Club History

Foundation of the Club

 

ucdrfchistoryThe detail of the history of the Club can be found in the various sections of the CENTENARY WALL on this website. Some highlights follow:.

1910 (10 Jan) As a newly formed University, the UCD RFC is affiliated to the Leinster Branch as a Junior club, on the proposal of Bective and seconded by Monkstown. UCD becomes the youngest of the five Irish University rugby clubs.

1914 UCD win their first Rugby trophy, the (then) Junior Cup, beating Merrion 24-0. This win would qualify them for senior status but was delayed due to WW1.

1919 UCD granted senior status (21 May), on resumption of normal rugby activities after WW1.

1919/20 UCD play their first senior fixture as a Senior Club, but are defeated by Trinity, 14 – 11 (18 Oct).

1919/20 Andy Courtney and P.J. Stokes are first UCD players to be capped by Leinster. Andy Courtney becomes first UCD player to be capped for Ireland and plays in all three international matches. (No matches against France were then played).

1920/21 UCD reach Leinster Senior Cup final for first time but are beaten by Trinity 5-0.

1921/22 UCD win inaugural Metropolitan Cup, beating Blackrock 11-3.

1924 UCD win Leinster Senior Cup for the first time, beating Monkstown 12-3 in the final (Captain: Alex Spain).

1925/26 UCD reach Leinster Senior Cup for fifth time in six years, but lose to Trinity (3-11).

1929 UCD ask IRFU to approve matches being played on Sundays but request is turned down!

1931/32 UCD were influential, with some other Clubs, in persuading the IRFU to fly the Irish national flag at international matches.

1933/34 UCD teenage centre, Aidan Bailey, who had been capped as a schoolboy while at Pres. Bray, plays in all three international matches as Ireland win their first Championship since 1899.

1936 New playing grounds at Belfield are officially opened with match against Monkstown.

1938 UCD become All Ireland champions by winning the Bateman Cup, having won the Leinster Senior Cup the previous week (Captain: Tim Boland).

1939 UCD prop forwards, Tim Headon and Jim Ryan play for Ireland against both Scotland and Wales.

1943 UCD win Minor (J2) league for third successive season.

 

Post War

 

1946 Former UCD player and President, Sarsfield Hogan, is appointed as one of Ireland’s representatives to the IRB and remains an influential member of that body until 1971.

1948 Having been narrowly beaten in three Senior Cup finals in the previous five years, UCD beat Trinity 4–0 in the Leinster Senior Cup final (Captain: Gerry O’Reilly).

1951/52 For last International match of season against England (Away), Ireland award new caps to 3 UCD players – Hillary, O’Neill and P. Kavanagh. Ireland lose 3-0 on an snow covered pitch (29 March)

1952 On Saturday, 13 December, the inaugural colours match against Trinity is played at Lansdowne Road and won by UCD (13-6). Four internationals played in this game.

1954 Irish Universities play their first Universities’ rugby international (v. Scotland) with three UCD players: H. Crowe, A. McGonagle and PJ O’Grady.

1954 UCD win CYM/Keating Cup (Leinster Junior 7s) for fourth year in succession

1959 Niall Brophy and Bill Mulcahy become first UCD players to be selected for a Lions tour. The Lions toured Australia/New Zealand.

1960/61 UCD celebrate Golden Jubilee with Sarsfield Hogan as Club President and Henry Wall as Club Captain.

1961/78 In each season during this 18 – year period (except 1972) UCD win an official Leinster branch competition.

1962 In February, UCD prop Ray McLoughlin, who helped modernise Irish rugby, wins his first of forty caps. His last cap was awarded 13 years later in March, 1975.

1962/63 UCD become the first Leinster club to win the Senior, Metropolitan (J1) and O’Connell (J2) cups in the same season – the year of the treble. The 1st XV cup side contained five current internationals: Byrne, Casey, Murray, Kelly and Dwyer and three future internationals in Brady, Doyle and Moroney.

1963 Jimmy Kelly becomes first (and only) UCD player to captain Ireland, (v. New Zealand, 7 Dec). Club mates P. Casey and PJ Dwyer also play.

1964 UCD supply four players for Ireland v. Wales; scrum half (J. Kelly), wing (P. Casey) and props (PJ Dwyer and Al Moroney).

1963/64 UCD retain the Leinster Senior Cup and the 2nd XV also retain the Metropolitan (J1) Cup.

1964/65 Irish Universities (past and present) become the first Irish side to beat a South Africa team with six UCD affiliated players (M. Carey, W. Glynn, A. Hickie, A. Moroney, J. Murray and H. Wall).

1968 UCD’s Barry Bresnihan, on his second Lions tour, becomes the first official replacement in rugby history against Western Transvaal. (The IRB had sanctioned official replacements for injured players two months earlier).

1969 Leinster U. 19 play their first match with six UCD players (P. Boylan, A. Ensor, L. Galvin, K. Mays, L. Naughton, H. Stewart).

 

The 1970's and Mc Corry domination

 

1970/71 For the interprovincial series, Leinster use 10 UCD players: Deering, Feighery, C., Feighery T., Gleeson, Grace, Mays, Murphy, O’Driscoll, Smyth and Slattery

1971 The morning after having played (and lost) the Leinster Senior Cup final, UCD, led by the late Shay Deering, narrowly lose to Loughborough in the final of the inaugural Old Belvedere sevens. They recorded victories over Wolfhounds, Monkstown and Trinity to reach the final.

