Harlequin Rugby Club was founded in 1903. Just after the Anglo-Boer war in 1902, many of the young men were recruited from the Cape to join the new Transvaal Civil Service based in Pretoria.  It was decided amongst these men that a rugby club be formed to cater specifically for their sporting needs, which they named the Civil Service Club. The colors chosen were white jerseys, with the letters C.S.F.C. worded in red on the left breast together with blue shorts.

The club immediately started playing matches against inter  alia the leading Johannesburg clubs, as well as Pretoria Rugby Clubs and the “New Zealanders”, (men from that country who after serving in the war had decided to settle in Pretoria), and naturally formed a rugby club to rid them of excess energy.

The “Civil Servants” soon found that their limited membership and frequent staff transfers were making life difficult on the field for them. The committee proposed that membership be extended beyond the Civil Service, at the same time recommending a name change. At the Special General Meeting convened for the occasion, it was proposed that the name of the club be changed to “The Harlequin Rugby Club”, and that permission be sought to use the London Harlequin Club colors and logo. This was granted and since 1903 we have played in our present colors.

There are however also two other interesting facts aside from the above history which are significant and needs mentioning when talking about the history of "The Harlequin Rugby Club" namely the person who seconded the motion at the meeting to change our name Mr. J E Partridge, who was later in the year announced to become the club’s first Springbok rugby player. The other relevant fact is that London Harlequin was a founder member of the original Rugby Union that formulated the rules of the sport. In essence our club’s core goes back almost one hundred and thirty years to the start of the game that we know today.

Harlequin Youth Club was established by Ossie Rusher in 1967. Dr. Danie Craven attempted the same concept in the Cape with limited success. Harlequin Youth was the first in South Africa and was known as a clinic in the beginning making it the oldest Youth Club in South Africa and still growing every year!
After this other Youth Clubs like Pretoria, Municipality, Oostelikes and Noordelikes followed. Harlequin Rugby Club was however the force behind the formation of the Youth Association at the Blue Bull Rugby Union. The main purpose was to provide rugby coaching to mainly the English-speaking players who did not play rugby at primary school.

Harlequin Youth was and is still the biggest and most successful Youth Club in Blue Bull country, as well as nationally. First Youth Club in South Africa to undertake an overseas tour when they toured England in the 80’s and to participate in the Rugby World Youth Tournament held in France. Subsequently, Harlequins Youth Club toured Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.

Harlequin Youth was the first Youth Club to produce a Blue Bulls Rugby President and member of SA Rugby, Mr. Dolf van Huyssteen. Johan Scheepers, currently the manager at Harlequin Senior Rugby Club, also served as coach and Chairman.  Mr. Piet Swanepoel, former Chairman of Harlequins Senior Rugby Club and former Vice President of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, also coached at the Youth Club where their roots in rugby was developed.

HYRC produced various Blue Bull Provincial players (Naas Botha, Adolf Malan, McNiel Hendricks to name a few), coaches and administrators over the years, of which the former Kitch Christie, who  was the master mind that led the Springboks in 1995 to South Africa’s 1st World Cup victory. The coaching staff and players of HYRC  have for more than 5 decades contributed to the success of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and we are committed to continue doing so in future.

HYRC was also the first youth rugby club to invite and welcome coaches of colour into our midst and provided a sound rugby training environment to the newcomers to the Quins family. We are a non-racial, non-discriminatory, non-sexist rugby club and offer membership to all interested parties. The Harlequin rugby family is proud of the fact that in 2019 we were the only youth rugby club in the Blue Bull Rugby Union that could field sixteen (16) junior teams, of which two (2) were girls teams. We play rugby throughout Gauteng, tour nationally  on an annual basis, and also  act as host for international incoming tours, for the benefit of our players.


Be the preferred youth rugby club in Pretoria and the club of choice for all youth players and supporters, irrespective of gender or historical background. Quins will respect and be respected on and off the field, by providing a well-managed, dynamic and FUN environment that our players, families and community will be proud of and where the game of rugby can be honored.


