After years of the local boys playing touch rugby in Phuket, Kandy RFC the Sri Lankan Champions arrival with 12 Internationals marked the birth of contact rugby on the island. Despite the Vagabonds combining 9 Nations of dubious talent we suffered an auspicious defeat – but the Vagabond legend was born.
The club leapt (crawled) from strength to strength, began hosting games and even hosted an International 15’s. After a year we were awarded with our first victory over some crap Bangkok side (Corsairs).
Team Vagabonds transient squad resulted in awesome victories and auspicious defeats (somewhat like Wales), but with tours to Hat Yai, Bangkok and Manila the club emerged as an entity (rather than force) within the Thai Rugby Union.
Dulwich International College provided us with a regular pitch, as well as supplying us new players. Then came sponsorship from the Phuket Gazette which provided a name change to the Phuket Gazettes. Thankfully they saw the error of their ways and withdrew sponsorship, allowing us to ditch the world’s silliest name and revert to being the Phuket Vagabonds (the newspaper only ever reports games we lose……..)
Presently we are aiming to strengthen our pool of players by reducing reliance on rotational expats who are always pissed, bar owners who are always pissed and press ganged tourists who are also, always pissed.
Phuket rugby has continued to develop (sobering up at least) and with an influx of young fit South African teachers, yachting crews and general surfer dudes among others the Vagabonds have become a side to be reckoned with who can not only lead off the pitch but also on it and the 2015 victory in our home tournament during our 21st anniversary year at the Phuket International Rugby Tens will be remembered for many a year by those who were there. A permanent feature for both Thai and Asian teams to defeat…erm visit.
Supplied by Ben Hennessy and a spell checker
After winning the 2015 Phuket International 10s led by Captain Darren Mathee the Phuket Vagabonds went on to win again in 2017 & 2018 with the inspiration of Captain Tjaart Van Der Welt. The Viagrabonds also saw success during this period winning the coveted Athena Siam Coffin Dodgers Vets trophy in 2019.