Penn Men

“Such is the devotion to English rugby football on the part of University of Pennsylvania's students from New Zealand, Australia, and England that they meet on Franklin Field at 7 o'clock every morning and practice the game. The varsity track and football squads monopolize the field to such an extent that the early hours of the morning are the only ones during which the rugby enthusiasts can play. Any time except Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a squad of 25 men may be seen running through the hardest kind of practice after which they may divide into two teams and play a hard game. Once a week, captain CC Walton, ('11), dental, who hails from New Zealand, gives the enthusiastic players a blackboard talk in which he explains the intricacies of the game in detail…”

— Daily Pennsylvanian Article, 10/22/1910

The University of Pennsylvania Rugby Club existed on and off during the World Wars, with the current club having its roots in the 1960s. It boasts John Heisman and Alan Chester Valentine (an Olympian gold-medalist) among its alumni. While the current Penn Rugby team no longer has to wake up in the wee hours of the morning for practices, the tradition of hard work and enthusiasm developed by CC Walton lives on.

The University of Pennsylvania Men’s Rugby Club is looking forward to an exciting year, both on and off the field. As of February 2015, Nick Walker will take over from Omar Foda as head coach of Penn's rugby program.

Penn Park, equipped with three all purpose athletic fields and a scrum sled, has enabled Penn Men’s Rugby to train more effectively, in virtually any weather conditions, and to implement more game like situations. The inclusion of a full field air structure – deemed “The Bubble” – allows for practice and matches even in the winter. Penn Park has bolstered Penn Men’s Rugby’s status on the Penn Campus as the club grew to nearly 50 members. The increased amount of space led to the ability to have full field intrasquad matches as well as intersquad training sessions with Wharton Men’s Rugby. The addition of dedicated rugby equipment such as the scrum sled and field goal posts has helped the team improve aspects of play that were weak due to lack of facilities beforehand.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Men’s Rugby club sports new uniforms manufactured by Boathouse Sports.Additionally, Boathouse Sports sponsored the Ivy League Seven’s tournament and provided gear access to parents across the nation through their online store. Campus presence as well alumni support surged to new heights as Penn Men’s Rugby, as well as Ivy League Rugby, took massive strides to becoming more and more like a varsity sport.

This year saw a head coach change to Nick Walker, who has brought multiple years of rugby experience to the team. The new coach has implemented changes including the start of veteran summer training camps as well as extended preseason practices. The team continues to build on its successful past year and has added a talented and diverse freshman class, with players arriving from France, Kenya, Nigeria, Australia, the UK, and the States. Combined with the experience and leadership from last year’s A side which featured 10 underclassmen starters, Penn Men’s Rugby’s season looks especially bright.

Finally, the establishment of an Alumni board to oversee the building of an endowment fund, alumni support, and rugby equipment, headed by Jonny Chia, has shifted the image of Penn Men’s Rugby from an intermural club sport to a near-varsity sport. The Penn Men’s Rugby Alumni board, despite its recent establishment, is already the largest Alumni board on campus.

2013 Collegiate Rugby Championship Representative
2012 Ivy Rugby Conference South Champions
2012 RunnerUp Ivy Sevens Championship
2005 MARFU Quarterfinalist
2004 EPRU Division 1 Champions


Nick Walker, Head Coach
Nick Clapinson, Assistant Coach

team huddle at night in rain
Fall 2023
Team Photo on Dunning-Cohen Champions Field
Fall 2021
Penn Men's Rugby team at Princeton University
Fall 2018
Spring 2017
Fall 2014 Penn Men
Fall 2014
Penn Squad April 3rd 2013
Spring 2013
Penn Men's Rugby Team Photo
Summer 2013
Penn Places 6th at Ivy Spring Wildcard Tournament
Spring 2012
2011 Penn Rugby
2008 University of Pennsylvania Men's Rugby
Spring 2008
2007 Penn Rugby
Spring 2007
Pennsylvania Rugby 2005
Spring 2005
1992 Spring
Spring 1992
spring 1991
Spring 1991
1990 Penn Law Rugby Football team
Fall 1990
1988 Old Goat Rugby Football Club
Fall 1988
University of Pennsylvania Men's Rugby Freeport, Bahamas
Spring 1984
University of Pennsylvania Men Spring 1983 tour to the Grand Cayman
Spring 1983
Penn vs Haverford College 1982
Fall 1982
1970 Penn Men's rugby team
Spring 1970
1910 Penn Men's Rugby team
Spring 1910
the undefeated Penn Rugby Football team was photographed in front of Houston Hall
Fall 1897
the team went 15-0 retroactively named as the national champion by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and National Championship Foundation
Fall 1897
Penn vs Cornell 1893
Fall 1893
Penn 1891
Fall 1891
Heisman transferred to Penn to study law in 1890
Spring 1890
1881 Penn team that played rugby union
Fall 1881
team photo of 1878 team
Fall 1878
The 1878 Penn Rugby team
Spring 1878