In The Beginning…
The Dallas Rugby Football Club (a/k/a the Dallas Reds) was conceived by Dr. Bill Woodfin in 1968, and officially christened on January 18, 1969. The Club is a charter member of the Texas Rugby Football Union, and a member of the USA Rugby Football Union. Dallas RFC currently competes in the Senior Men’s Division 1, 2 and 3 of the USA Rugby national championship pathways, as part of the Red River Rugby Conference.
From the start, Dallas RFC has been a leader in the growth of rugby in the United States. Three of the seven clubs in the Dallas area are direct descendants of the Club. Dallas Rugby was also the third rugby club established in Texas, and the first in the North Texas area. What started as a small group of guys wanting to play turned into a large family…
Success on the Field
Dallas Rugby has a long history of success on the pitch. Most recently, Our Division 1 team has consistently placed in the top of their conference for the past several years, and is the only Dallas rugby team to do so. Division 1 also won USA Rugby’s 2016-17 Gold Cup, an inter-conference series pitting the top two teams from the Red River Rugby Conference against the top two from the Midwest Rugby Conference. The Division 1 side made national playoff appearances for seven consecutive years: 2009-10 (Round of 32 in Glendale, CO), 2010-11 (Round of 16 in San Diego, CA), 2011-12 (Round of 16 in San Diego, CA), 2012-13 (Round of 32 in Glendale, CO), 2013-14 (Round of 4 in Dallas, TX), 2014-15 (Round of 4 in San Francisco, CA) and 2015-16 (Round of 8 in Tucson, AZ). The Club’s division 2 side also competed in the Round of 8 during the 2014-15 season and the Round of 32 during the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 competitive cycles.
Success Off the Pitch
The Dallas Rugby Club was the largest men’s rugby club in the United Sates for the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 competitive cycles. We have almost 150 active men’s players, and in the 2017-18 competitive cycle will be adding a women’s side. We will also continue to support the efforts of the Dallas Youth Rugby Club—a club started by members of the Reds to bring rugby to underprivileged youth in South Dallas. Our alumni and fan base number over 1,000 people.
The Club also has a long history of hosting successful 15s and 7s tournaments. Most recently, DRFC hosted the 2015 Division 2 and 3 Red River Rugby Conference playoffs. In 2014, the Reds hosted the Division 1, 2, and 3 Senior Men’s and Women’s Western Round of 8. The year before that, the Club hosted the 2013 Division 1, 2 and 3 Senior Men’s Western Round of 16. Several participating clubs commented these were two of the most well-run USA Rugby tournaments they had ever attended. For the last 36 summers, the Club has hosted the Lone Star Classic 7s Tournament involving numerous men’s and women’s clubs from around the region.
Most recently, several of our players have played with Major League Rugby teams such as the Houston Sabercats and NOLA Gold. These players include, but are not limited to, Chris Saint, Chris Slater, Kelly “Spike” Kolberg, Chad Joseph, and Connor Murphy.
As the Dallas Jackals enter Major League Rugby, many of our other players have been contacted to tryout for the new professional rugby team in Dallas, Texas. Dallas Rugby looks forward to developing a partnership with the Jackals organization in an effort to promote rugby in the DFW area and develop quality players who can compete at the professional level.
Numerous Club members were selected to the 2013 Northern Counties Texas Cup select side—a squad which went undefeated in play against their counterparts from the Central (Austin area) and Southern (Houston area) Counties teams. Club members have also played internationally, with Mika Sika representing the United States as the Eagles’ fullback on 17 occasions, Thaddeus Hill representing the U.S. Eagles 7-a-side team as a winger in 25 matches, and Kelly “Spike” Kolberg participating in the U-19 Eagles program in 2004. In 2014 and 2015, Kelly Kolberg and Chad Joseph also competed internationally with the Tiger 7s team, and Sam Palmer and Lachlan Pigot (who played with the Club in 2013-14) signed to play professionally in Holland. Likewise, Jordan Macey, who has played for the Club for three seasons has also played rugby league for Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL (Australia), and for Scottish premier team Melrose, where he won the Scottish Cup and was nominated for Scottish Player of the Year. Chad Joseph and Rashad Harbor also played in the inaugural season of PRO Rugby with the Ohio Aviators and Sacramento Express, respectively. Jake Campey was selected to play in the annual Dubai 7s tournament.
Outstanding Coaching and Management:
A strong rugby club requires strong leadership. Dallas Rugby’s coaches and officers take the strengths shown on the field during their playing days and apply them to ensure the success of the Club’s next generation. We have a full coaching staff for all three men’s divisions, as well as the women’s side, and executive and junior officers to make sure the Club thrives today, tomorrow, and for many years to come. Playing for Dallas Rugby means you don’t have to worry about whether there will be enough guys to play, where everyone is supposed to meet to carpool for a road match, or whether everyone will have a jersey for the match.
The Club is a family. Our on-field success is matched only by our off-the-field commitment to each other. In addition to almost 50 years’ worth of Old Boys who can help you in life, being a member of our Club means you will always have someone to have a beer with, to give you a ride, let you crash on their couch, grab a bite to eat, loan you their boots, or just be there when you need help. Whether you would rather have a couple of beers after training on Thursday, party after the after-match social on Saturday, or participate in “Sundress Sunday,” pub crawls, pool parties, whiffle ball tournaments, “One Giant Chicken,” or other social activities, you’ll always be with friends.
The Club membership includes many past and present administrators, referees, coaches, and representative players in the Northern Counties, Texas Rugby Union, and the Western Rugby Union. The Club is also affiliated with the area old boys side—Republic of Texas RFC (a/k/a ROT Rugby) (www.rotrugby.com), as well as the local touch rugby group—Dallas FIT (www.dallastouch.org). DRFC also has strong ties to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, boasting several current Club members who played and/or coached at that institution, and the University of Dallas Rugby Club. Regardless of your age or skill level, if you have the heart, you can become a part of the Reds’ family at any time.
The Club has traveled extensively in the United States and overseas. Dallas RFC was the first Texas team to tour overseas, taking a tour of England and Wales in 1978. The Club again toured England and Wales in 1982, toured Canada in 1986, Australia in 1988, and Ireland in 1999.
Dallas RFC has also had the honor of hosting numerous visiting players from across the globe. Continually welcoming elite foreign-based players into the Reds’ family has not only raised the standard of play within the Club, but has also given those players an opportunity to experience life and rugby in Dallas. Not surprisingly, many visiting players have chosen to stay and make their homes here. We assist qualified candidates with the intricacies of U.S. immigration law.