About

Wild Geese "Old Boys" Rugby

The Wild Geese "Old Boys" (Veterans) Rugby Football Club carries on the Barbarian tradition of attracting rugby players from any rugby club or background that are dedicated to playing open, attacking rugby. During the spring and fall seasons we play on our own pitch, Gosling Park, in Dickerson, MD, Western Montgomery County. The field offers a spectacular view of Virginia's Goose Creek watershed, looking out over the Potomac River. The club offers 35-and-over players competitive play, camaraderie, and exceptional hospitality. Matches are posted in our Events section.

Wild Geese Touch Rugby

The Wild Geese Touch Rugby started out as a way to keep fit by playing weekly refereed touch rugby matches throughout the summer and winter. The Wild Geese is now expanding to include year round touch for men and women of any age under the FIT rules.

Our touch rugby matches are open to anyone who enjoys fun and competitive play, camaraderie, and the exceptional hospitality the Wild Geese are known for.   Touch is regularly hosted on the fields located behind Westover Library in Arlington Virginia.  Summer sessions (June through Labor Day) are held on Wednesday evenings from 7 pm to 9 pm.  Winter sessions (December through March) are held on Sunday afternoons from 2 pm to 4 pm.  Alternate sites for touch are selected during the Fall and Spring season (usually in Vienna, VA or Potomac, MD) and will be posted in our Events section.

History

THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE WILD GEESE (1691)

To many Americans, the term 'The Wild Geese' means nothing. To a few who are old enough, they might think of the 1978 Richard Burton movie about mercenaries fighting in Africa by that name.

To those that know their history, they know 'The Wild Geese' refers, originally, to the Irish soldiers that served under Patrick Sarsfield and fought the army of Dutch Prince-turned-English King William of Orange to a standstill in Ireland.

These Irish soldiers were given the option, as part of the 1691 Treaty of Limerick, after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, of sailing to France to join James II (the Stuart king of England) in exile. Many soldiers sailed to France, and formed the foundation of the Irish Brigade that served in the French Army for the next 100 years

French ships, which came to the west coast of Ireland smuggling brandy and wine, would leave with recruits for the Irish Brigade. To hide their movements from the English, the men would be listed on the ship's manifest as 'Wild Geese,' thus the origin of the name. The Wild Geese served not only in Catholic countries like France, Spain and Italy, but they also fought with such non-Catholic countries such as Russia, Germany and Austria. There were two Irish field marshals in the Austrian army, two in the Russian army, eight in the French army, five in Italian army, and twelve in the Spanish army during a 150-year span. That is one of the highest ranks given in any army. There were also two Irish field marshals who served under Napoleon and one notable, Bernando O'Higgins who led the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Columbia, is revered as a saint in South America. The name "Wild Geese" later became synonymous with the hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants whose talents were to flower abroad.- the flight of the "Wild Geese" served to spread Irish influence throughout Europe

THE SECOND FLIGHT OF THE WILD GEESE

In 1698, the forefathers of Wild Geese Rugby Football Club Founders, Michael Balitsaris Fortier, Roger Chaufournier, Donald Cotchen, Tim Harrington, Mike McGavick, James McVey, Pepe O'Malley, and Dave Stuart (bastard son of the Jacobite King James Stuart) having elected by mutual and unanimous consent, to stay on in Limerick for last call after their fighting brethren left for France in 1691, decided to sample the culinary and cultural wonders of the French. Being latecomers to the formation of Patrick Sarsfield's Irish Brigades then in French royal service, and taking umbrage that these eight gentlemen of noble pedigree were not immediately offered line commands of the nascent Irish regiments, decided that their path would lie in the formation of a rugby club, hence the birth of the Wild Geese RFC in 1698, as depicted under the Silver (signifying old boys) Goose crest on the club's jersey - dark blue for France and the sea that separates the eight from home and complimented by a kelly green collar and 2 green stripes on the jersey arms (highlighting both their origins as veteran players for the Washington Irish RFC and their sartorial sense that green and blue are by their very nature complimentary colors) More than two hundred years later, the Washington DC-area based Wild Geese Rugby Football Club carries on the tradition of attracting rugby players from around the United States and the World that will travel from the four corners of Washington DC and the Seven Continents, sporting the Silver Wild Goose, to have a "go" at anyone, anytime, anyplace. The Geese welcome players from any rugby club or background that are dedicated to playing open attacking rugby.

The Wild Geese coat-of-arms with the Goose Rampant and the motto "In Hoc Anser Vinces" (which means for the ill-read "In this Goose Conquer") descends directly from the motto of the (Wild Geese) Irish in French military service during the 18th Century: "In This Sign Conquer" depicting both that exhortation and the Irish Harp on the regimental colors. The "sign" dates to the alleged vision of the Christian cross to Roman General Constantine in 312 A.D. before the military battle with his political rival and pagan Maxentius for the throne of the Roman Empire. Constantine won the battle, making him Emperor, and, in gratitude, Constantine openly supported the new religion in the Roman Empire and it therefore spread throughout the western world with official blessing. Mother Geeseland, home to the Wild Geese Rugby Football Club, similarly recognizes the virtues of a world best served by rugby and embraces all.

As Scribed By M.B Fortier
Washington, DC March 2006

Officers

President: Open
Past President: Sean O'Donnell
Match Secretary: Chris Dugan
Treasurer: Open