Oxford RFC

Who are Oxford RFC

At this year’s Senior Teams Club Presentation Night one member shouted, ‘We are a family’, and he was correct. Oxford R.F.C. founded in 1909 is run as a traditional, community club with family values in mind. We are an ambitious club on and off the pitch but we hold dear the modern day values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Commitment and Sportsmanship.

The club is managed by volunteers who are working as a Team towards providing first class facilities for the membership and guests.

In this age of social media when comments can be made so quickly it is so important that it is embedded in the culture of O.R.F.C a healthy, mutual Respect for each other and the opposition.

Oxford Rugby Club is a welcoming and enjoyable club. Everyone at Oxford recognises that being involved in the club as a volunteer or as a player is that person’s hobby, and unless they get Enjoyment from their hobby they will not stay. We work hard on retaining people at Oxford.

Like so many clubs Oxford tries to instil a sense of Discipline and Commitment on and off the field of play. For many this type of structure is greatly needed and for others it is a challenge but necessary in team sports.

Oxford Rugby Club embraces the traditional values of Sportsmanship whether in victory or defeat. We hold high expectations of our members in terms of behaviour, tolerance and inclusivity. Everyone is welcomed at Oxford who embrace the ethos of the club

John Brodley
Chair O.R.F.C.

The Committee

Running Oxford Rugby Club

Oxford Rugby Club is run by an Executive Committee voted in at the club’s Annual General Meeting of 7 volunteers and Tony Tyrer as President:

  • John Brodley – Chair
  • Indi Brodley – Administrator
  • Alison Berry – Finance Officer
  • Kevin Honner – Data Manager
  • Mary Bagnall – Bar Chair
  • Wayne Rushen – Director of Rugby
  • Tony Tyrer – President (non-elected)

As a group they are responsible for Senior Playing, Asset and Buildings Management, Grounds and Coordinating Events. The hope is that resulting vacant positions such as a MIni and Junior representative will be filled by co-opting members to the committee.

Each executive member will manage their area of responsibility in their own way, some with a sub-committee and others individually. They all report back to the bi-monthly executive meeting. Please contact your committee member for specific issues or for more general matters email [email protected].

Mini and Junior Rugby – ages 6 – 17 years.

For information regarding Mini and Junior Rugby at  Oxford Rugby Club please email: [email protected] and your request will be passed to the appropriate person/coach in the club.

John Brodley


Chairman (John Brodley [email protected])  – oversees the overall running of the club.


Indi Brodley


Administrator (Indi Brodley [email protected]) – responsible for the overall administration of the club dealing with matters from the R.F.U. or from local residents.

Alison Berry

Finance Officer

Finance Officer (Alison Berry [email protected]) – the one who keeps the finances in order through the use of Xero as an accounting tool and Epos as a bar management system.

Kevin Honner


Data Officer (Kevin Honner [email protected]) – responsible for all matters pertaining to the G.M.S.web system with particular responsibility for membership.

Mary Bagnall

Bar Chair

Bar Chair (Mary Bagnall [email protected])  – responsible for the club house and all matters connected to the bar and catering.

Wayne Rushen

Director of Rugby

Director of Rugby (Wayne Rushen [email protected]) – responsible for all Senior playing.


Tony Tyrer


President (Tony Tyrer [email protected]) – an honorary position proposed by the committee to someone who is able to represent the club at official and social functions.

Martin Walsh

Buildings Manager

Mini and Junior Rugby

Ages 6 - 17 years

For information regarding Mini and Junior Rugby at  Oxford Rugby Club please email: [email protected] and your request will be passed to the appropriate person/coach in the club.

