Tom Crosby played his first rugby match for Tulane University in 1970. In 1973 he graduated and was a founding member of NORFC. He played in NORFC’s first match against LSU in 1973. From 1973-1978 he shared social chairman responsibilities with Dave “Vicious” Farrar. In 1975 Tom, Dave, and NORFC founding member Bob Urann opened Spilfters & Smulchkins Ruggers’ Pub which operated as a rugby clubhouse until it closed in 1978. In 1978 he organized NORFC’s first international tour to Cayman Islands.
1979 Tom took a job in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and played for Quito RFC for a year. Upon his return to New Orleans in 1980 he was a founding board member of Rugby Corporation Inc. which bought and operated the NORFC rugby clubhouse on Oak Street.
In 1981 Tom took a job in Freeport, Bahamas, and played for the Freeport RFC. From Freeport he organized the NORFC tour to Freeport in 1982 to play in the Freeport RFC’s spring tournament.
He returned to New Orleans in 1983 and organized and captained the NORFC’s tour to Colombia and Ecuador. The NORFC was the first USA club side to ever tour South America. At the time there was only one team in Colombia and one team in Ecuador. NORFC went undefeated in play against the national sides.
In 1984 he returned to Ecuador and played for the Quito RFC until leaving in 1986. During his time in Ecuador he played for Ecuador in two matches against Colombia and one match against Peru which was played in Estadio Olympic Atahualpa, the Ecuadorian olympic stadium.
In 1992 he and his family moved to Caracas, Venezuela. He played on the Caracas Teachers rugby side, a mostly 7s team, who annually participated in the Trinidad 7s tournament. During this period his old friend and teammate from NORFC, Robert Markel - The Godfather of Deep South Rugby, visited and played with the Caracas Teachers in Trinidad in 1993 and 1994. In 1995 Markel brought an NORFC 7s team on their first trip to the Trinidad 7s. That year the Caracas Teachers did not send a team, but Tom went and played with New Orleans. These would be his last matches playing for the NORFC.
In 1996 he moved to Lome’, Togo, in West Africa. While he was there, Togo hosted a World Cup qualifying tournament for the 1999 World Cup. Ghana showed up with 13 players. At the age of 45 he played in a World Cup Qualifier for Ghana.
In 2003 he was hired as Director of the International School of Louisiana. While director of the school he started an activity period and rugby could be an activity choice. He coached the activity. Following Katrina the school was the first public school to re-open. The school reopened in trailers and an empty lot in Kenner. During the recovery the rugby activity period became a dynamic part of recovery. In May of 2006 the school held the first intramural elementary co-ed tackle rugby match in the USA complete with cheerleaders.
In 2007 Tom and former NORFC teammate, Fran Thompson, started DeepSouthRugby.net. At the time there was no Deep South Rugby Union website. As the union, which was later engulfed into True South Union, developed its own website, DeepSouthRugby.net’s mission became about preserving the history of rugby in the region and getting press credentials for Tom and Fran. Up until the writing of this bio Tom was part of the credentialed press and reported on several rugby competitions and the following Rugby World Cups:
2011 Men’s World Cup New Zealand
2013 7s World Cup Moscow
2014 Women’s World Cup Paris
2015 Men’s World Cup England
2018 7s World Cup San Francisco
Tom & Dave “Vicious” Farrar outside Spilfter’s & Smulchkins Mardi Gras 1976
Tom at Spilfter’s announcing smart shopper’s special (1978)
New Orleans RFC at Freeport Bahamas Spring rugby tournament (1982)
New Orleans over-under 30 Boxing Day match (1980)
International School of Louisiana Elementary School co-ed tackle rugby match (2006)
Caracas Teachers rugby team in Aruba (1995)
International School of Louisiana Elementary School Cheerleading Team (2006)