Mission Statement

To inspire, develope and promote youth rugby.

Established in 1983.


"Playing rugby means participating in an accelerated, extrasensory form of life; where every action you perform is filled with meaning, every blade of grass individuated and portentous, and things off the field, social problems, career and business worries, even thoughts of mortality, disappear like smoke."
 
Jay Atkinson
Rugby-Playing Man

Vandals Rugby Football Club

The Vandals Rugby Football Club (RFC) is located in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. It was originally created as a club which offered competitive rugby for young players and has grown to include players of all all ages, genders, and levels of ability. 
 
The Vandals RFC currently competes in the Mens A (Goodyear Cup), the B (Sully Cup), named after a Vandals co-founder, and the under age 18 (U18) Jacobs Cup leagues in Newfoundland. We have an excellent training program which is active throughout the year with dedicated coaches, mentors and a strong support group.

If you would like to know more about joining as a player, builder, sponsor, or if you're a rugby player looking to visit Newfoundland, visit our  Facebook Group  and send us an  e-mail .


Meet The Coaches
  1. Vandals Sr. Coach, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Peter Densmore
    Senior Coach
  2. Vandals Jr. Coach, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Mike Green
    Mini Coordinator Junior Coach
Meet The Executive
  1. Vandals RFC Treasurer, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Colin Sullivan
    Treasurer
  2. Vandals RFC President, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Frank Walsh
    President
  3. Vandals RFC Secretary, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Chip Belanger
    Secretary
  4. Vandals RFC Social Coordinator, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Alex Comeau
    Social Coordinator
  5. Vandals RFC Social Coordinator, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Mark Connolly
    Social Coordinator
  6. Vandals RFC Vice President, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Jason King
    Vice President
  7. Vandals RFC Social Media Coordinator, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Steve Moores
    Social Media Coordinator
  8. Vandals RFC Social Coordinator, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Paddy Dalton
    Social Coordinator
  9. Vandals RFC Web Coordinator, Newfoundland Rugby, Ruby NL
    Ashley Skinner
    Web Design
History
Original Vandals RFC 1983

In order to recap the history of the Vandals we must first discuss the history of rugby in Newfoundland. Rugby began in St. John's in the early 1970's with just one rugby club. By 1977 interest had grown enough for four individual clubs to be created, the Swilers, the Dogs, the Pirates and the Castaways, who competed in a local league until 1982. The league in those years was different from what it is today. Generally, there was only one game a week on Saturday and a number of the younger players felt they were not well represented on Match Day.
 
As a result, a group of young rugby players from the Pirates and Castaways, through the efforts of Michael Green, Bernard Martin and Paul Newhook, met in Beener's (Mike Green) parent's basement on Smithville Crescent. This eager group, ranging in age from 16 to 21, formed the Vandals Rugby Football Club in the winter of 1983 and thus embarked on this long, strange trip.
 
The older players from the Pirates and the Castaways went on to form the Knights of Avalon and under this rearrangement the Swilers, Dogs, Knights and Vandals competed for two seasons until the Knights folded in 1985. In 1992 the Baymen were formed in CBS thus giving the current form of the league as the Swilers, Dogs, Vandals and Baymen. There were brief entries into the league from Memorial University and the Norsemen during the late 80's and early 90's, however, neither club could sustain a team and the league is still comprised of four clubs.
 

In the first few seasons for the Vandals, youthful exuberance eased the growing process and a strong social tradition was started. There were a few great victories in those first couple of seasons and with the Knights folding before the 1985 season we complemented our young team with a couple of veterans. A notable bright spot was winning the 1987 referee sevens-a side tournament, our first trophy of any kind.
 
As our blended team got comfortable with each other we decided to take on a rugby tour. In May of 1986 we toured Montreal, Kingston and Ottawa. We started the tour in Montreal versus TMR RFC, then, moving on, we played Kingston RFC followed by a game verses Nepean RFC and finished up the ten day extravaganza with a game against the Montreal Irish. Our record was 2-2 and great fun was had by all.

