The Back Bay Rugby Football Club was founded in 1985 with the consolidation of two first division clubs, Irvine Coast and Newport Beach. The details surrounding Back Bay’s development may be of interest.
Irvine Coast was initially Irvine RFC, formed in 1966 by Leon Farley and Roland Markham and domiciled at University of California, Irvine. The team consisted of students and players from the local community. Newport Beach RFC was founded in 1972 by Australian Darryl Stoneham together with a number of players leaving Irvine RFC. A few years later, Irvine RFC, after a dispute with the university, left the UCI campus and became Irvine Coast, playing their games at Orange Coast College. At the time, a UC student’s team was formed with the help of a number of fine athletes from Fullerton Junior College. This team later became Santa Ana RFC and continued to play at UCI. For several years the three clubs, Irvine Coast, Newport Beach and Santa Ana, continued to function successfully until lack of players forced Santa Ana to amalgamate with Newport Beach. The interesting twist is that one club provided the beginning of those three successful clubs and now they have all joined to form the Back Bay Rugby Club.
Back Bay RFC has been a member of the tough Southern California Rugby Football Union since the club’s inception. Back Bay has been more than competitive in a league that has contributed the winner of the USARFU Club Championships seven out of the last ten years. BBRFC’s rugby stule has always been open and adventurous. In 1997, this attacking game plan led to a second place finish in the prestigious Las Vegas Tournament. That same year the Back Bay contingent put its’ rugby skills on display “across the pond” with a successful 12 day tour to England, Ireland and Wales.
Over the years Back Bay RFC has been pleased to contribute many players to Orange County, Southern California, Pacific Coast and National representative sides including Ed Burlingham, Darryl Knight, Jon Wilkie, Mike Evergin and Bill Zimmerman. Ed was Captain of the U.S. Eagle 1987 World Cup team and coached the forwards during the 1991 World Cup campaign in England.
Back Bay’s home ground is considered one of the finest and most picturesque in the United States. Located just 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to the Balboa Pier on the beautiful Newport Peninsula, local and oversea’s touring sides anxiously anticipate competing on this unique pitch.
in 2015, Back Bay won the SCRFU Division 2 title, losing to Tempe in the national playoffs.
The video below may be a few years old now but is still good to learn the history of the club.