20 YEARS OF ‘SERIOUSLY SOCIAL RUGBY’: UNIVERSITY RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

An interview with Arthur Fang, Club Secretary of University RFC

30 Oct 2020


What’s the story behind the URFC logo?

URFC is a club founded by community rugby members and a few Hong Kong University professors, hence why we are based in Sandy Bay. Our logo reflects our heritage and close ties to HKU and other Universities in Hong Kong. Our Freshers team is built on the principle of developing university players and young locals with minimal rugby experience



Can you give us a brief history of URFC?

Starting in 2001, URFC has now grown into four teams.  We field two Men's sides in the Championship setup, and both Men's and Women's development teams at the community level. While we take pride in our success at the Championship level, we are equally proud of the many young players we have developed over the years. 



What differentiates URFC from other rugby clubs in Hong Kong?

URFC is a seriously social rugby club - we train and play hard on the pitch, and we treat our socials with the same level of intensity. Over the years, many former players and club legends have come and gone, but whenever they are in Hong Kong they will either suit up for the odd game or join us at our regular social events. This is what rugby is all about for us at URFC.



What are URFC’s greatest achievements?

As a community rugby club, we strive to promote social initiatives, like our member Aaron Stadlin-Robbie's Talking Mental, a quick start guide to understanding and dealing with mental health. Aaron is now dedicated to raising mental health awareness in Hong Kong on a full-time basis, and URFC is fully committed to supporting Talking Mental's efforts. 


Also, this is URFC's 20th Anniversary, we are proud of the growth we have seen as a club, and we look forward to many more great years of social rugby to come!



What are your most memorable moments on and off the pitch?

We have had many memorable tours in our club history, but we are most proud of our involvement in the Kamaishi recovery project. Sponsored by Blue Compass from 2018-2020, URFC proudly wore jerseys featuring this Japanese initiative to rejuvenate regional communities that were affected by the Tsunami in 2011. We toured Kamaishi in 2019, played matches against local teams, and had a captain's run at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium where Rugby World Cup 2019 games were hosted. 



Can you introduce to us some key personnel of URFC over the decades?

While we have many legends at URFC, we cannot talk about famous players without bringing up one of our founding members Dr. Gray Williams - a skilled flyhalf with trademark Welsh grit (and temper!). Gray's contribution on the field is immense. When he can no longer compete at the Championship level, he has his progeny Daniel Williams (a former Hong Kong national development player) take his place. Off the pitch, Gray has been our heart and soul since our inception. His leadership is immeasurable in stewarding the growth of URFC, and we continue to look to Gray for guidance.

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