Kansas Jayhawks Rugby Football Club History

The rugby club was established in 1964 when University of Kansas law student, George
Bunting ran an ad for interested players in the University of Kansas newspaper and
began their first season. The following year, the club chartered a bus and played a tour
of matches with a number of Ivy League schools. Bunting had played as an undergrad at
Dartmouth.

The club has fielded a consistently competitive team over the many decades in spite of
the transient nature of a student player base. Many thanks go to the officers and players
who stepped up to maintain the club as we passed through time.

The club began international tours and hosting international touring clubs in 1977. The
tours have elevated the club's quality of play and evolution. The club has now established
a long history of international tours.

This evolution led to the club acquiring and developing its own playing facility in 1995.
The club's ownership of its own playing facility is a rarity in the sport in the USA. The
facility features multiple fields, with bleachers berms for spectators, and parking.

A significant milestone occurred in 1979, when three graduating collegiate club members
decided to remain in Lawrence and purchase an old bar/restaurant at the north end of the
bridge over the Kansas River. Johnny's Tavern became the club's home. The players
converted part of the building's upstairs area to an official clubhouse. Trophies, historic
team photos, and international tour memorabilia collections were/are displayed. The
clubhouse is still used for post game parties and for club executive meetings. The owners
then expanded the upstairs to start an "after hours" private club called the Up & Under
(term for a rugby play) that became an important part of the college scene in Lawrence,
until the Kansas liquor laws

changed and no longer necessitated private liquor clubs.

The owners have since opened a number of Johnny's Taverns in the region. Their
continual financial and leadership support since the 1979 have been critical to the
success of the club.

 

Tournament & League Championships:


1975 Champions, Big 8 Tournament
1980 Collegiate Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1980 3rd Place Collegiate Tournament, Western Rugby Football Union
1981 Club Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1982 Club Champions, East Zone Club of Western Rugby Football Union
1982 Club Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1983 __ Place Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1984 Club Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1985 4th Place, Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1985 Champions, Heart of America Rugby Tournament
1986 Champions, Boulder Colorado Area Tournament
1986 Collegiate Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1987 __ Place Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1987 Collegiate Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1988 4th Place Collegiate Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1988 Collegiate Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1989 Champions, Kansas City Collegiate Tournament
1989 3rd Place Collegiate Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1989 Collegiate Champions, Heart of America Rugby Tournament
1989 Club Champions, Heart of America Rugby Tournament
1990 Champions, Kansas City Collegiate Tournament
1990 2nd Place Collegiate Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1990 4th Place, Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1990 Club Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1991 5th Place, Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1993 Collegiate Champions, Heart America Rugby Football Union
1993 2nd Place Collegiate Championship, Western Rugby Football Union
1993 Champions, Heart of America Rugby Tournament
1994 7th Place, Club Championship, Western Rugby Football Union

Tours, Tour Hosts, & Tournaments Managed

1965 Tour of Ivy League Schools
1977 Tour of England
1979 Tour of England & Scotland
1980 Hosted Cross Key RFC from Wales
1981 Tour of France, Wales, and England
1981 Hosted Derry RFC from Londonderry, Northern Ireland
1981 Hosted inaugural Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1982 Hosted Rumney RFC from Cardiff, Wales
1982 Hosted 2nd Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1983 Tour of New Zealand
1983 Hosted 3rd Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1984 Hosted 4th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1985 Hosted Los Condors All Stars from Argentina
1985 Host Venue for Collegiate Tournament Western Rugby Football Union
1985 Hosted Pill Harriers RFC from Newport, Wales
1985 Tour of Argentina
1985 Host Venue for Inaugural USA Rugby Football Union Coaching School
1985 Hosted 5th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1986 Host Venue for 2nd Annual USA Rugby Football Union Coaching School
1986 Hosted 6th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1986 Host Venue for Senior All Star Tournament, Western Rugby Football Union
1987 Tour of Belgium, Netherlands, and England
1987 Hosted 7th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1988 Hosted 8th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1988 Hosted Oriental-Rongotai RFC from Wellington, New Zealand
1989 Tour of Washington state and British Columbia
1989 Host Venue for Collegiate Tournament Western Rugby Football Union
1989 Hosted 9th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1989 Hosted Canterbury University RFC from Christchurch, New Zealand
1990 Hosted York Yeoman RFC from Ontario, Canada
1990 Hosted 10th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1991 Host Venue for Collegiate Tournament Western Rugby Football Union
1991 Hosted 11th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1991 Host Venue for Senior All Star Tournament, Western Rugby Football Union
1992 Host Venue for Collegiate Tournament Western Rugby Football Union
1992 Hosted Strathendrick RFC, Scotland
1992 Tour of New Zealand
1993 Hosted 12th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1994 Tour of Ireland
1994 Hosted 13th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1994 Hosted Pensa RFC from Russia
1995 Hosted Henry Wise Woods High School from Alberta, Canada
1995 Hosted 14th Annual Jayhawks Classics 7's Tournament
1995 Host Venue for "Level One" USA Rugby Football Union Coaching School

 

 

Johnnys Tavern