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Club History

Stillorgan RFC - Club History

Stillorgan RFC is an amateur rugby football club based in South Dublin, Ireland. The club has three teams - 1st XV, 2nd XV and 3rd XV, and these teams compete in the Dublin Metropolitan League and Cup competitions. In 2013 the club added a Minis section, and this has facilitated juniors to the club for the first time in our history. The club plays home matches from CUS Sportsgrounds, Bird Avenue and holds training sessions on weeknights from St. Benildus College in Kilmacud.

New members are welcomed to the club on a rolling basis throughout the season, and we welcome prospective new members to contact us for further information. 

Foundation as Salesians RFC in 1973...

Stillorgan RFC (formerly known as Salesians RFC) was founded and first registered with the IRFU Leinster Branch in 1973, when a group of former pupils from schools run by the Salesian fathers came together with the intention of the establishment of a new club. Most of the founder members were from outside of Dublin and had attended school in the Salesian Colleges Pallaskenry, Limerick, Warranstown in Meath and Ballinakill in County Laois.


Stillorgan RFC in action in the mid 1990's
The application  for club foundation was made to the IRFU Leinster Branch, who had to be satisfied that the club had a home pitch, dressing rooms and showers. After a searching process a pitch was found in Maynooth, Co. Kildare and the new club application was approved by the IRFU. The club was named Salesians RFC and played its first season at J3 level in the 1973-74 season with reasonable success and were soon fielding two teams. The club colours were red jerseys with black collars and cuffs and black shorts. The club strip was changed in 1978 to reflect the school colours of the new Salesian college recently opened in nearby Celbridge.   

1980s and 1990s...

The club suffered in the early eighties as many of its founding members retired and the club was forced to move its home ground to the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. In the 1986-87 season the club again moved ground to CUS Sportsground at Bird Avenue, Clonskeagh, a move which saw the club enter a period of growth and progression. 

In order to align the club to the local area, a name change to Stillorgan RFC was ratified in advance of the 1994-95 season. The move to Bird Avenue resulted in an increase in playing numbers, which resulted in a return to the fielding of two teams by the club. 

                         
Stillorgan RFC O'Connor Cup Champions 1997
 

2000s...

The club celebrated its 40 year anniversary in 2013 but is still one of the youngest clubs in Dublin. Over this 40 year period Stillorgan RFC has established itself as a worthy competitor in Leinster Rugby and its teams have a proud tradition of playing an attractive brand of rugby and enjoying themselves. In recent years the Stillorgan 1st XV have won cups and pennants, and increased the reputation of our club in the rugby community. 

From the mid 2000s onwards the club has experienced its biggest successes in its history. A steady stream of new players to the club has resulted in stronger squads, and have catered for injuries and retirements which would have previously had a detrimental affect in terms of playing numbers. Further to this, Stillorgan teams reached both the J3 and J5 cup finals in 2007 claiming some significant scalps en route, but unfortunately no silverware was to follow. In 2008 Stillorgan reached the semifinal in both the league and cup competitions. 

All of the hard work was to pay off in 2009 - the 1st XV team won the Spencer Pennant in September 2008,  beating Guinness RFC (who were competing in a higher division) in the final. The winning didn’t stop there with the club going on to go undefeated to win the J3 league for the first time in their history. The club retained the Spencer Pennant title in 2009 and went on to win promotion to division J2A the highest division the club has played in.

Stillorgan RFC continues to grow and outperform more illustrious opponents, demonstrated recently by the 1st XV reaching the Spencer Cup Final in 2011. In the 2012-13 season Stillorgan RFC continued their strong assent by reaching the Albert O’Connell J2 Cup Final, losing out to a St. Mary's College RFC team that featured an ex-Ireland intentional player. On the road to the final the club saw off a number of strong opponents, including Lansdowne F.C. in the quarterfinal.


 
Stillorgan RFC Players Celebrate J3 League Win 
     
             Captain Danny Shanahan Accepts the Trophy 

Addition of 3rd XV to the Club...

In 2009 Stillorgan RFC fielded three teams for the first time in our history. Fidel Villagomez was our inaugural 3rd XV captain and led the charge as the 3rd XV competed admirably in the J5 division. In their first season the 3rd XV competed well and made it all the way to the cup semifinal (including a memorable victory away to St. Mary’s College in the quarterfinal). The 3rd XV is now an established part of our club, and consists mainly of new players, social players and veterans. The 3rd XV competes in Division 11 of the Metro League. 

The Future... 

From humble beginnings Stillorgan RFC has established itself as a tough competitor on the field and as an inclusive, friendly and welcoming club in the community. The club holds high standards and strives to be the club of choice for players in the South Dublin area.

Stillorgan RFC has demonstrated its commitment to future growth and progression through investment in training facilities and in coaching - in 2014 we signed an agreement with St. Benildus College to hold our training sessions on the new all weather pitches in the college. We also initiated a new coaching structure, which has led to the attraction of many new players to the club.

All in all, the future looks bright for Stillorgan RFC, From humble beginnings we have grown to an established club of three Mens teams and a Minis section. Plans are afoot for future development, which we hope that will continue to attract new players to the club, and continue Stillorgan RFC's ascent on the rugby ladder in Dublin. 


           
                     Stillorgan RFC Team Who Played in the Albert O'Connell Cup 2013 
 



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