Born on the beaches of Muizenberg, False Bay RFC has been established since 1929. Rugby in those years in South Africa was still relatively new. The interest generated by Paul Roos’s Springbok tour to England had seen rugby groups pop up all over and by the late twenties Muizenberg and Kalk Bay were competing against each other on the beach. The pitch was demarcated by the hordes of spectators, goalposts were absent and kick-off times were determined by the tides! Inevitably the Muizenberg and Kalk Bay sides combined and the inaugural meeting of False Bay RFC was held on 17 March 1929 at the Belgrave Hotel. Many of those present were from the rugby playing schools of the Peninsula. The club captain, Mr Bill Andrews, headmaster of the local school, was responsible for the club colours and badge. The WPRFU allocated their Plumstead fields to the club in 1932, where, apart from a brief move to Wynberg FC – until moving to their current position in the Constantia Sports Complex in 1968.
The highlight of False Bay’s on-field history was winning the Grand Challenge in 1972. Club rugby was enormous up until the launch of television, and crowds upwards of 15000 attended weekly club days at Newlands, where at least five games took place. Rugby icon, Basil Bey, himself an ex-player at the Bay, coached False Bay to the Championship and Butch Watson-Smith was captain of that team.
During this era many well-known names donned the Bay shirts at some stage of their careers, including Springboks Doug Hopwood, Lionel Wilson and Derek van den Berg. Up until the late eighties, False Bay were an established Grand Challenge club and their next peak period was in the mid-nineties with a successful run under future Springbok coach, Nick Mallet. During this time Springboks Neil Hugo, FC Smit and Dale Santon were integral to the team. We also enjoyed the company of World famous French players Fabien Galthie and Laurent Cabannes. Other well known members, players and office bearers include: Russell Mulholland, Springbok Media Liaison Officer at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, while Butch Watson-Smith was Springbok Business Manager for a number of years. Current Springbok Assistant Coaches Gary Gold & Dick Muir and Andy Marinos, current General Manager of SA Rugby, also played at the club.
Presidents have included Judge Phillip Herbstein (member of the Bar and after whom the Constantia fields are named); and currently Louis de Waal. Louis brought Sevens Rugby to South Africa from Scotland and inaugurated the False Bay Sevens inter-club tournament, in 1965. This was taken over by WP Rugby in the nineties and lost its identity.
False Bay Rugby has always striven to be a part of the broader community, notably through our Junior Academy, where we encourage youngsters from non-playing schools in the area to play and teach them skills and provide opportunities for competition. Through partnerships the facilities are abuzz with school holiday clinics and coaching activity.
The unique False Bay spirit encompasses a blend of on-the-field performance and an environment where all can feel comfortable and at home and where sustaining friendships are built.