[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 6.24.17 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 6.23.57 PMOn October 6th, 2007, the USC Rugby Football Club participated with the USC Marching Band in the halftime show of the USC Vs. Stanford Football Game. Club members dressed as members of the 1982 Cal and Stanford Football teams (“Stanford” players shown left) and recreated “The Play”.

In 1982, Cal was down by less than a touchdown to Stanford with 12 seconds left. As Stanford’s student body and band rushed the field, the Cal team laterally passed the ball, like it was a rugby game, and scored with no time left to win the game. As it was the 25th anniversary of this miraculous play, Coach Dave, along with Dr. Arthur Bartner of the marching band, choreographed and coordinated a hilarious version of “The Play” to mock Stanford.

The marching band played us onto to the field in front of 90,000 SC fans. Then the Rugby Club went on to flawlessly re-create one of the most infamous moments in Stanford football history, thoroughly humiliating the farm. The club left the field to resounding applause and cheers. This was a very proud moment in Club history and a great memory for all involved.

The halftime show was featured on the Versus TV network and a sideline view of the show can be found on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3ZM9vztKNw[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3ZM9vztKNw”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Here’s the 1969 USC Men’s Rugby Yearbook page in one of the last years the program was considered Varsity. Fight on!

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cass_h3A brief history of California: In 1849, the year of the famous Gold Rush, San Francisco numbered 25,000 people while the settlement south called Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles could only report 1,600 inhabitants. Sixty-one years later in 1910, San Francisco listed 417,000 in the census, while LA, still a sparse, desert city without adequate water, totaled 320,000.

USC, the dominant university in southern California, took notice of what was happening with the decision to play rugby at Stanford and Cal, but decided to stay with the gridiron game. This was a practical decision since many of its football rivals were against other nearby LA area colleges that also decided not to switch. USC could continue to play football regularly with minimum travel costs versus a limited schedule, home and away rugby contests with Cal and Stanford that could only be traveled to and from by a long steamer boat ride. It was not until 1911 that USC stopped gridiron and played rugby exclusively for the next three years.

The debate for and against football or rugby was fueled by sports page articles that also started to appear in the Los Angeles Times. In December 1905, the newspaper ran its first piece under the headline: “RUGBY GAME IS FASTEST. Danger of Injury Reduced, and Play Swifter.’ The next chronological article on September 1906 brought the discussion into full light: “HIGH SCHOOLS REJECT RUGBY. English Exponent Finds Few Sympathizers.” By 1908, an odd compromise took place with the ten, leading LA high schools when five chose rugby, and five for football.

One beneficial result for the LA rugby proponents was the beginning of the Castaways RFC, a Los Angeles-based team made up of almost all ex-Patriots, and eventually, nicknamed, “The Britishers.” It was able to schedule practice sessions and actual games against some of the high schools. But its sights were always aimed up north, against Stanford, Cal, the Olympic Club, and the San Francisco Barbarians RFC. When it did first play Stanford in 1907, the LA Times carried a full page banner headline announcing: “STANFORD IS HELD TO CLOSE SCORE IN GREAT RUGBY CONTEST.”

From 1907 onward and for the next six years, LA high schools played rugby with as many as seven schools forming a league with a championship. Yet, even after USC abandoned gridiron for rugby, dissent continued as to whether to return to football. The spirited dispute would trigger a comprehensive argument against rugby written by Warren Bovard, the Athletic Director of USC. The hue and cry over rugby replacing football in Los Angeles became moot when Cal dropped rugby in 1914, and Stanford’s “Big Game,” continued for a few years without its cross-Bay rival. By 1918, few players from either university remained who knew how to play the rugger game. When high schools in both parts of California also followed the return to American football, rugby ceased to exist in Los Angeles, with the result that the Castaways disbanded and disappeared into history

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After 27 years as the head coach of USC Rugby, Dave Lytle has decided to step down in 2015. Here is the video that Dylan Sidoo has put together to honor Coach Dave’s contributions to the team.

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uscrfc-logoOur crest serves as a recognizable symbol of our club and of who we are.  Every element of this crest carries special meaning for us – know what each represents, and wear it proudly both on and off the field.

The field of our crest is divided into three parts:

  • Across the top – the sun setting into the ocean, a symbol of the west, of our home, of alma mater.  A reminder of the phrase from All Hail that “Where western sky meets western sea, Our College stands in majesty.”  Also featured on our University’s seal, the Sun and the ocean it sets into represent power, life, and perpetuity.
  • On the left – A Trojan’s sword stands driven into the ground, with a shield leaning against it.  Two symbols of war show that we will attack our enemies and defend our home no matter the obstacle.  The sword is thrust into the ground, claiming the field of battle and daring our challengers to defy us.  While the shield may be there to represent our staunch defense, it leans against the sword – we do not shy away from blows or hide behind anything that might block us from the thrill of battle.
  • On the right – A palm frond (NOT the New Zealand fern). In ancient times, the winner of a contest was given a palm branch as a trophy and token of victory.  This is referred to in our university’s motto: “Palmam qui meruit ferat” – “Let he who has earned the palm bear it.”  Thus, the palm represents hard work in the pursuit of excellence, and ultimate victory.  Our club earns its victories by being the most prepared and dedicated team in any contest.

At the top of the field – A Trojan helmet – a reference to our heritage as Trojans – We fight on and persevere through any challenge with courage.  The helmet is empty – we face our opponents with nothing but our skill, strength, and tenacity.

“Est. 1886”

By many accounts, we are the oldest sport at this university.  We were formed two years before the football squad, and our history is long and storied.

“USC RFC”

In whatever we do, we represent our University and the sport of rugby.  We are the University of Southern California Rugby Football Club.

Fight On!

uscrfc-logoAll through the Nation

Your reputation

Trojan Rugby team is

One sensation.

Your foes will fear you

So as we cheer you

All together carry on.

Carry on Trojan Rugby team

To another victory

Carry on, fill our hearts with joy

With a try or two or three.

Come what may we’re Trojan Ruggers

Come what may, we’ll always be.

Carry on Trojan Rugby team

With a win for old ‘SC!