1974/75 Combined Irish Universities play New Zealand with 7 UCD players (J. Cantrell, J. Crowe, R. Finn, P. Gahan, K. Mays, D. Molloy and C. Sparks).

1976 UCD win McCorry cup (U.19) for fourth successive season.

1977 UCD win Leinster Senior Cup, beating Terenure 9-6 in the final (Captain: Dave Ramsey; Coach: Al Moroney). This is UCDs last win in the competition.

1978 Irish Universities tour New Zealand with 9 UCD players

1984 UCD’s last appearance in Leinster Senior Cup final, which was lost (4-27) to Wanderers. The UCD team was: Gardiner, Sweeney, McGrath, Mulhall, O’Callaghan, Dunne, O’Beirne, Connolly, Burns, Byrne, McLoughlin, Colcough, McGrath, Gardiner, Coghlan; Coach, Ed Thornton.

1984/85 Former UCD Captain and International, Mick Doyle, coaches Ireland to Triple Crown and Championship success.

1985 UCD become the first Leinster Rugby club to tour Australia.

1987 UCD Freshmen win Minor Cup and League (Captain: Paddy Barr) and 3rd A (J3) team win Moran Cup (Captain: Joe Barrett).

1993 In the annual Old Belvedere sevens, UCD beat a fancied London Irish side. (UCD lost the next round to Bective!)

 

AIL Commences

 

1993/94 UCD enter AIL and are promoted as League Division 3 Champions, conceding only 4 tries in their eleven matches (Captain: Andy Donovan; Coaches: Bobby Byrne and Gary Coakley). 1st XV have an overall 69% playing record, which is the best in Leinster.

1994 Irish Universities tour South Africa with 8 UCD players: P. Barr, K. Keane, H. Kos, KM. McCarthy, G. McConkey, D. O’Mahony, K. Spicer and P. Walsh.

1994/95 UCD are immediately relegated back to Division 3 of the AIL.

1995 Winger, Daragh O’Mahony becomes first UCD player to play in World Cup.

1995/96 UCD finish second from bottom in Division 3 of the AIL. However, there is no relegation due to reorganisation of the League.

1998 Ireland wins U.19 Rugby World Cup with five UCD players (Damian Broughall, Neil Coughlan, Shane Moore, Andy O’Brien and Brian O’Driscoll).

1998/99 UCD are promoted as Division 3 champions of AIL (Captain: Gordon Cantwell; Coaches: Lee Smith and Dara Rowley). Overall playing record of 75% is the best in Leinster.

 

Promotion to AIL Division 1

 

2000/01 UCD are Division 2 champions and become the first Irish University Division 1 club. The Colours match was won by a record margin (26 – 3) and the overall playing record of 79% is the best in Leinster. The McCorry cup was regained after a gap of seven years.

2001/02 Former UCD prop, Dave Hewett, is capped for New Zealand and scores a try against Ireland on his debut. UCD finish a comfortable 6th place in their first season in AIB Division 1.

2002/03 UCD retain, after some anxiety, their Division 1 status and complete a clean sweep of IrishUniversity competitions, including the Colours match for a record seventh successive season. The Fanagan League (U. 20) is won for the first time.

2003/04 UCD finish in mid-table in AIB Division 1. The annual colours match is won for the eight successive season. In addition, the Dudley and Conroy cups are retained as is the Fanagan (U.20) league.

2004/05 UCD finished in 6th place in AIB Division 1, having been top of the table at Christmas. The Colours match is drawn (20-20) but the Fanagan League (U.20) is won for the third successive season and the McCorry (U.20) is also won. Due to fixture congestion and other reasons, the Dudley Cup competition was, regrettably, not completed.

2005/06 UCD finish 9th in the AIB Division 1, which included a victory in the Colours match (25-13). The Fanagan league (U 20) is retained for a record fourth successive season and the U20B won the Brian Purcell Cup for the first time, beating Trinity in an excellent final.

2006/07 A penalty kick converted in the closing minutes of the final match of the season keeps UCD in AIB Division 1. The colours match was lost (13-16) for the first time in 11 years. UCD supply a large number of players to various representative teams including Robert Kearney being awarded his first senior Irish cap.

2007/08 UCD were competitive and finished 10th in the AIB League. The Colours match is won (50-20) by a record margin. The U20s, while not winning any trophies, were the only club in Ireland to regularly field three teams at this level. The UCD Club received the Leinster Referees Club of the Year award, based on changing and playing facilities, pre and post match hospitality and team attitude.

2008/09 In their eight successive season in Division 1 of the AIB League, UCD are relegated in the last match of the season, by a drop goal from 50 yards, which bounced off the crossbar, with virtually the last kick of the game. Further disappointment was to follow by being beaten in three U20 finals. There was some consolation in winning both the Dudley and Conroy Cups. In addition, UCD's Robert Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll represented the British and Irish Lions in South Africa.

2009/10 UCD regained the Colours (28-8), although finishing a misleadingly low 13th in Division 2. The Dudley and Conroy Cups are retained, and the U.20 B XV won the Brian Purcell Cup.

2010/11 The Centenary Season was marked by a dramatic win over St. Mary's in the Leinster Senior Cup (now on a league basis) for the first time since 1977 and promotion to Div 1B of the AIL. The 21A won the Frazer McMullen All Ireland Cup for the first time. The J1 are promoted to Section A of the Metro League and the Dudley and Conroy Cups are retained but the Colours lost.

2011/12 The Colours was won (31-9) and Division 1B maintained with a dramatic last day victory.The U.21 side won a clean sweep of all  available trophies and the B side won the Purcell Cup. The J.1 won the Metro plate.

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