The Full Story
The program was founded in 1989 by students Layton Golding, Ralph Campano and faculty member Dean Butckovitz. From there the club has continued to grow, leading former players to form the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association in 2007. As the club marches towards its 30th anniversary, the Alumni continue to support the Club with the time and financial support needed to continue to grow the program on and off the field. Many Alumni regularly attend home matches and every year a large group return to their alma mater for the alumni game and to recall the many stories of their time playing rugby for the Niners
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Men's Rugby Club
President │ Ryan Paynter
Vice President │ Avery Gottlob
Match Secretary │ Gavin Cunningham
Treasurer │ John Cascone
National Runner up in 2017
National Champs in 2018
Finished 5th in 2019
UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. It leverages its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives. UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region.
The UNC Charlotte Men's Rugby Club was founded in 1989 and has become one of the most successful D2 rugby programs in the nation. It is one of the oldest club teams at Charlotte and boasts a long history of success.
In both the 2017 and 2018 season the 49ers were the only team in the Carolinas to qualify for the USA Rugby National Championships in both 15's and 7's, finishing as the national 7’s runner-up in 2017 and National Champions in 2018 Niners Rugby is proud to have a dedicated grass pitch right in the middle of campus as well as access to additional all weather practice fields and the state of the art Belk Gym and fitness center. The field has seating for fans and is regarded as one of the best rugby playing surfaces in the South.
The 49ers are the current reigning Southern Conference 15s and 7s champions. Several players are also annually selected to the Conference Select Team, with Charlotte currently having 5 All-Conference players. The team is proud to have four Collegiate All-American players from the 2018 season.
Charlotte has a dedicated USA Rugby certified coaching team whose playing and coaching experience extends both internationally and domestically. All of the coaches have impressive resumes in coaching rugby at all levels including elite Collegiate and Men's Rugby, as well as the NC High School All Star program and Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, the pathway to High School All-American rugby. Beyond the emphasis on high performance, the coaches encourage an environment where players of all abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to play. The 49ers maintain a roster of over 50 players, consistently play both an "A" and "B" side and encourage a diverse, all-inclusive, environment rather than focusing on a small number of athletes.