Sam Colmer

Coaching Co-ordinator

+44 7709 961655

Polly Blay


+44 7909 577681

Saskya Huggins

RugbySafe Lead

+44 7766 916100

David Jeffrey

Fixtures Secretary - Age Grade Male

+44 7990 627928

Wayne Rushen

Adult Male Contact (19+)

+44 7460 166752

Ross Phillips

Mini Contact (5 to 11)

+44 7775 763563

Tubby Tyrrell

International Ticket Contact

+44 7831 77898

Simon Bagnall

Fixtures Secretary

+44 7870 898658


Oxford RFC History

The seed to Oxfordshire’s oldest Rugby Union club was sown at the Annual Dinner of the Berkshire Wanderers (now Reading RFC) in February 1909. In speeches it was thought that a club in Oxford would be an excellent thing and during the evening it was stated that Reading was the only town in three joining counties that had the pluck to run a Rugby team! This was met with cries of “Shame to Oxford!”

A few months later in June 1909 a notice appeared in the Oxford Times announcing a meeting at the Clarendon Hotel in Cornmarket Street held to inaugurate the formation of a Rugby Football Club for Oxford and district. The Chairman was none other than Alfred St George Hamersley who had played for England in the first ever International rugby match, against Scotland in 1871, and had captained the side in 1874. The meeting decided that the title of the club should be “Oxfordshire Nomads Rugby Union Football Club”.

One of fascinating names to be involved in the early Organising Committee was that of Ronnie Poulton, later to become Poulton-Palmer the renowned English International, who, as a young man, was studying at Balliol College. The Committee decided on rules and other matters and, for no particular reason, the club colours were suggested as green, white and black.

Alfred St George Hamersley was elected as the Club’s first President.

