The team, also known as the Dolphins, compete in Division 1 of the Southern California Rugby Football Union (SCRFU). The Division 1 SCRFU competition is arguably the top level of club rugby in the United States. SCRFU comprises men’s, women’s, Old Boys and youth teams, all categories in which Santa Monica Rugby Club fields teams.
The initial season of 1972-73 was remarkable, compiling an undefeated record in Southern California (SCRFU) Division I, and taking the championships in both the San Diego/OMBAC Tournament and the Monterey National Invitational, the predecessor to today’s national club championships.
Since that founding season, the winning tradition has continued. Santa Monica Rugby has won the SCRFU Division I league title seven times, captured top spot at the San Diego/OMBAC Tournament seven times, been to the national championships 8 times — winning on five occasions, and even triumphed at the prestigious Santa Barbara International Tournament.
Of course, great teams are composed of great players, and Santa Monica has had their share. Twenty Santa Monica Rugby players have represented the United States in international competition on the USA rugby team, “the Eagles” — three of them captained the national side. Three additional Club players have represented the USA on the World XV. Former Club and USA Eagles captain Craig Sweeney is honored by the Club’s Craig Sweeney Fund, tax-deductible contributions go to support the long-term goals of Santa Monica Rugby.
Every year, a select few club members from past seasons are honored at the Hall of Fame dinner following our annual Golden Dolphins old boys match on Club Day.
The Club’s most recent evolution has garnered national attention.
Under the guidance of coach Stuart Krohn, who started with the Club in 1999, Santa Monica has built a program that is the envy of other clubs. Krohn, an American whose international rugby pedigree includes captaining Hong Kong, as well as stints in France, Australia and South Africa, took the winning tradition at Santa Monica to new level.
Among the most recent achievements of the men’s side:
- three consecutive appearances in the national final four
- back-to-back national club championships in 2005 and 2006
- a 4-3 record in its first Super League season in 2007
But the Club’s proudest achievements in the past couple of years have been the addition of a women’s team and youth squads.
Formed in 2005, and officially accepted into the union in 2006, the Santa Monica Women’s Rugby team has very quickly made a name for themselves with some big wins and tough play that point to continued success. An integral part of the Club, the women also play a key role off the field taking the lead in many of the club’s community, social and fundraising events and coaching in the youth program.
The explosion of the Club’s youth rugby program has gotten attention from both the local press, including the Los Angeles Times, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica Daily Press, and the national rugby reports. Begun as a co-ed non-contact program for U-8s, U-12s and U-14s, the Club now sponsors youth rugby all the way up to U-19 tackle for boys and girls, as well as rugby programs at four local public schools.