A New Decade of Vandalism
The Early 1990's
Vandals RFC 1991 Britain

During the mid to late eighties many of our club members graduated from post secondary training and moved on to pursue careers. This natural progression resulted in many club members hanging up their cleats and retiring from rugby permanently. Retirements, coupled with the lack of a consistent junior development program, made it difficult for the Vandals to ensure club survival and sustainability. Mainly, through the efforts of the "original six" who created successful feeder programs in Gonzaga and Holy Heart High Schools, the Vandals managed to survive. Among others, the efforts of Mike Green, Robert Evans, Chris White and Michael Doyle should be applauded. With the hard work of these individuals, a strong junior men's program helped galvanize the Vandals for the next decade.
 

With a new group of young loyal members we decided to tour Britain in September of 1991. Our intentions were perhaps too ambitious for our talent and we played six matches in nine days. We played two matches in Penarth, one in Malvern, two more in Redruth, and finished the tour in London versus Ealing RFC. Unfortunately, we were unable to win a match during this stretch but performed quite well in Malvern and Redruth. The tour left us all exhausted and sore but with an abundance of great stories and timeless memories.

Pure Vandalism
The End of a Millennium
Vandals RFC 1998 New Orleans

The 1990's decade was a good time for our club. We competed well in the senior men's league winning the Molson Cup (B division title) three times, and in 1994 the Vandals competed for our first Goodyear cup (A division title). Through the efforts of Phillip Sullivan and Marty Barron a women's team competed for most of the decade and toured Nova Scotia in the summer of 1993. Our junior men's program continued to develop and we were able to contribute players to provincial junior teams on a consistent basis. Several of those players were able to make national age group teams during this period.
 

In 1998 we were ready to tour again; Phil Goodland and Michael Doyle remembered the exhaustion of the 1991 tour and chose our destination based on the fun factor. In November of 1998 it was off to New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. We competed well and came up with victories against Tulane University and New Orleans RFC. We then travelled to Mobile to compete in their annual Battleship tournament. A first round loss to a club from Pensecola was our only blemish on the tour and we were able to win our remaining games to claim the consolation final. New Orleans provided us with many great stories and many great friends. Joe Doucette hosted us in French Quarter many a night and, willingly or not, his domicile became the Vandals' unofficial clubhouse.

The Future of Vandalism
A Force to Be Reckoned With
Vandals RFC 2003 Goodyear Cup

The millennium came to an end with many successes, but we found ourselves unable to win the Goodyear Cup against the mighty Swilers. In 2001 and 2003 the tides finally turned with the Vandals boasting two great championship victories against the Swilers to secure Goodyear cups. Unfortunately, we have not been back to a Goodyear Cup championship match since that time.

Representing the Vandals
Vandals RFC Rock Team

The new millennium has brought some great rugby to the island of Newfoundland. The Aliant Atlantic League started in the early 2001 and provided local club teams with the opportunity to compete against those from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Vandals participated for the first four of years of this league, travelling to the Maritimes and hosting teams from those provinces in return during the yearly fall competition.
 
In 2003 the Sully Cup was formed, commemorating a fallen Vandal, Chris Sullivan. He was well known throughout the rugby community and will be missed forever by all. The Vandals won the cup in its inaugural year in 2003 and again in 2004 but the club fell on tough times again and were not able to bring the cup back home for a number of years.
 
The Vandals have had players compete for Newfoundland's senior provincial senior team since the club's inception.  We have also had several of our players compete for national representative teams.  Frank Walsh has played for Canada East in the recent NA 4 tournaments, while both Peter Densmore and Kenny Goodland have been capped for Canada.
 
 

Recently, Newfoundland's entry into the Canadian Rugby Championship (and it's predecessor, the Rugby Canda Super League), The Rock, has become a powerhouse.  The Rock reached the title game in 5 of the last 7 years of the RCSL, managing to claim victory in 3 of the last 4. The Rock also went undefeated in the 2010 CRC finishing atop the table.  The Vandals have had a number of our players don the maroon jerseys of the Rock and have represented our club very well.
 
In 2010, the Vandals benefited with with the arrival of new coach Shane McClafferty from Dublin.  Shane is a young coach with a wealth of experience and helped the club develop its systems. Under Shane's guidance and help from Frank Walsh fresh off National Team duty, the B side brought the Sully Cup back where it belongs in 2010.
 
Through the commitment and leadership of club players, staff, and our Head Coach, Shane McClafferty, we have developed another group of strong young players who are continuing with the Vandals brand of rugby. We toured Ireland, the ancestral home for many, in the fall of 2011 and a new chapter in our history has opened.