  • 2nd October 1909 – The first match of the new club, named as “Nomads” through lack of a home pitch, took place on against St Edward’s School in Woodstock Road, Oxford, the result being a fairy tale win for the club by 24 points to 3.
  • 10th January 1910 – Oxfordshire Nomads beat Berkshire Wanderers 23-6 in the University Parks to avenge an earlier defeat.
  • 11th January 1911 – Ronnie Poulton scores three tries and a drop goal in a 27-3 win over Stow on the Wold.
  • September 1911 – Oxfordshire Nomads accept an invitation to become members of the East Midlands Rugby Union.
  • 12th September 1914 – Oxfordshire Nomads announce the cancellation of the season’s fixtures due to the outbreak of World War 1. The club donates £1.1s to the Mayor of Oxford’s Relief Fund, and a similar amount to the Red Cross Society. The Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers recruits at the Clarendon Hotel.
  • 5th May 1915 – Ronnie Poulton-Palmer is shot by a sniper while supervising a trench digging party at Anton’s Farm near Ploegsteert in Belgium. Nearly all the club’s able bodied members have signed up and eighteen were to lose their lives.
  • 22nd October 1921 – A reformed Nomads club lose 6-14 to Pembroke College in the ‘come back’ match.
  • December 1922 – Major RV Stanley has become a Vice President of the Oxfordshire Nomads.
  • October 1924 – The club continues to use a ground in Manor Road, Oxford, and uses the Kings Arms Hotel in Holywell as its headquarters.
  • April 1926 – Since the end of the war the club has awarded those members who were considered to have given meritous service a club badge, oval in shape showing a nomadic figure in flowing black dress on a dark green background undersigned ONRUFC which could then be sown onto a player’s shirt. It was proposed and accepted that a new badge be designed to show a shield halved, one half bearing the county arms of a black ox on a green ford on a white background, the other half a figure of a Nomad.
  • 10th March 1927 – A crowd reported to be 1000 watch Oxfordshire Nomads lose to the Oxford University Greyhounds in the Parks.
  • June 1928 – Already running two sides a large influx of boys into the club from local schools now playing rugby presented a challenge in obtaining enough fixtures. In the wake of this a new club, Oxford Exiles, was formed. The colours of the club, pink, brown and white hoops, would imitate the cricket colours of the Oxford High School from which many of the players came. The Central and Municipal Schools also provided players.
  • January 1929 – The death was announced of Alfred St George Hamersley, Oxfordshire Nomads President.
  • April 1929 – Oxfordshire Nomads beat Oxford Exiles 15-3 in the Parks in the first local derby of its kind.
  • September 1929 – There were now at least twelve clubs in Oxford and area and a suggestion was made to form a County Union for Oxfordshire.
  • February 1932 – The Oxfordshire Rugby Union is formed.
  • 31st March 1932 – 400 spectators watch Oxfordshire’s first match, a 6-3 win against Berkshire, at Pressed Steel’s ground. The Nomads provide seven players.
  • George Mallaby suggests that an Oxford City side be formed that would draw from local clubs to improve the standard locally and be capable of playing first class matches.
  • November 1938 – Oxfordshire Nomads beat Oxford Exiles 10-0 in the Parks in front of a large crowd. Spectators with unbiased minds were left with the impression of how good a side could be picked from the best players of both clubs.
  • 1939-1945 – Oxfordshire Nomads struggle to raise a side during the World War ll years and fixtures were very ad hoc. Six club members lose their lives in the conflict.
  • 7th September 1945 – James Eldridge, a local solicitor and co-founder of the club, steps down as President. Bunny Cole, just de-mobilised from meritous service, becomes the club’s third President.
  • 22nd September 1945 – Oxfordshire Nomads beat RAF Broadwell 15-6 in the first match after World War ll.
  • January 1947 – Oxfordshire RFU is admitted to the County Championships and a meeting is held to form an Oxford City side to raise local standards.
  • 5th April 1947 – An Oxford side plays its first game losing 3-9 to Coventry ‘A’.
  • 29th April 1947 – Bunny Cole shows a letter from Wadham College acknowledging the receipt of a deposit on 13 acres of land off the Southern Bypass at a sale price of £3250. Oxfordshire Nomads are asked to become Oxford RFC that would play at a higher level. Oxfordshire Nomads is no longer a club but a team within Oxford RFC.
  • 20th September 1947 – In the first game as Oxford RFC the side wins 9-3 at Welwyn. The club joins forces with Oxford City Cricket Club and City of Oxford Hockey Club in a joint venture under Oxford Sports Club.
  • 29th May 1950 – The Oxford Sports Club ground at the Southern Bypass is opened by the Mayor of Oxford and a cricket match.
  • March 1951 – Oxford RFC win the Oxfordshire Seven a Side Tournament at Iffley Road beating Oxford University Greyhounds 9-0 in the final.
  • February 1952 – In it’s fifth season Oxfordshire win it’s first match, 14-5, against Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire.
  • 8th October 1959 – Oxford RFC celebrates its Golden Jubilee with a dinner in the Randolph Hotel. In the afternoon the RFU President, Mr JA Tallent, opens a new stand at the ground before a match against Malcolm Phillip’s (OURFC Captain) XV.
