The Princeton Men’s rugby team was first established in 1876 when Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, which used the “rugby code”. This makes Princeton one of the oldest rugby clubs in North America. By the early 1880s, the game which originated using the rugby code had quickly evolved away from rugby as we know it. Although it is uncertain how long rugby remained active at Princeton once American Football took over, photos exist of the team in 1878.
The Princeton Rugby Club was re-established on October 10, 1930 (read article). The initial season began on Saturday, April 4, 1931 with a 6 – 3 victory over Harvard in the Harvard Football Stadium (Read original newspaper clipping about the game). Over 5,000 people attended this inaugural game. The club has been playing ever since.
The club competes in the Ivy League. The Men won the Ivy League Championship in 2004, 1979, 1973, 1971, and 1969. The team also qualified for the Division I-AA Sweet 16 in 2014.
The Princeton Women’s rugby team was established in 1979. The new team aspired to compete in the young world of U.S. Women’s rugby, which was established only eight years earlier by the creation of four Women’s teams in 1972. Since then, the sport has grown quickly across America and PUWRFC has continually found itself at the top levels of Division I competition. Currently, the Princeton Women compete in Division I of the Ivy League.
PUWRFC won back-to-back national championships in 1995 and 1996. Princeton women advanced to the Final Four in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005. More than 35 Princeton women have been named All-Americans, many of whom have received honors for multiple years. In 2011, 2012, and 2018, the women placed 3rd in the USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.