The History of the Rhino Rugby – Rugby is one of the most popular games in the world, especially in Europe, North America, and South Africa. Although often likened to football, this game follows a different set of rules. Rhino is one of the leading rugby brands in the world as well as it has become one of the parts of the very fabric of the game itself. Rhino Rugby was founded in the early 1980s when the world’s first mass-produced scrimmaging machine, the Powerhouse, was developed by Rhino’s Founder, Tim Francis, who at that time was a master at Dulwich College.
Having relocated to Devon, he joined together with his brother in law Derek de Glanville, father of England captain Phil, along with Phil Keith-Roach (scrum coach to the 2003 England World Cup winning side) to develop a full range of rugby training products. In 1988 the business was incorporated and raised funds through a Business Expansion Scheme share issue, led by current CEO Rag Clark as well as legendary Rosslyn Park, Lions, England as well as Barbarians number 8 Andy Ripley, who became a significant shareholder and Chairman of the company for the next 18 years.
The History of the Rhino Rugby
Rhino continued to grow at a rapid pace into the nineties and was named as Official Supplier of scrimmaging machines, contact as well as training equipment along with pitch kits to the 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cups, a fact acknowledged many years later when Warner Brothers invited all of the staff of the company to the West End Premiere of Invites to thank them for their work. Rhino also became Official Supplier to England Rugby in the 1994/5 season, a relationship which recently celebrated its 25th centenary. Additionally, high profile Official Supplier deals followed with the Wales, Bath along with the Cardiff Blues.
At the resolve of the Millennium, Rhino was flourishing. In late 2006, pursuing the decision of the Managing Director Derek de Glanville to retire, longstanding shareholder Rag Clark teamed up with the England World Cup winning captain, the Martin Johnson to achieve a buyout of the business, which relocated to the Chiswick, the West London where it is headquartered today. Official Supplier deals in the training equipment with London Wasps, as well as the St Helens Rugby League Club (a breakthrough deal into that code), were consequently announced as well as in the area of on-field kit and team wear the Rhino Pure Rugby brand was soon to be adorned by Northampton Saints, Edinburgh and Llanelli Scarlets, in addition to Magners League referees as well as officials. Rhino was also named Official Supplier of scrimmaging along with training equipment and the official tour ball to the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2009.
After 25 years of being at the forefront of British rugby, Rhino launched its first range of casual separates, Rhino. This premiere collection was an introduction to Rhino as a clothing brand name as well as the rugby equipment brand name. The first range for Winter 2010 consisted of tee shirts, polo shirts, retro rugby shirts, hooded sweat shirts and a specially commissioned, old school fashion Union Jack Jacket. The range of heritage clothing, as well as rugby leisure apparel, is aimed at the young, and athletic University sports fan through to the more adult, trendy, sporty dresser.
Rhino aims to continue to be at the forefront of all aspects of the development of training equipment for rugby, and is particularly concerned with player safety, having taken a lead in a recent two-year campaign to promote safe and efficient fully contested scrimmaging in the rugby union game. Rhino’s values of toughness, reliability, integrity, heritage along with team spirit are born out of the game of rugby itself.