Clonmel RFC was founded in 1892 and plays its senior rugby in the Munster Junior League Division One.
Clonmel played Cork County ( now Cork Constitution ) in the Munster Senior Cup. On that team were the two famous Cashel brothers Mick and Jack Ryan ( who were on the Irish triple crown winning team of 1899 ),Roger Nugent, (father of Dolphie and grand father of Ned Nugent ), Stephen Keating from Marlfield and John Scully of Fethard. Also involved was Charlie Dillon, whose grandson Andy is still very much to the fore in the Club as are Andy’s two sons Eddie and John.
Rugby became dormant.
Revival of Club by Frank Murphy and Denis Burke, Rodger Cleary, Micky Ryan, ( Uncle of Jack ) and they played at Kane’s Field (now Esso and Telcom).
Saw two of Clonmel’s most dynamic members in the persons of Bill McEntyre (Manager. of B.O.I.) and Edward Ryan (Manager of National Bank) who had an unbroken run as President for 20 years.
Clonmel won first Garryowen Cup under Captain Jackie Lonergan also on team were Joe Fennessy, David Lonergan and Christy Heffernan.
They played in the Showgrounds.They had their best period in the years 1937 to 1940 when they won 6 cups the Manseragh and Garryowen Cups . In the years 1937 and 1939 they won the double with David Lonergan Captain in ’37 and John Smyth ’39. On that squad you had Davy Lonergan, Joe Fennessy, John and Davy Smyth, Jim Byrne, Denis Lowry , Pat O ‘Shea, Rodger Coffey, D. Lalor, J, Fogarty, Usna Treacy, T. Harnick , T. Leonard, K. Keoghane, Vinny Healy.
They won both again – “Squill” Cahill was on that team. The Club had a lean period for a few years after this.
A second team was formed in the late forty’s by Barry O’Donovan and David Lonergan.
The Tipperary Branch started a Second’s Cup called the Evans Cup for Second teams only.
Clonmel’s second team won the Evans Cup for the first time. On that team were Con O’Connell , D. Burke , Eddie Dillon and Frank Kent (Captain).
The 1961 Garryowen Team gathered again at the official opening in August 2003 and were presented with their medals …. better late than never.
The Garryowen and the Manseragh Cups were won again in 1961 and on that squad was Eldon Morris, Chris McGrath, Alan Normile, Michael Carey, Jack Ryan, Andy Dillon, Cyril Burke, J.Kennedy, J. White, George Mossop, Steve Bradshaw, John O’Donoghue, T. Kearns, S. McGuinness, W. Burke, Frank Waldron, D. Moloughney.
The Club was disbanded for a few years after this.
The Club was reformed. The driving force at that time was the late Tom Reilly. Also on that committee were Barry O’ Donovan, Mick Kelly, Tom Fennessy, Paul Lonergan, Michael Reilly and Cyril Burke.
The games were played in the back of Tom Reilly’s house in Marlifield for a number of years. Players who started were Michael Reilly, Peter Reilly, Tom Fennessy, Paul Lonergan, Tony Leo, Michael O’Brien, Terry Sullivan, Bill Good.
Clonmel won first their match (A discussion was heard at the bar of Hearns Hotel between Tom Reilly and Mick Kelly as follows ‘ Mick when Clonmel win their first match I’ll bring you out to dinner and the reply, Tom when Clonmel score their first TRY I’ll bring you’).
Clonmel played Carrick on the lawn in Marlifield on 4 – 10 – 69 and recorded their first win since they reformed by 22 points to 6. Scorers for Clonmel were Paul Lonergan, Tom Fennessy, Adrian Logue, Phil Carroll, Bill Good and Michael O’ Brien. John Carey converted one of the trys.
Squad of players that year were Terry O’ Sullivan, Tony Sheahan, Peter Collins, J, Griffin, Adrian Logue, Tony Leo, Paul Lonergan, John Kirwan, Brendan Cleary, Bill Good, Peter Reilly, Michael Reilly, Noel Fanning, Michael O’Brien, Joe O’ Sullivan.
History was made with the purchase of the Clubs first field from Gerald Nugent up in Ardgeeha.
Squad of players that year were Peter Collins, Alex Casey, Paul Lonergan, Adrian Logue, Tony Leo, Brendan Ryan, Frank Dorgan, Paul Morris, Tom Fahey, John Kennedy, Jimmy Harney, Willie Kennedy, Matt Forrest, Edwan Bradshaw, Ollie Fitzpatrick, Billy Shoer.
Club House and dressing rooms were built.
Tom Fahey was seriously injured playing for the first team. Tom died three years later as a result of his injuries.
Won Ballyrandle cup with Phil Corby captain.
Won Casey Cup with Alex Casey as captain.
Our under 14′s won the Tipperary Cup with Timmy Normile as captain. Also on that squad was Conor Morris, Brian Hanley, Conor Sweetman, Chris McGrath, John Dillon, Bobbie Boland, John Hannifan, Brian Keating, Stephen Kellegher, Martin Carey, Neil Bourke.
Won Gleeson Cup and Ballyrandle Cup with John Joy as Captain and the 3rd team won the A.I.B. Cup with Billy Shoer as Captain.
Opened New Club House with the visit on the first ever Soviet Rugby team to Ireland.
Won the Curran Cup with Billy Burke as Captain.
Won the Manseragh Cup after a period of 30 years with Billy Burke as Captain also on that squad were John Dillon, Kevin Cronin, Stephen Kellegher, David Cantwell, Michael Brigges, Paul Garreth, Eddie Dillon, Billy Dwyer, Niel Bourke, Bill Bradley, Michael Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowles, Maurice Maloney, Paul McGrath, Steve McEvoy, Paddy Ryan, Timmy Normile, Anthony Wall, Sean O’Loughlin.
1992 – Centenary year
Brought over London Irish to play Shannon in a game played in Clonmel.
Won promotion to second division.
Manseragh Cup winners with David Slattery at Captain.
Won the Garryowen Cup beating Nenagh Ormond in a breathtaking final at Thurles. Captain Paddy O’Donnell.
2nd team won the Casey Cup beating Thurles in the final at Waterford City. Darren Ware was Captain. Clonmel Ladies won the inaugural Tipperary cup beating Clanwilliam in the Final and also won the All Ireland Bowl beating Cooke in the Final. A good season for the club.
Clonmel 2nd XV beat Cashel in the final of the Evans Cup 19 – 11. Clonmel 2nd XV also won the Ballyrandle Cup by beating Carrick on Suir in the final 17 – 13.
1st XV won the Mansergh cup by beating Clanwilliam 15 – 0. Clonmel 2nd XV won the Ballyrandle cup in 2008 captained by Stephen Cleary.