Wichita Barbarians Rugby Football Club

​​​​​Wichita Rugby

PITCH LOCATION




Heart of America / Mid-America Union DIII:

Champions – 2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009 

Runners-up – 2014, 2012 

Western / Frontier Region DIII:

Champions – 2015, 2012 

Runners-up – 2013, 2011, 2009 (lost to eventual champions Northern State) 

USA Rugby National Championships DIII:

National Champions- 2015


Elite Eight – 2015, 2013 (lost to eventual champions Oceanside), ​2012 

Sweet Sixteen – 2015, 2013. 2012, 2009

The Wichita Rugby Union Football Club was formed in 1973 by Air Force Captain Vern 

Francis. He and several others who played on both the East and West coast gathered a group of 

young men that summer. Many of these men had never heard of or played the sport before. For 

the first several years the team was not very successful. 

In 1975, Bryan Morrison from New Zealand offered to coach the club. New Zealand has a very 

strong rugby tradition. He recruited several players from California to play for the team. Under 

his guidance, the club started winning matches. In 1977 two Wichita Rugby Union players, Dan 

Culbertson and Bruce Henderson were selected to play for the American international side (or 

caps). Dan never made it off the bench but Bruce was capped. A well prepared Canadian side 

won the match 17-6.

In 1977, another rugby club sprang up -- Old Yeller Rugby. The team was mostly made up of            

former KU and Washburn ruggers. A majority were lawyers who didn't want to play for Wichita 

after having been beaten by them so badly in the preceding years. They wanted to form their own 

team and defeat Wichita. By 1979, they had begun to win against the aging Wichita side. 

Wichita was having problems recruiting new players and many veterans were retiring.

In 1982, the two clubs merged to form the Wichita Barbarians Rugby Football Club. These two 

clubs formed a very strong rugby team and they were very competitive in Division I of the Heart 

of America Union. But once again, the inability to recruit and to replace retiring veterans was 

sapping the club. In 1990 the Wichita Barbarians folded. For a very short while there was a WSU 

club side, but this did not last either.

David Farris, former Cornell, Kansas State University/Fort Riley RFC member and Topeka 

Wizards member, moved to Wichita in 1993. Dave had been the club president in Topeka and 

had the knowledge, so he contacted several veterans and began reorganization of the club. The 

Wichita Barbarians Rugby Football Club was reformed. At first, with only ten members and little 

financing, the team was less than competitive. But by 1994 an influx of new talent, as well as 

backing by sponsors, helped the Barbarians become more competitive.

In recent years, the team has seen a run of unprecedented success. Within the local area union, 

Wichita has been dominant, claiming five of the past seven league titles through 2015. The 

Barbarians have also been regularly doing well on a national scale, having finished in the top 16 

teams of DIII rugby five of the past seven years. In 2009, the only two teams to beat Wichita 

were the teams that wound up playing each other for the national title. In fact, since 2009, 

Wichita has twice had the unfortunate luck of being beaten out of the playoffs by the eventual 

national champions.​