A 1965 lineout
Rugby has been played in Jersey since 1879 with breaks for war and the German Occupation, but the modern era started when the club acquired the land for a permanent home near the airport in 1961. The original wooden clubhouse was built in 1964 and its approximate location was in the middle of the Jersey Bowl carpark. From the early 1970s, when tourism on the island was at its peak, Jersey attracted many of rugby's top clubs who could combine a break from their regular fixtures with a game against the JRFC.
This period culminated with a very successful centenary year in 1979, teams with international players came over to play and help celebrate this event - JPR Williams being one of the most famous. This decade left the club with an unequalled collection of plaques and memorabilia; teams coming from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia (the beachguard connection) and Holland.
The current clubhouse was opened in September 1994 and corresponded approximately with the start of the leagues. At that stage, Jersey could no longer rely on visiting sides and had to join the league in Hampshire. The 1st XV has worked its way up and now plays in the RFU National 1 League. Travel costs are high and JRFC relies on functions and sponsorship to support this commitment.
In the summer of 2010 there were two additions to the ground facilities. The Lord Jersey Stand was built between the 1st XV pitch and the airport road and, the Pavilion with kitchen and bar was built to the east of the main club house. These provide improved amenities for the increasing number of spectators that now regularly attend matches due to the continued success of the 1st XV.
Using proceeds from a specific fund-raising raffle, floodlights were installed around the 1st team pitch in time for the start of the 2011/12 season.
A history of rugby in Jersey has been extracted from Jersey Rugby Football Club: The Story of Rugby in Jersey by Gordon Young and Keith Goddard.
In 1939 the club realised an ambition to play at the FB fields, as reported in a news magazine article of the time.
A 19c rugby team photographed by Ernest Baudoux