  • 6th February 1965 – Oxfordshire RFU reach the County Championship semi final for the first time losing 3-6 to Durham at Hartlepool. Eight Oxford players are in the team.
  • 5th February 1966 – Oxfordshire reach the semi final for the second time losing 0-8 to Middlesex at Richmond.
  • February 1970 – Oxford RFC take over the Oxford Sports Ground to become the sole owners.
  • 28th April 1971 – Oxford RFC become the first side to win the Oxfordshire Knockout Cup beating Henley 28-6 on the Iffley Road ground.
  • 28th November 1971 – Oxford RFC reach the first round proper of the RFU National Knockout Cup and are drawn away at London Welsh, losing 6-30. The team ‘wins’ the second half 6-4!
  • 14th October 1973 – Oxford again reach the national first round proper but lose at home 9-15 to London Scottish who go on to lose in the final.
  • April 1977 – Two squash courts are built and opened at the club as the racket sport took a grip locally, which proved to be a popular addition to the club premises.
  • 19th September 1978 – The Oxford club becomes the first in Oxfordshire with a floodlit pitch but lose to Southern Counties in a match which opens the lights. This was a warm up match for Southern Counties prior to their match with Argentina at Iffley Road the following Tuesday.
  • 8th November 1978 – A parachute drop into the floodlit arena is a prelude to the opening match of the Oxford RFC Floodlit Cup competition in which Chinnor beat Grove 13-4.
  • April 1979 – Oxford win the first Floodlit Cup Final in beating Banbury 14-0.
  • 10th February 1980 – Oxford beat Banbury13-6 in the County Cup Final but later lose 3-27 to Banbury in the Floodlit Cup Final.
  • September 1983 – Oxford accepted into the Seven Counties Merit Table.
  • 12th January 1985 – Oxford RFC celebrate seventy five years since formation with an Anniversary Dinner at St Edmund’s Hall.
  • 27th September 1986 – Oxford lose at home to Exeter in round 1 of John Player Cup.
  • September 1987 – League rugby is introduced in England and Oxford are placed in South West Division One which is level 5.
  • 12th September 1987 – Oxford travel to St Ives (Cornwall) in the club’s first ever league match and win 12-6.
  • 28th January 1989 – Oxford play at Bath in the third round of the Pilkington Cup in front of 5,000 spectators but lose 9-82.
  • December 1991 – Mini Rugby is reintroduced at Oxford RFC in the wake of the 1991 World Cup held in England. Twelve children turn up for the first session!
  • March 1992 – Oxford Minis play in their first Oxfordshire Mini Festival at Wallingford in a sea of mud!
  • December 1994 – A combined team chosen from Oxford RFC and Oxford Old Boys under the guise of ‘City of Oxford’ beat Evesham under floodlights following a handful of joint training sessions.
  • May 1995 – Plans for a new venue in Horspath to be submitted for a combined Oxford RFC/Oxford Old Boys club. Oxford decide the scheme is not financially viable and withdraw from talks.
  • December 1996 – Oxford reach the fifth round of the RFU Intermediate Cup but lose at Colchester.
  • January 1998 – Oxford reach the fifth round of the RFU Intermediate Cup for the second successive season but lose at Penzance.
  • 24th April 1999 – Oxford RFC host the Oxfordshire Mini and Junior Festival for the first time, held over two days.
  • April 2001 – Oxford are promoted as winners of Berks, Bucks and Oxon Division One.
  • April 2003 – Oxford win the Oxfordshire Shield by beating Bicester 24-19 in the final.
  • November 2003 – Smoking is banned inside the Oxford RFC clubhouse and the club ceases to sell cigarettes and cigars.
  • April 2004 – Oxford Colts beat Chinnor 12-7 to win the Oxfordshire Colts Cup.
  • September 2006 – Oxford RFC joins Oxford Harlequins in a ground sharing scheme at the Southern Bypass due to Oxford Harlequins tenure at Marston Ferry Road expiring.
  • September 2009 – Oxford RFC Centenary Dinner takes place at St Edmund Hall.
  • 2nd October 2009 – Oxford RFC Cots replicate the match one hundred years previously with a return fixture against St Edward’s School as part of the Centenary celebrations.
  • April 2010 – Oxford RFC promoted in second place of Oxon, Berks & Bucks Premier Division into Southern Counties North.
  • April 2011 – Oxford RFC finishes in eleventh place of Southern Counties North. Remaining senior players are absorbed into Harlequins teams.
  • May 2014 – The club is suspended and loses RFU voting rights after failing to field a senior adult team.
  • September 2014 – Oxford RFC begin a season of senior friendly fixtures.
  • September 2015 – The club is re-admitted back into the league system competing in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Championship.
  • February 2018 – Oxford RFC wins Southern Area competition at RFU Vase level with a 36-13 win at Puddletown but further progress is halted after South Molton draw 13-13 at Oxford and advance as the away side.
  • April 2018 – Oxford RFC are promoted into Bucks, Berks & Oxon Premier league after finishing as runners up in the Championship.
  • March 2020 – Rugby Union is suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • September 2021 – Rugby begins again and Oxford end the season as league champions and are promoted from Bucks, Berks & Oxon Division Two North.            

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