Club History - extract

The Boston Irish Wolfhounds Rugby Football Club came into being in 1992.

The original idea for the club came from founding members Tom Gilvarry and Charlie Mullaney. They had the notion of gathering players in the Boston area to travel within the U.S. in the off-season, supplementing the regular season with their local clubs. With an outline of a plan hatched in a local pub, an Irish Wolfhound as a logo, and bags full of commemorative T-shirts, the pioneering 'Hounds set off for California in 1989. The fun, enjoyment and success of this maiden voyage ensured that, at least once a year, a "Wolfhounds Tour" would be arranged.

The Original Wolfhounds - circa 1979

Successive tours to New Orleans and Texas in 1990 and 1991 further consolidated the Wolfhounds as a touring side - and would soon lead to the development of a Boston-based men's club bearing the same name.

A serious neck injury to one of the original club members, Patrick "Punter" Culleton, in a pre-season friendly on Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 1991, ironically helped to significantly extend the reach of the team well beyond the Rugby field. In response to Punter's immediate financial needs, the Boston community came out in strength to support the fundraising events generated and organized by his friends and colleagues.

Buoyed by the momentum gathered during this period, the Wolfhounds formally organized and were accepted as members of the New England Rugby Football Union's Division II in the fall of 1992. In its initial season the club got its first taste of success, with the First XV suffering only one defeat during the fall season, and reaching the Northeast Championships. Clearly, a bright future lay ahead.

Since then, the club's fortunes have steadily increased. Currently the club competes as members of the Northeast Rugby Football Union's Premier Division, and finished the fall of 1998 near the top of the Northeastern and New England rankings. After a stellar spring season which included a tour of Arizona and a nearly two-month run of victories against top teams from the Northeast, the club is ready to take it to the next level in the fall.

In addition to its trips to California, New Orleans, Texas and Arizona, the Wolfhounds have also toured in Bermuda, Florida, and Canada. A recently formed 7s side has achieved considerable success and is bringing further recognition to the club.

To gain a better perspective on the club's origins, take a look at an excerpt from a history of the club written in 1995 - words which still ring true today:

Undoubtedly, the objectives of the Wolfhounds were higher than what one may typically expect of most new rugby clubs. However, the philosophy was, from the very beginning, to create a rugby club that offered playing and social activities equivalent to senior rugby clubs in other parts of the world. In Boston, the Wolfhounds RFC is an immediate contact for all those arriving from overseas, offering an opportunity to play organized rugby, even away from home, wherever that may be. The mix of Irish, English, Australian, New Zealanders and Americans [or Fijians, Moroccans, South Africans, Zambians and Welshmen, for that matter] provides a wealthy network of friends and colleagues from which to build a new life for those new to Boston.

Here's to the next fifteen years!

Compiled by Bruce A. Rossow & Patrick "Punter" Culleton, largely from the 1995 club history written by Graham K. Healy & Rossa McDermott.