Way back in April 1998, on a dark and stormy night in the back of the smokiest pub in Brussels, five pillars of the local Irish ex-pat community got together over a few drinks, and, in what can only be described as a rare moment of clarity, put pen to paper to form a new rugby club. This new club would be open to ex-pats from the world over as well as all Belgians, be they Flemish or Walloon! It would be open to all players and levels of experience. To those from traditional rugby playing nations to those who were not, from salty veterans to wet-behind-the-ears rookies.
And what a ride its been since then!
The club has experienced the highs of promotion up to Division II, including a perfect league season with 18 wins out of 18 matches, one near-perfect season with a single league loss, victory in two national knock-out competitions, qualifying for the play-offs in our very first year in Division II and winning the Plate in a 7s tournament. Alas, then came the troubled years, with the departure of key players, field issues and the lows of relegation.
But those obstacles were duly swept aside! The club secured a fantastic pitch at the VUB in 2008, and has been growing in strenght ever since. Now squarely on the road to redemption, with strong numbers and a core of talented players, the 1st XV squad went undefeated 18-0 during the 2010-2011 season, and won the VRB division I championship. The 1st XV will now play in the Belgium National division 3 for the 2011-2012 season. Look for another exciting year of rugby coming your way!
In 2005 a Touch rugby team was added to the club. While Touch maybe considered a summer sport in many countries, here in Brussels we play all year round. Touch grew rapidly from a small group of dedicated people that trained on the same pitch as the men’s rugby team to a large and important part of the club to include female members (fondly considered The Great Leap Forward!)
In 2006 we started a Rugby School with an eye firmly on the club’s future. We already have Under-17s, U-15s, U-13s, U-11s & U-9s age groups that train every week and take part in regular league matches and tournaments. In less than five seasons the school has gone from non-existent to having over 100 active members of every nationality.
In addition to what we do with rugby balls we also have been holding large annual Balls ever since our 5th year anniversary in 2003. This complements our many other seasonal social activities such as fund-raising pub quizzes, Christmas club dinners, BBQs, trips to RBS 6 Nations or Heineken Cup matches, bar-hopping “recruitment drives”, etc.
So whatever your nationality or your experience with rugby balls, whether you want to play or just be part of the craic, come join the most dynamic, fastest growing rugby club in the Brussels area.
Brussels Celtic ... more than just a rugby club!