Men's Rugby History
Fordham Rugby is a brotherhood committed to teammates, coaches, alumni, and the greater Fordham community as a whole. We display our commitment through strength of effort embodied in physical perseverance and mental determination, the defining characteristics of our great sport. Fordham Rugby embodies the values of collaboration, dedication, and individual responsibility to the whole in all aspects of life.
If you have further knowledge of FURFC History or if you have any photographs of the team that you would like to see on the site, please contact the Social Media Secretary. Contact Information is available on the Officers Page.
1961 - First Scrimmage Played Against Princeton
1962 - FURFC Officially Founded
1963 - Fordham Rams Rugby Faces Off Against Notre Dame Rugby During Irish East Cost Tour
1967 - Metropolitan New York RFU Founded
1996 - Metropolitan New York Champions
1998 - Suspended By Fordham University
2000 - Reinstated But Banned From Campus
2003 - Metropolitan New York Champions
2003 - Northeast Rugby Union Playoff Berth
2004 - Returns To Fordham's Campus
2004 - Metropolitan New York Champions
2004 - Northeast Rugby Union Playoff Berth
2009 - Cherry Blossoms Champions
2009 - Metropolitan New York Champions
2009 - Northeast Rugby Union Playoff Berth
2009 - Northeast Rugby Union Final Four
2011 - Empire Rugby Conference Founded
2011 - Defeated Columbia 50-8 in the September 11th 10th Anniversary Memorial Match
2012 - Fiftieth Anniversary
Playing its first game as a team against Princeton University in 1961, the Fordham Ruggers were born. This was followed up a year later with the official foundation of the team as a club sport at Fordham University. This club structure is retained to this day with FURFC athletes providing the leadership and logistical support for the team on and off the field, which makes FURFC the brotherhood that it is. During these years FURFC played top quality national competition including Notre Dame.
Fordham University Rugby Football Club (FURFC) dominated the Metropolitan New York (METNY) Rugby Football Union at the DI level since 1967, repeatedly reaching the pinnacle of this organization and competing in the regional Northeast Rugby Union (NRU) Playoffs. During these years FURFC's most important rivalries developed. Columbia University in Manhattan,
Fordham University in the Bronx, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point in Queens battled for bragging rights over all of New York City. Spring Break tours expanded the range of schools Fordham faced off against.
Following the 1996 METNY Championship, the program began to deteriorate and was eventually suspended by Fordham University in 1998 for misconduct off the field. With some Fordham Ruggers playing for Landsdown RFC in the Bronx, the program's future looked dim. But, with alumni support and advocacy from the Landsdown Coach, FURFC was reinstated in 2000 although the ban from practicing or playing on campus remained. So, Fordham Rugby began to rebuild with a temporary home at Van Cortland Park. In 2003, the years of struggle paid off when Fordham defeated rival King's Point for the first time in ten years, which signaled the start of an impressive season that was capped with another METNY Championship. The following year, Fordham Rugby returned to Fordham University's Campus and its current home at Murphy Field.
After 2003, FURFC maintained the highest level of competition and dedication. Fordham was ranked among the top rugby sides in the country by RugbyMag and competed with the best competition in the region including the United States Military Academy at West Point. Fordham took the METNY Title in 2004 and 2009, returning to the NRU Playoffs both years. In 2009, FURFC went as far as the NRU Final Four.
As the era of the METNY DI competition waned, a new rivalry with Stony Brook developed while FURFC expanded its competition by repeatedly participating in competitions like the Cherry Blossoms Tournament in Washington, D.C., the Four Leaf 15s Tournament on Randall's Island, and the Beast of the East Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island where Rams Rugby found success against a range of East Coast rugby sides.
Like the rest of the New York community and American nation, Fordham Rugby was personally struck by the attacks on 9/11. In the collapse of the Twin Towers, six FURFC alumni where tragically taken: Michael Armstrong, Matthew J. Burke, Christopher Robert Clarke, Thomas Anthrony Mahon, Christian Maltby, and John McDowell Jr. Fordham Rugby remembers all those who perished, especially its own fallen brothers.
Rams Rugby continued its ascendency in the brand new Empire Rugby Conference (ERC) consisting of old rivals SUNY Stony Brook and USMMA King's Point and new rivals like Iona College in the Eastern Division. This conference brings in fresh competition from SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Brockport, USMMA King's Point, Stony Brook, Colgate, and Syracuse University in its Western Division. This was the product of USA Rugby's reorganization of the sport at the collegiate level. In order to make rugby more mainstream and accessible to the American audience the old union structure was abandoned on the DI level and replaced with a conference system following the NCAA's Football model. With stiffer competition, a longer season, and the acquisition of a new and larger coaching staff, Fordham rugby is currently participating in a unified ERC.