History of the MRFU
William Webb Elis may be credited with the invention of the sport of rugby internationally, but as it relates to St. Louis, that honor belongs largely to a man named Harry Langenberg. In 1933 Harry arrived back in St. Louis after attending Princeton University. Introduced to rugby there, Harry not only played rugby, but also served as an assistant coach for a school club. In St. Louis, Harry joined forces with Edmond St. John Hoogewerf and Hugo Walther and formed the Missouri Rugby Football Union with the intent of introducing and promoting the sport of rugby in and around St. Louis.
Shortly after the formation of the MRFU, Harry founded the first club to become a member, the St. Louis Ramblers. The MRFU is now one of the oldest of the 39 territorial unions operating within the USA Rugby Union and one of the oldest sports organizations in the St. Louis area. The Ramblers Rugby Club is now the second oldest surviving independent rugby club in the United States.
Harry Langenberg passed away in 2005 at the age of 96. Harry took the pitch - as a player - while attending his 60th college reunion at Princeton. One of his principle philosophies was to play the game rather than watch it. His other beliefs - respect the referee, value sportsmanship over winner-at-all-cost, relish social elements of the sport, both with teammates and opponents and most important, play for the love of the game.