Rugby Union – Club

The issuing of caps at club level is something that varies considerably from team to team let alone country to country.

It has also changed over time with caps originally being offered by some clubs to ensure player loyalty with the game historically being amateur at all levels.

Some clubs issued caps for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd  XV, were others had to play games for many seasons to be awarded a cap that was a one off award.

Here are a few examples.

Bath Rugby

There are one or two mentions that the rules relating to Cap issue must be adhered to, and a minuted resolution 1/11/1888 allowed: “That instead of B.F.C. in front of the caps, a substitute in 1888-91 could take place according to the wish of the individual.”

The Bath Club Rules were recorded in1893. Rule 14 stated that “no member be allowed to wear the Club Cap unless selected to play in not less than 6 matches during one season”.

The Cap qualification criteria was re-iterated at a sub committee meeting on 9th April 1896: Messrs F Soane, W Sants, J W Hooper and the Hon. Sec. are of the opinion that Presentation Club Caps should be given to 1st XV only, and on the following lines viz., “That next season’s Match Committee be asked after the trial matches to recommend men who have played regularly during the season 1895/96 and trial matches of 1896/7 to receive 1st XV Caps and that subsequently men who play in ten 1st XV matches to be computed from the 1st match of the season of 1896/97 shall be presented with Bath Club Caps.”

Wakefield RFC

Wakefield RFC AGM, Bill Guest, a leading member of the club suggested, “Awarding honours caps for each season for the first team players to try and encourage the players to train and take an interest in the club.”

London Scottish Football Club

During the 1883/84 season the LSFC committee approved the institution of Club Caps to be worn by a member nominated by the committee. 10 names were submitted and approved at this time although the information of who is now lost. Although the Club Caps were “awarded” it was, and is, up to the approved member to purchase theor own Cap. It is believed that very few physical caps have been awarded but the term Cap being used for approved first team players.

It would be great to gather more similar information from other clubs.

Stade Francais

Stade Français rules were a bit demanding at the beginning… to be eligible, you must have played at least three seasons with first XV + having won two French championships + one international victory… (source: Bulletin Officiel du Stade Français)

Rules were softened in 1906, as “only” three seasons with first XV + winning French championship once OR winning Paris championship twice were necessary to earn the club cap.

It would be great to gather more similar information from other clubs.