Hartford Wanderers Rugby Football Club
A member in good standing with the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) and the United States of America Rugby Football Union (USA Rugby), the Wanderers have established their legacy; succeeding at the highest levels of men’s amateur rugby in the Northeast and Nationally.
The Hartford Wanderers Rugby Football Club was founded in 1966 by a group of men seeking to establish a quality athletic and social club in the greater Hartford Area. Since inception, the club has provided its members an avenue for rugby development and competition, social interaction and rewarding community service. The Club quickly went international and had its first international match in 1968 against the London Scottish.
In the 1970’s the Wanderer’s international recognition continued to grow. In 1975 the Wanderers hosted and defeated the Caribbean Islands Champions, the Bermuda Police RFC. 1976 saw the first international tour (set of matches) for the Club with a tour to Bermuda, quickly followed up with a successful tour of England and Ireland in 1979 playing Lloyds in London, Seapoint in Dublin, and a match at Tullemore. In addition to the Club’s success on the field, the Wanderers continued towards their goal of promoting rugby to the public by assisting in the start-up of the Hartford Wild Roses Rugby Football Club in 1976, which is among the oldest women’s rugby club in the Northeast.
The 1980’s was a decade in which the Wanderers solidified their status as a premier rugby club in New England. With more than 55 members, the Wanderers were able to support three full squads and win the Division I National Championship in 1983. The decade finished with several appearances in the Northeast Territorial Union Championship Playoffs. During this period the Wanderers hosted several domestic and international touring clubs as well as the National Club Championship which was won by the Dallas Harlequins. National exposure came in the way not only of the Division I Championship, but also the Wanderers were awarded with the opportunity to host the U.S. Eagles match (the U.S. National Team) against England at Dillon Stadium in Hartford, Connecticut. This international match saw the top attendance at any U.S. Eagles match up to that point.
The 1990’s saw the continuation of the Wanderer’s success. During this decade the Hartford Wanderer’s 7’s squad was able to play their way into several national qualifying matches. Due to their continued success and hard work off the field, the Club was awarded with the second opportunity to host the U.S. Eagles, this time against Scotland.
The coming of the new century saw the Wanderers once again playing at a premier level and continuing their successful campaign of promoting the sport. Through their hard work and dedication to the sport, the Club was able to make the Northeast Territorial Union Playoffs in 2003 through 2005. In 2005, the Wanderers once again were awarded the opportunity to host the U.S. Eagles, this time for their match against Wales at Rentschler Stadium. In 2006, national exposure was brought to the Wanderers once again, in a February article titled “Who’s the Best in Men’s DII” written by Alex Goff, longtime writer for publication such as Rugby Word Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and the Seattle Times. Mr. Goff unofficially ranked the Wanderers as #2 in the United States for Division II Rugby. In the Spring of 2008, the team traveled to Austin, TX to yet again compete on the national stage at the USA Rugby National Championships. That same summer, the club assisted in hosting the U.S. Eagles against Munster at Renstchler Stadium. In 2009 the Wanderers won the NERFU Cup DII Championship. The Wanderers have also spearheaded the development of youth rugby in Central Connecticut and succeeded in the start-up of several local youth rugby teams. In the Fall of 2011, the Wanderers once again joined the ranks of the NERFU DI teams.
Many of the Wanderers have achieved notoriety, by not only being selected to represent NERFU in nationwide matches, but also being chosen to represent the U.S. Eagles. These Wanderers include Tom Vinick who played in 1986 and in the 1987 Word Cup, Al Dekin and Tom Brewer who represented the U.S. Eagles 7’s squad in the late 1990’s, and Glen Judge who played in 1991 and 1992.
The Hartford Wanderers R.F.C. continues it’s commitment to excellence.
The Hartford Wanderers are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
The Hartford Wanderers RFC strive to consistently produce a team that achieves greatness; accomplished through a true sense of team spirit, dedication, perseverance and hard work.