The Greenville Griffins
Rugby established itself in Greenville, South Carolina in 1969.
While the Greenville Rugby Club has existed in some capacity or another over the decades, it has always been led by passionate individuals. It has consistently strived to live up to rugby’s reputation for being a tough sport played by gentlemen.
Now in its 50th year of existence, the Greenville Griffins is the highest level of rugby available in the region and has been the premiere rugby club in South Carolina for many years, both on and off the field. Regionally, our opponents include Charlotte, Atlanta, Charleston, Columbia, Asheville, Augusta, Durham and Knoxville. The club has routinely made regional and even national playoffs, where it has represented Greenville in competition against some of the largest cities in the country.
Rugby is the fastest growing team sport in the United States with over 100,000 players registered nationally with the governing body, USA Rugby. A significant contributor to this growth has been the sport’s rapidly increasing popularity at the university and high school levels. Many local colleges have well-established teams—including Clemson, USC, Furman, & Lander—and local high school male and female teams have also recently enjoyed many successes, despite their short tenure.
In 2018, rugby in Greenville expanded to meet the need for a women’s rugby team in the Upstate. The Greenville Grizzlies is still in its infancy, but the team continues to raise its profile and participation levels. The Greenville Rugby Club is also working to support the needs of the Grizzlies, with the mutual interest of continuing to grow the sport of rugby as a whole.
Another facet of the club is a team of “retired” players known as the Gentlemen Ruggers of Greenville, or GROG for short. They gather infrequently to relive their youth and play an “old boys” match. The oldest participant happens to be one of the club’s original founders, Brian Leech.