The Dartmouth Rugby Football Club (or Dartmouth rugby) was founded in 1951, and competes in the Ivy Rugby Conference against its traditional Ivy League rivals. Dartmouth has been led by coach Gavin Hickie since 2012, following the departure of former head coach Alexander Magleby who in 2012 became head coach of the US national rugby team.
The Dartmouth rugby team comprises more than 100 students and often fields more than four sides on a given weekend during the fall term.
One of the strengths and strongest traditions of the two clubs are the Annual Tours, the first of which occurred during the 1958–1959 school year when Dartmouth rugby toured both England and Southern California. The former team was the first U.S. college rugby team to invade England (one English newspaper describing the event as "the nastiest upset since Bunker Hill"), and Sports Illustrated covered the 7-game tour in its January 19, 1959 issue. In 1962 DRFC toured in Ireland, and in 1964 the team toured both Germany and Scotland. Since 2000, the teams tours have included trips to England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Argentina, and Uruguay.
Dartmouth has enjoyed success on a national stage. In 1965, the first XV was undefeated and was declared the unofficial national collegiate champion. More recently, since 1980 Dartmouth has twice reached the finals of the US national collegiate championship and has reached the semi-finals three times.
Dartmouth also has a women's team, the DWRC, which was founded in 1978. Dartmouth women's rugby team was promoted to varsity status in 2015. The promotion to varsity was aided in part by the NCAA's commitment to contribute towards the varsity program's annual costs. Dartmouth women's rugby became the third varsity Ivy League varsity rugby program following Harvard (2013) and Brown (2014), and if five Ivy League schools recognize their teams as varsity they can compete for an official Ivy League championship. Dartmouth women's rugby had previously unsuccessfully applied for varsity status in 2012.
DWRC has produced numerous USA Eagles National Team Players and All-Americans. Women’s rugby is led by head coach Katie Dowty.
Dartmouth has been successful in national rugby sevens competitions. In 2011, Dartmouth defeated Army 32-10 for the men's championship in the Collegiate Rugby Championship in a match broadcast live on NBC from PPL Park in Philadelphia. Dartmouth repeated as champions in the 2012 Collegiate Rugby Championship, defeating Cal 21-19 in the semifinal and beating Arizona 24-5 in the final. Dartmouth went 5-1 at the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships to win the consolation bracket.
Dartmouth has also enjoyed success in Ivy League competitions. Dartmouth has won the Ivy League cup 12 times since it was established in 1969, including 5 consecutive championships from 1998 to 2002 and 6 consecutive championships from 2008 to 2013. In November 2011 the team captured the Ivy League Sevens Championship. Dartmouth first won the New England Championship in 1980 and has repeated numerous times. The Dartmouth Women's Rugby Club (or DWRC) has won nine Ivy League titles.
Dartmouth is one of a few select colleges to be selected to play in the Varsity Cup collegiate rugby championship. In 2013 Dartmouth was the #3 seed, behind perennially strong opponents BYU and Cal.
The clubs dedicated the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse in September, 2005 with matches against Army (DRFC) and Radcliffe. The Clubhouse — which is considered one of the best college rugby facilities in the country — was built into the hillside at the halfway line of Battle Field and Brophy Field, which are separated by a twenty-foot bank. Spectators view games from the deck of the Clubhouse and from the hillside that runs the length of the fields.Alexander Magleby – head coach of the U.S. national rugby sevens team
Madison Hughes - current captain of the U.S. national rugby sevens team
James Nachtwey - American photojournalist and war photographer