IRFU Community News
History Of The Club
The Irish Rugby Football Union was established in 1879 following the merger of the Northern Football Union and the Irish Football Union. The first international that Ireland played was in 1875 when they played England at the Kennington Oval in London, wearing a green and white hoped jersey (similar to the Naas colours) but the first victory for the Irish side was against Scotland in Belfast in 1881.
The County Kildare Club was established in 1880 as a multipurpose sports club and was based at Oldtown, Naas, where the Tennis Club is located. The first record of rugby in Naas was in 1881 when the County Kildare Club produced a team.
In 1893 they competed in the Leinster Junior Cup against Santry School at Lansdowne Road.
The Club was reformed in 1906, probably as a result of the publicity of the All Blacks tour of 1905. Captained by Irish born Dave Gallagher, the New Zealand side won 35 of their 36 games on tour. Their 2 fixtures in Ireland were against Munster and Ireland and it was the first ever occasion that a rugby international was an all ticket sell out in advance of the game. The brand of rugby that the New Zealanders played was new to the game in these islands and attracted huge support for the sport.
The club then went out of existence but was reformed in 1922 by Michael Conway, Bill Osborne and Laddy Mooney under the title of County Kildare Rugby Club.
Success was immediate and the new club established themselves as one of the best Junior sides in Leinster – they appeared in the final of the Leinster Junior Cup in 1923, 1924 and 1925 – recording a victory in 1924. Included in the winning Naas team was Mark Deering, who went on to play for Ireland.
In 1926 the Naas side appeared in the first ever Provincial Towns Cup but “Lady Luck” deserted them on that occasion and was to do so on another 6 occasions that they appeared in the final. During those years the brothers Frank (1 cap) and Seamus Byrne (3 caps) played for Naas and they both went on to play for Ireland.
The Club won its first Leinster trophy since 1924, when they won the Provincial Towns Plate in 1969.
In 1974 the Club negotiated the purchase of Forenaughts and following the development of pitches and Club Pavilion the grounds were officially opened in the 1977/1978 season.
The first Leinster trophy won from its new home at Forenaughts was the Dunne Cup in 1980 – the Centenary Season of the Leinster Branch.
The game of rugby prospered in Naas and after 7 failed appearances in the Provincial Towns Cup final, a first success was achieved in 1995 and was followed up with further success in 1998 and 2005.