HYRC shall develop and promote rugby amongst its players, coaches, management and parents. Be visible during our participation on and off the field and through proficient teamwork, to ensure the future existence of HYRC and rugby in general. Harlequin Youth Rugby will:
  • maintain its commitment to preserve the ethos and promote the values of rugby;
  • remain an influential club in the Blue Bull Youth Rugby Union;
  • sought equitable partnerships between all levels of the sport and business;
  • manage the club on sound business principles for the benefit of the sport and its members as a whole, not forgetting the family values we encompass as a club;
  • support all development clubs at every opportunity, funds permitting; and
  • be the first-choice youth rugby club in Pretoria.

HYRC Values

H Human Relations - We shall work on building friendships between our players, parents, management and competitors.
A Agility - We shall strive for the meaning of agility, which is the gracefulness of the person that is mentally nimble.
R Respect - We shall treat our players, parents, management and competitors with the respect they deserve.
L Loyalty - We shall be loyal to our club, its players and members, and we shall be loyal to our saying: ONCE A QUIN ALWAYS A QUIN.
E Equal Opportunities - We shall not distinguish between good and bad, but shall ensure equal opportunities to our players, in order to develop and promote the game of rugby.
Q Quality - We shall ensure quality within our coaches and management in order to promote and develop rugby amongst our players.
U Utile - We shall be utile and play a constructive part in the development of rugby and most important the development of our players, coaches and members.
I Integrity - We shall be moral sound in making decisions as coaches, management, players and parents.
N Noticeable - We shall be worthy in drawing our attention to the development of rugby and players and will not be obstructive in achieving our goals.

Main Goals

  • Rugby Excellence: To have and be known as the youth club with the highest rugby standard and playing record in South Africa.
  • Community/Players: To be the preferred youth club of choice for players, parents, sponsors, spectators, coaches and administrators.
  • Management: To be the best equipped and managed youth club, with the development and enhancement of its players, being the primary focus.
  • Governance: To ensure that HYRC efficiently functions in compliance with the Constitution of HYRC and that coaches, team mangers, players and parents/guardians comply with the perspective codes of conduct at all times.

Strategic Factors

In order to achieve our vision we shall strive to:
  • Manage the expectations of multiple external stakeholders - We have many stakeholders, each of whom has different and changing levels of expectations. These stakeholders include amongst others Blue Bull Youth Rugby, members, sponsors, supporters, other youth clubs, media, schools and our environment. We shall  strive to provide stakeholders with timely and relevant information to keep them informed of the activities and achievements through multiple channels.
  • Capitalize on the Harlequin Brand to drive growth - The Harlequin Brand provides the means to draw in players, sponsors and spectators into rugby. We shall capitalize on this potential to ensure we succeed in achieving our goals, to provide maximum exposure to our sponsors and players alike.
  • Achieve financial sustainability - Achieving financial sustainability is critical to our long-term success. To achieve financial sustainability we shall  strive to maintain our current revenue streams, manage our costs and secure new revenue streams.
  • Venue - Meeting our venue requirements is critical to enable games, training and administrative activities and we shall strive to have the best venue for our purposes.
  • Grow and  Develop Harlequin Rugby - The growth and development of HYRC is essential for the long-term sustainability of Harlequin Rugby. To ensure the success of club rugby, we must develop and implement initiatives that provide easy access for participation, increase the profile of club rugby and maximize the enjoyment of all participants at every level of participation to ensure the success of Harlequins Youth Rugby.
  • Make Youth Rugby a success - The success of the HYRC is critical to the growth and developments of rugby in the Blue Bull Region. To ensure the success of the HYRC  we shall strive to establish team identity, vision and values, continuously improve coaching and player management and off field player development. We shall foster a supportive environment within which players can perform to their optimum, as well as recruit and retain the "best" people, develop local rugby talent in all communities, protect Intellectual Property and research and implement best practice and constantly monitor performance.

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