Founded in 2007, the Charlotte Barbarians have rapidly become the Charlotte area’s premier social rugby club, dedicated to developing an exceptional rugby program while maintaining and emphasizing the traditional social elements of the sport: brotherhood, camaraderie, diversity, respect, community, and most of all fun. Over the past decade, the club has grown from a team which struggled to find 15 bodies to suit up for a road match to a team which competed for the Championship of the Carolinas Rugby Union in 2015, with over 70 registered members and an ever-expanding network of “Old Boys” who remain an active part of the club’s extended family. While the early Barbos teams struggled to find a patch of grass to play on, the club’s home pitch is now Matthews Sports Plex.
The Barbarians now have teams that compete in both the D-III and D-IV matrices, the latter squad (the Nomads) a cooperative effort with the lads from the Gaston County R.F.C. And while both the Barbos and the Nomads look to compete for titles in their respective divisions in the upcoming season, they have never lost sight of the social and community aspects of the sport. Since the club’s early days, the Barbarians have given back to the community, donating time and money to many local charities, including A Child’s Place, Classroom Central, and Beards BeCAUSE. This year, the club will host its second annual Mustache Mash-Up charity match to raise awareness and funds to fight Domestic Violence. Barbarian players and coaches are also actively involved in coaching rugby, from the youth level through high school, where Barbarians have led five different local high school programs.
Throughout its history, the club has consistently prioritized the social aspects of rugby. Even in the early days, when wins were hard to come by, the Barbos always had a good time. From post-match socials to the club’s unbeatable “boat race” team, the Barbos have always known how to enjoy the “third half.” Teammates socialize after practices and matches, and get together frequently for larger events like Race Week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the club’s annual pilgrimage to the Pitch-a-Tent sevens tournament (a/k/a “Rugby Woodstock”) in Lafayette, GA. In 2016, the club took their social game to another level, beginning a new club tradition: the rugby tour. After a smashingly successful first tour to the Bahamas, the Barbarians are already planning their next tour for the summer of 2017. The club’s first decade has been full of fun and successes, both on and off the pitch, and the club looks forward with excitement regarding what the second decade of Barbarians rugby will bring.