Cambridge University
Full nameCambridge University Rugby Union Football Club
Founded1872; 152 years ago (1872)
LocationCambridge, England
Ground(s)University Football Ground,
Grange Road (Capacity: 1,500)
Team kit
Official website

The Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club, sometimes abbreviated "CURUFC", is the rugby union club of the University of Cambridge. The team plays Oxford University RFC in the annual Varsity Match at Twickenham Stadium every December.

Cambridge players wear light blue and white hooped jerseys with a red lion crest. Many have gone on to represent their country and the British and Irish Lions; a few, most notably Dan Vickerman, James Horwill and Flip van der Merwe, have represented Cambridge after successful international careers. While at Cambridge University James Bevan became the first captain of the Wales national rugby union team. The CURUFC stadium is located in West Cambridge, beside Grange Road.


Cambridge University team in 1890

Football is believed to have been introduced to Cambridge University in 1839 by Trinity College fresher Albert Pell.[1] Pell had matriculated at Cambridge after going up from Rugby School, where the game of rugby is believed to have originated. Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club was officially established in 1872, around three years after the Oxford Rugby Club was founded. The first Varsity match was contested between the two teams on 10 February 1872.[2] The Cambridge team was led out by captain Isaac Cowley Lambert, wearing pink jerseys with a monogram on the left breast.[2] Played away at the Park in Oxford, Cambridge lost by a single goal to nil. CURUFC officials helped to draw up the laws of the game that were adopted by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) when it was established in 1871. Cambridge became a Constituent Body of the Union in 1872, a status which the club still holds today. In 1874, Cambridge provided their first international player directly from the club, when John Batten represented England in the third encounter against Scotland.



Cambridge rugby ground

The CURUFC Stadium and Training Grounds are located in West Cambridge, close to Selwyn College's Cripps Court and St Catharine's College's St Chad building. The ground first appears on maps in 1904 and the historic stadium features several buildings dating to the early 19th and 20th centuries. A large red lion, a symbol of the University of Cambridge and the crest of the rugby club, stands guard beside the stadium. The lion statue was removed in 1999 from the Lion Yard shopping arcade.[3] The facilities are partially maintained by Cantab Asset Management. The stadium, built in the 19th century, is undersized and is often over capacity during matches, leading to calls for an expansion and redevelopment project. In addition to the Grange Road Site, the club practises on various college and university fields around Cambridge and Grantchester.

Redevelopment Project

In 2015, plans were drafted for a large redevelopment of the Grange Road Site which would ensure the team remains competitive over the next 50 years. The plans included expanded seating, high-tech training facilities, and a new walled admission entrance on Grange Road. An architect for the project has yet to be chosen. In Michaelmas 2017, the CURUFC launched its first fundraising campaign for the Grange Road Redevelopment Project.

Notable former players

See also: Category:Cambridge University R.U.F.C. players

British and Irish Lions

The following former players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads while playing for Cambridge University.

England internationals

The following former Cambridge University players have represented England at full international level.

Wales internationals

The following former Cambridge University players have represented Wales at full international level.

Scotland internationals

The following former Cambridge University players have represented Scotland at international level.

Ireland internationals

The following former Cambridge University players have represented Ireland at full international level.

Other nationalities




  1. ^ Marshall (1951), pg 13.
  2. ^ a b Marshall (1951), pg 17.
  3. ^ "Cambridge Lion Yard lion roars again at university rugby club". BBC News. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2021.