Canadian National team at the junior men's and women's as well as senior men's levels. These include current national team 15's and 7's player Nathan Hirayama, and former team Canada stalwarts Bill Spofford, Jerry Lorenz and Jim Donaldson. Former Canadian Women's National Team player Geraldine Griffiths also got her start with the club.[5] As well the club has provided the Canadian Maccabiah Games rugby team with several players for the past three competitions.

Other notable players include:

Players & Management[edit]

The club draws heavily on the local high schools for their player pool, in particular AA level powerhouses McRoberts Secondary School and more recently McMath Secondary School. The club also draws many players from South Vancouver, Queensborough/New Westminster, Ladner and Vancouver College a private school in Central Vancouver. In recent years the club has also been the destination for many players from the Interior of British Columbia who have re-located to the Lower Mainland.

The club is led by current director of rugby and former Bath Rugby Club and Newport player Mike Shellard. The head coach for 2016 is Kevin Nielsen.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]