World Rugby Shop is a labor of love. Our drive to grow the game is just as strong as our drive to provide our customers with first-class products and world-class service. We are honored to serve the Rugby Community and family.
World Rugby Shop was founded out of love for the game, the rugby culture, and the rugby community. You’ve probably heard the quote, ‘Rugby is not just a sport, it is way of life,’ and if you’re a player, you understand that the values of the game, such as discipline, team work, respect, sportsmanship, and fun, seep into all areas of your life. Traces of the game are seen in all you do. Once this happens, rugby becomes a passion and a way of life that’s impossible to avoid encouraging in others. Such is the story of our founder and the inception of World Rugby Shop.
A Love for the Game Is Born
In his youth and early adulthood, Rugby became Bernard Frei’s way of life. At age 10, he was introduced to rugby at school, by the De La Salle Brothers of St Joseph’s College. There, his love for the sport was cultivated. After the UK, he went on to play in France, Australia and the United States.
A Move Across the Ocean
In 1998, Frei followed his heart and moved from Sydney, Australia to Birmingham, Alabama. Struggling to find the right boots in the United States, he called a friend in Japan to get the pair of the Mizuno cleats he needed.
This endeavor sparked something - a thought that others must also be seeking connections to the world-wide game. A few of his playing mates asked Frei to help them find jerseys and other gear, and from there the idea of an online community and shopping destination was formed.
In 1998, RugbyRugby.com, an online community meeting place and source for rugby news and scores, was established, shortly followed by the founding of World Rugby Shop.