Surrey rugby has been going strong since the very beginnings of the game, and continues as one of the largest Rugby Unions in England.
After the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871, it was natural to develop the Great Game in England and organise it by counties. Thus each County Rugby Football Union is a Constituent Body of the RFU which controls rugby union within its borders.
Surrey, being well-endowed with the sort of Public Schools which invented or at least codified the sport, was an early hotbed of rugby in the South of England. Before the Surrey County Club was formed, a match under Rugby Union auspices was played against Middlesex, on the 21st February 1878; a close game won by Surrey with a try scored by AS Trevor.
The County Club itself was formed at a meeting on December 22nd, 1879, at the York Hotel, Waterloo Road, South London, no doubt after a good helping of roast turkey and all the trimmings. They managed 2 fixtures in that first season, the Spring of 1880, easily beating Middlesex but then getting thoroughly beaten by Yorkshire.
Surrey RFU administers all rugby in the county – see the Surrey Rugby website.
Surrey Rugby Clubs
The most appearances in County Championship games for the Surrey side have been by:
Nowadays the Surrey RU has 71 full member adult clubs, with numerous Schools and smaller rugby clubs also members. There are perhaps more RFU registered rugby players living in Surrey than in any other English county. 1st XVs are catered for by the Surrey County leagues, 1 to 4, which feed into the London regional leagues and thence the National league system. Lower teams from the rugby clubs in Surrey are splendidly organised into ‘reserve leagues’, including 2 veterans leagues for the decrepit players!
The president of Surrey RFU in 2013/14 is Keith Heal, with Chairman Nigel Heslop, while Malcolm Caird and John Douglas represent Surrey Rugby on the RFU council.
Top Surrey Clubs
For season 2013/14 the highest placed Surrey rugby clubs in the national RFU league system are Esher, Rosslyn Park and Richmond, who will be in National League 1, level 3 in the country.
The OC 1st XV were Champions of Surrey League 3 in 2009/10 (with an unbeaten season); Champions of Surrey League 2 in 2011/12; runners-up in Surrey League 1 in 2012/13 and promoted to London3SW .