The HAC Rugby Club was founded in 1896. For many years after WW2 it ran three regular sides comprised solely of members from the Regiment. By the early 1970s it had opened its membership to Non-Regimental players, and at its peak in the early 1980s, was putting out each week as many as 9 teams. The Club joined the RFU leagues in the late 1980s and since the end of the '90s has competed in the Herts & Middlesex leagues. Home matches at the superb HAC ground with the season running from September through to April.
The active social life of the club has built the spirit and camaraderie which has been the foundation of success in recent seasons, and there are regular social events, ranging from informal nights out after games to organised events such as the Christmas Social, End of Season Ball and annual Rugby Tour. The HAC tradition is to play an attacking, dynamic and attractive style of rugby, which is enjoyable to play as well as to watch.
To make an enquiry about the rugby club please use our contact page to get in touch.
Review of the 2018/19 season and a look to the year ahead…
1st XV – Rory Bell (1st XV Captain)
League Position: 5th in London 1 North (Final position for 18/19 season)
Having been promoted into a new league and with a run of 10 out of 14 games away from home before Christmas, it is a testament to the players and and new 1st XV Head Coach Rhys Davies, that the 1st XV sat in 4th place as we went into Christmas and finished 5th at the end of the season on 79 points. This was 1 point off 4th and well above the chasing pack with the next team 12 points behind at the end of the season.
First half of the season highlights include an opening day 74-19 victory away at newly promoted Luton with a very complete performance from all 18 players. Hard fought away wins at established teams in this league, Old Haberdashers (33-10) and Old Priorians (13-3) set the team up for its run of winning 8 games.
2nd XV – George Ewen (2nd XV Captain)
League Position: 1st in Middlesex Merit Premier (Final position for 18/19 season) and Middlesex Cup winners
Following last season's league and cup success, the 2nd XV's, pre-season was equally productive. A sizeable crop of new players arrived in July and August to augment an already talented core to the team. The summer also saw the arrival of Rhys Davies as head coach and the pre-season training sessions and matches further implemented the attacking style that we had been developing over the past couple of seasons.
After the opening two league games saw back to back defeats to Rosslyn Park and Belsize Park which didn't do justice to the talent in our squad, we then never looked back. A 9 game winning streak with a close fought cup semi-final victory against Chiswick and a 48-0 mauling of Hampstead being two particular highlights.
The second half the year bought more success, culminating with a tough decision to go for broke and a winner takes all match against Hammersmith & Fulham for both the League and Cup titles. A risk worth taking as the 2s came out 40-19 winners, a fantastic way to cap one of the strongest 2s campaigns in recent years.
3rd XV – Simon Bright and Rhys Oneill (3rd XV Captains)
League Position: 4th in Middlesex Merit 1 (Final position for 18/19 season)
Buoyed by returning stalwarts for ‘just one more year’ and bolstered by plenty of new blood, the 3rd XV has acquitted itself well through the season in Middlesex Merit Table 1, a league populated by other clubs’ 1st and 2nd teams.
A 26-14 win against Belsize Park served us well establishing momentum in early October with wins against London Welsh, Druids, Ruislip and a drawer against old rivals Belsize park. Chris Clarke receiving MOTM in his final game for the club after 11 years was born of sentimentality. His tally of 4 turnovers, 12 tackles, 6 carries and dominant scrummaging beg to differ! Farewell, old friend.
In mid-November, a stunning attacking display made up for our repeated poor discipline to see us through to a 44-17 win against Ealing, placing us in 3rd as we headed towards Christmas.
The second half of the season bought a mixed bunch of wins and losses but all the members of the 3rd XV can be proud of a 4th place finish and look forward to pushing for the play offs next season
The Occassionals – Andy Hughes (Club Captain)
A second season for the Occasionals saw us revive our oldest club fixture, taking on King College Medics at Armory House, a match first played 126 years ago. To celebrate this historic occasion half time port was provided by the opposition, and I am happy to report that the HAC won the match 50-7. We also took on University College School, Kew Occasionals and, in the final game of our short season, The Pacific Islanders Vets side, who arrived with Nicky Little, (former Fijian no.10) taking the field, watched by a crowd of 40+ spectators including the Fijian high commissioner. Bursts of champagne rugby was on display from both side, with the HAC narrowly losing in the final minutes of the match 43-33.
We will look to build on these fixtures next season, as well as re-establishing the home and away with Sandhurst Military College – and would urge any regimental members who are keen for a run out to please get in touch with the club to register your interest.
As a club we are famed for losing and recruiting more than the average number of players year on year for a rugby club, inherent in the type of people we recruit with careers that are constantly moving around the world. With 62 new joiners to the club this season, which in the context of an active playing register of over 100, that is far above the average even for our club.
While performances and league position have been commendable, the most pleasing feature of the seasons so far is the desire of players to pull on HAC colours, irrespective of for which team. Fostering this ‘one club mentality’ was the greatest success of 2018-19, in addition to some frankly superb rugby. 48 different players scoring across the 1s and 2s to date is testament to that.
The captains would like to take the opportunity to thank the committee, made up of current players for their ongoing hard work behind the scenes. It is fantastic to see that despite a significant amount of change over the season that the club has thrived both on and off the pitch this season.
The 1st XV are looking forward to a new challenge in London 1 South, a lateral transfer (from London 1 North) enforced by the geographic locations of teams being promoted and relegated around us. The 2s are also engaging with league organisers to join a new league that will replicate the 1st XV fixture list, against the 2nd XVs in that league.
Finally, re-connecting with trustees of the rugby club over the season and working with the HAC Sports Committee has given the Club a profound sense of excitement for the coming season in being able to use the facilities at Armoury House on a weekly basis for the coming season, something we would like to thank the HAC Sports Committee for.