Oxford University Rugby Football Club (OURFC) has a long and illustrious history of sporting distinction and remains one of the world’s leading and most renowned amateur rugby clubs.
Founded in 1869, some fifteen months before the foundation of the Rugby Football Union, the story of rugby in Oxford is nearly as old as that of rugby itself. During this time, more than 300 Oxford players have gained representative International honours; including Phil de Glanville, Joe Roff, Tyrone Howe, Anton Oliver, Simon Halliday, David Kirk and Rob Egerton. Oxford remains a breeding ground for Internationals our two most recent being Tom Mitchell (England 7’s Captain) and Will Rowlands (Wales) who received his first cap in the 2020 Six Nations.
WILLIAM WEB ELLIS
Since its formation, OURFC has played a significant role in the development of rugby and the various major changes the game has undertaken since its formation 125 years ago. William Webb Ellis, the alleged inventor of the game, was in fact a student at Brasenose College in 1825. In more recent times OURFC has not been shy to lead the way on matters both on and off the field, shown by the initiative taken in being the first Western rugby team to tour Japan after the Second World War in 1951 under the leadership pf Peter Fitzgerald. Oxford continues to be recognised as a breeding ground for academically gifted players, and as a club that embraces and preserves the traditional core values of the sport. Thus Oxford holds an almost unique combination of great academic achievement and British sporting tradition.
MAJOR STANLEY SELECT XV
A household name in OURFC circles is that of Major R V Stanley, who was fondly known as “Uncle” amongst the players. He was a local man who took a great deal of interest in Oxford rugby, and through this became an England selector. He was a committed servant to the club, organising the 1894 Varsity match and fulfilling every possible role on the committee over a lengthy period spanning most of his life. As a tribute to his services, the Blues still play a Major Stanley Select XV every year in the lead up to the Varsity Match.