Rugby union in the Netherlands
|Rugby union in the Netherlands|
|Governing body||Dutch Rugby Union|
|Registered players||15000 |
The Dutch Rugby Federation was founded on September 7, 1920 but ceased to exist in 1923 due to a lack of clubs. They reorganized on October 1, 1932, as Dutch Rugby Union (Dutch: "Nederlandse Rugby Bond"), only six months after the Netherlands national rugby union team played their first match against Belgium. The union is affiliated to the IRB in 1988  and has 15,000 registered players (in 2017).
The first rugby club was HFC, established on September 15, 1879 by the 14-year-old Pim Mulier, who first encountered the sport in 1870. However HFC switched to association football in 1883. The Delftsche Studenten Rugby - Club (DSR-C) was the first official rugby club on September 24, 1918.
Dutch rugby started setting down roots in the pre-World War II period. The subsequent German occupation and World War II disrupted its growth, and it took years for the Dutch game to return to its pre-war state. Then in the post-war years, the massive growth and stifling influence of Dutch association football on other sports also hindered further development.
The first Dutch international was in 1932, against Belgium.
Nonetheless, the Netherlands' proximity to the European rugby heartland of the British Isles and France, has ensured a fairly healthy stream of touring sides from these areas. Given the low profile of the game in the Netherlands, Dutch rugby still manages to support over a hundred clubs, and has 7-8,000 players, which is a larger number than some Rugby World Cup entrants.
Women's rugby in the Netherlands started at Rugbyclub Wageningen in 1975. At their first 5-year anniversary the Wageningen rugby men organised a rugby match for the girl friends against the girl friends of the befriended Eindhoven Students rugby team The Elephants. The Wageningen women won this game with 4-0 and the seed for Dutch women rugby was planted. It took until 1981 when the first official women rugby competition round was played.
In the 1978-79 season, the Dutch leagues were affected by a severe winter, which prevented teams playing on grass rugby pitches. The season managed to finish on time, mainly because the matches were transferred onto beaches to avoid snow and ice.
Notable Dutch players
- Michael van der Loos, a lock from the Hague. Van der Loos played successfully in Wales and France, and was twice asked to consider naturalisation in order to play for one of their national sides.
- Marcel Bierman, a fly half. Tragically, Bierman broke his neck in the 1988 Hong Kong Sevens, and this gave the sport a bad image in the Netherlands at the time.
- Yves Kummer
- Paul Bloom, winger.
- Frans ten Bos, Dutch born player, capped seventeen times for Scotland, educated in Scotland, and played for London Scottish F.C.
- Visser family
- Tim Visser, player for Dutch club RC Hilversum, Newcastle Falcons and Edinburgh Rugby, and Scotland international.
- Marc Visser, father of Tim, no. 8 and most capped player for the Netherlands.
- Sep Visser, younger brother of Tim, RC Hilversum and Edinburgh Rugby, and Dutch international.
- Marcker brothers
- Zeno Kieft, back rower of La Rochelle, in the French Top 14.
- Kelly van Harskamp - Female rugby sevens player who was the IRB Sevens Women’s Player of the Year in 2010-11 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rugby union in the Netherlands.|
- Netherlands national rugby union team
- Netherlands women's national rugby union team
- Netherlands national rugby sevens team
- Netherlands women's national rugby union team (sevens)
- RC 't Gooi
- Cotton, Fran (Ed.) (1984) The Book of Rugby Disasters & Bizarre Records. Compiled by Chris Rhys. London. Century Publishing. ISBN 0-7126-0911-3
- McLaren, Bill A Visit to Hong Kong in Starmer-Smith, Nigel & Robertson, Ian (eds) The Whitbread Rugby World '90 (Lennard Books, 1989)
- Richards, Huw A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84596-255-5)
- (in Dutch) utrechtrugby.nl
- Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p67
- Cotton, p21
- (in Dutch) http://www.welzorg.nl/Pages/TER/3/670.html
- (in Dutch) Bierman blijft ook in rolstoel zeer betrokken bij de sport (De Volkskrant) Gepubliceerd op 16 april 1998 00:00, bijgewerkt op 16 januari 2009 11:54
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- van Harskamp, Kelly. http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/rest-of-the-world/kelly-van-harskamp-the-flying-dutchwoman/#XsisakmKCY1Rcjbm.99. Missing or empty