Rugby began to be played in Malta right after the end of the Second World War when the Overseas Rugby Club was established in 1946. Overseas Rugby Club membership was made up of British, Maltese and Commonwealth servicemen and civilians who took part in games played against the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and Army teams stationed in, or visiting Malta over subsequent decades.
Two Maltese colleges founded rugby teams during the 1970s; these colleges being St. Edwards College and Tal-Handaq College.
The schoolboy teams played against each other, and even challenged the veterans of the armed forces to matches! On a senior level, the game of rugby was played mainly by a few Maltese and several expatriates living on the island. In 1979, when the British services departed Malta for good, the game lost its popularity and almost died a death on the island. However, all was not lost as a group of Maltese rugby fans and players formed The Phoenicians, a local social rugby club in 1983. From that day on, the sport in Malta has regained a strong band of followers and has surged in popularity once more.
The Malta Rugby Football League was established in 1991, and in that year it saw a surge in membership caused by the formation of the University Rugby Football Club. This club was an amalgamation of University students and ex-public schoolboys from the UK. At the same time, there was a renaissance afoot in Maltese rugby with the rebirth of Overseas Rugby Club. In the 1990s, other clubs began to mushroom with two of today’s strong leading teams, Kavallieri and Stompers being formed during that decade.
In 2000, the Malta Rugby Football Union (MRFU), as the League is now called, joined the International Rugby Board and Malta has participated in a number of internationals since then. Most recently, Malta faced Sweden in November 2009, with Malta triumphantly winning 25-23. In addition to the senior-level National and Club teams, there are also teams for U17s, U15s and U13s as well as a strong women’s league.
For further details about playing, watching rugby in Malta or if you simply want to buy the team shirt, use the contact details below:
MRFU Clubhouse, Marsa Sports Complex, Aldo Moro Street, Marsa, Malta GC, Europe
or email the current President of the MRFU: firstname.lastname@example.org