About the Montreal Wanderers RFC
In May of 1957, The Barbarians (legendary UK invitational touring side) had just defeated a Quebec Selects team 41-3. Cliff Morgan, legendary fly half for the Barbarians, was reported to have told his Quebec hosts was that what Canada needed was more clubs. Present at that meeting were several members of the Montreal Scottish RFC (now known as Westmount RFC).
Due to an influx of players, the Montreal Scottish had adopted a Scots-only policy in order to manage their numbers. This left many players from other rugby nations without a home, and Cliff Morgan’s suggestion was just the prompting they needed. Players from the Montreal Scottish founded two new clubs; the Montreal Barbarians RFC and the Montreal Wanderers RFC.
The Wanderers played their first match against the Montreal Scottish in the Fall of 1957, and the first tour was held that Thanksgiving to Deep River, 200km northwest of Ottawa.
Over the first few years of the club’s existence, Wanderers’ recruitment benefited from the Scots-only policy of the Montreal Scottish RFC. The Wanderers saw their ranks swell to three full squads, which continued through to the mid 60’s.
With Expo ’67 ending, many southern hemisphere Wanderers left Montreal and returned home. The Wanderers dropped from three sides to two in 1968, where they remained until a brief thirds revival in 2006.
The Wanderers play an open style of rugby, with all fifteen players expected to handle the ball, win rucks and tackle hard. Known for skilled forwards and deceptive backs, this small club from a minor rugby province has produced a surprising number of internationals in its history.
We practice all together, so that players with less experience can learn from those with more. On our practice pitches, you’ll find players with caps passing the ball to guys without a clue. We welcome exiles and travelers from all territories, as our name suits our disposition.
The Wanderers are a bilingual club with two pitches on the beautiful Douglas Hospital grounds in Verdun (near downtown Montreal). Our season runs from May to October, though indoor training typically beings in February or March. Travelers, neophytes and rugby hobos are always welcome. Come out and have a run with us!