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About Us

About Us

We are a player-led club with a dedicated leadership team

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We are part of something bigger than ourselves, be it our club, our sport or our local community. Whenever possible, however we’re able, we give back to that community. Stronger together, we aim to make Hackney Rugby Club the most inclusive, respectful and successful it can be. 


Everyone who steps onto the field, volunteers their time or allows us to enjoy our game is crucial to our success and we treat them respectfully. This attitude ensures we are honest, hard working and supportive team-mates.

Hard to earn and easy to lose, every member of our club maintains this respect, and everyone walking through our door is afforded it.




Anyone is welcome at our club, and everyone is encouraged to be involved both on and off the field.


We are drawn from every walk of life and every section of our community, and Hackney Rugby Club is richer for it. The only obstacle to anyone's involvement at any level of our club is their attitude and desire.

Our Ethos

England Rugby’s Values

are what makes the game special for those who enjoy the environment and culture they create. They define the game and define England Rugby


is essential to our sport. We welcome all new team members and include all because working as a team enriches our lives. We play selflessly: working for the team, not for ourselves alone, both on and off the field. We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play. We speak out if our team or sport is threatened by inappropriate words or actions.


forms the basis of our sport. We hold in high esteem our sport, its values and traditions and earn the respect of others in the way we behave. We respect our match officials and accept their decisions. We respect opposition players and supporters. We value our coaches and those who run our clubs and treat clubhouses with consideration.

is the reason we play and support rugby union. We encourage players to enjoy training and playing. We use our sport to adopt a healthy lifestyle and build life skills. We safeguard our young players and help them have fun. We enjoy being part of a team and part of the rugby family.


underpins our sport. We ensure that our sport is one of controlled physical endeavour and that we are honest and fair. We obey the laws of the game which ensure an inclusive and exciting global sport. We support our disciplinary system, which protects our sport and upholds its values. We observe the sport's laws and regulations and report serious breaches.


is the foundation upon which rugby union is built. We uphold the rugby tradition of camaraderie with teammates and opposition. We observe fair play both on and off the pitch and are generous in victory and dignified in defeat. We play to win but not at all costs and recognise both endeavour and achievement. We ensure that the wellbeing and development of individual players is central to all rugby activity.


Club History









Hackney Bulls and Hackney Rugby clubs officially merge becoming Hackney Rugby Football Club.

A Hackney ladies rugby team, the “Gladies”, is founded with a second being formed six years later.

The club, which is instrumental in providing rugby to local school children, is awarded the RFU President’s XV Award for Social Inclusion.


Image courtesy of Mark O’Shea

Griffins pamphlet from the 1989/90 season. The image includes a picture of the 1st XV (captained by Andy Elias) who won the Middlesex division 2

The Griffins win Hertfordshire/Middlesex 3N but are not promoted to Level 10 as the RFU restructures the lower leagues.  Club growth enables the launch of a second men’s team, the “Gargoyles”.  In 2009, a third team, the "Gogs” is introduced.

The Hackney Bulls Youth Rugby Club is formed, inspired by England’s World Cup winning side. Launched by 6 local Dads with 10 playing members, the youth club grows rapidly.  It now provides regular playing and training opportunities for over 250 young people, ranging from 6 to 18 and including both boys and girls. 

The Hackney clubhouse burns down.  With no facilities to offer, the club declines fielding only a single men’s side, the "Griffins”.  The club meets these challenges by adopting a democratic and inclusive approach to its running, with meetings being open to all and younger players encouraged to stand for committee positions. The new energy, coupled with experience already at the club, sees it adapt and grow over the coming years. These values remain an important part if its ethos.

The team’s 1975 Middlesex Cup quarter final match was against Saracens was one of many notable success in the 1970s and 80s.

The Hackney Rugby Club is founded as an old boys club for former pupils of the Woodberry Down Comprehensive School.  It was originally called “Old Griffins RFC”, taking its name from the school’s crest.  Prior to that rugby had been played on the club's home in Springhill Sports Ground since the late nineteenth century.  Soon after the new club is formed, it opens its doors to the wider community and changes its name to reflect this.

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The crest of the old Woodberry Down Comprehensive School

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