A tale of true perseverance and determination, this is the story of how a team of students turned an idea into the country's most innovative rugby club.

UM Wolves RFC officially opened its doors on 13 October 2017 as a student organisation within the University of Malta and has not looked back since.

Initially simply called Wolves RFC, the Club was founded by a group of seven like-minded University students: Michael Borg as the Club’s first President, together with Albert Galea, Matteo Alessandro, Andrew Camilleri, Samuel Portelli, Celine Bartolo, and Kimberly Riolo making up the inaugural committee.

With a host of events – including a Touch Rugby Tournament bringing 8 student organisations together – held on the University of Malta’s campus in its early months, the Club soon became well-known within the student community and it’s membership began to swell as a result.

The Club’s early aims were to promote the sport of rugby, attract people to a healthier and more physical lifestyle, improve the University of Malta’s sporting culture, and – most importantly – build a family for all those who come through the club’s proverbial doors. Those aims remain today.

With the appointment of Stefan De Marco and Carmelo Longo as coaches for the Club’s Men’s Team and Women’s Team respectively at the start of the 2018/19 season, the Club’s on-pitch progress began to show, leading to teams being fielded on the hallowed grounds of the Marsa Sports Complex for the first time.

The Men’s Team played its first ever fixture in the form of a 40 minute 15s match against a development team from Falcons RFC – emerging as surprise 12-0 winners courtesy of tries from Adam Cutajar and David Micallef.  A second match on the same day ended in a 21-7 defeat to Kavallieri RFC, with the only Wolves try coming from then-captain Mark Muscat.

The Women’s Team meanwhile took its first forays into rugby as well, with a team being entered into MRFU Women’s 5s tournaments.  Yanica Camilleri – who would go on to be a Malta international – Raquel Pace, Nicole Cannataci, Sarah Marie Bugeja made up the first team to play.

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As Francesco Pace Parascandalo took over as President from Michael Borg – who was elected into the Malta Rugby Football Union – the Club was officially recognised as the University of Malta’s official rugby union club in 2019 having also been recognised as a Voluntary Organisation in the same year, paving the way for the club to move forward and take advantage of new opportunities.

The UM Wolves RFC Women’s Team made history for the club by becoming the first of its teams to debut within Malta’s domestic league structure in the 2019/20 season.  Powered by the performances of a core of players who had been training with the Club almost since its inception, and with Czech Republic international Katka Vrbacka leading the way with an incredible 17 tries in 5 match weekends, the team soon rose to second place out of five before their first season was curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic stopped competitive rugby in Malta for almost two years, risking throwing away the progress attained until then in creating competitive squads for Malta’s domestic league.

However the Club emerged from the pandemic stronger: now led by Albert Galea as President, the club secured financial support from the University of Malta and kept its community together even if it meant hosting fitness sessions through Zoom twice a week.

The efforts paid off when, led by coaches Stefan De Marco and Martin Husband, the UM Wolves RFC Men’s Team broke their own new ground in January 2022 when rugby resumed after the pandemic by entering the Malta Rugby Football Union’s domestic competitions, boasting a largely homegrown team.

A squad of 25 men – 16 of whom had picked up a rugby ball for the first time with UM Wolves RFC – met powerhouses Stompers RFC in the Club’s historic first ever competitive 15s match.  A heavy loss was sustained, but the team’s never-say-die attitude was praised and has become one of the Club’s hallmarks since.

Front-row forward James Montebello became the Club’s first ever try and points scorer as he bundled over the line against Overseas RUFC in the team’s third league match of that season, as the Men’s Team pushed on into its pioneering season.

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The Men’s Team’s second season in domestic rugby saw further improvements in performances: more tries and points were scored, and less were conceded.  The squad grew, and Philippe Ioffe also became the first UM Wolves RFC player to be capped by the Malta men’s national team.

The Women’s Team meanwhile was not immune to the issues plaguing women’s rugby in Malta in general: struggles for all clubs to recruit new players meant an inconsistent season with little matches which ultimately took its toll on the squad.

Off the pitch, a number of firsts also arose during this season: the Club organised its first Beach Touch Rugby Cup – which attracted 100 members of the rugby community, it’s first Awards Night, and obtained funding from the European Union for a Mixed Ability Rugby programme to be run in collaboration with The Brain Foundation.

The biggest achievement of all however was the opening of the Club’s Youth Academy based out of the G.F. Abela Junior College.  Seeking to attract those aged 16 and over, the Academy gained traction, and three graduates of it have already gone on to represent the club in senior rugby.

It was one of those graduates – Tyrese Hayman – who powered the Men’s Team to their first ever competitive victories: a double win over Overseas RUFC during the MRFU 7s Series in April 2023.

These achievements all continued to be built upon in the 2023/24 season.

The appointment of Keenan Kleinsmith as the new Men’s Head Coach and the continued appointment of Carmelo Longo as the Women’s Head Coach were confirmed in July 2023, laying the groundwork for an exciting season ahead!

Club Presidents

The leaders of our Club since it was founded.

Mike Borg

2017 - 2019

Francesco Pace Parascandalo

2019 - 2021

Albert Galea

2021 - present

Roll of Honour

Since the 2021/22 season, the Club has hosted an annual Awards Night to recognise the big achievers of the previous season.

Award Winners 2022/23

Gabriel Seychell

Men's Player of the Season

Virain Hariramani

Men's Player's Player of the Season

Marco Gauci

Try of the Season

Isaac Scerri

Most Improved Player

Tyrese Hayman

Rookie of the Year

Marc Galdes

Pastizz Tas-Sena

Award Winners 2021/22

Michael Sant Fournier

Men's Player of the Season

Jordan O'Shea

Men's Player's Player of the Season

Danilo Camenzuli

Men's Most Improved Player

Gabriel Seychell

Men's Most Dedicated Player

Kurt Sciberras

Coach's Award

Tamsin Pace Decesare

Women's Player of the Season

Raisa Farrugia

Women's Player's Player of the Season

Kylise Borg

Women's Most Improved Player

Karolyn Joy Thomas

Women's Most Dedicated Player

Dayle Calleja

Coach's Award