Rooke, Charles Vaughan (‘C. V.’) (1869–1946), rugby player, was born 24 September 1869 at Summerhill, Dublin, son of Thomas Slator Rooke, gentleman and member of the Plymouth Brethren, from Dublin; and Adelaide Rooke (née Reid) originally of Rossbrook, Co. Armagh. Educated privately in Switzerland and Germany, Rooke entered TCD in 1886, graduating BA (1900), and was ordained into the anglican ministry (1903). At Trinity he was initially a member of the college second XV in rugby in 1888/9; he graduated to the first XV in 1889/90, and played on until 1894, captaining the side in the 1893/4 season. A dynamic forward, he made his international debut against England in 1892 and went on to win nineteen caps in the period 1891–7, surpassing the record of J. A. MacDonald (qv) as most capped Irishman and holding the record until he was eclipsed by Louis Magee (qv) in 1902. He played in all three matches when Ireland won their first triple crown in 1894, beating England 7–5 at Blackheath (the first time Ireland defeated England on English soil), Scotland 5–0 at Lansdowne Road, and Wales 3–0 in front of a then-record crowd of 10,000 people in Belfast; he had an especially good game against Wales in a close match, a contemporary report stating that he was ‘more than anyone else responsible for keeping his opponents from scoring’ (Sport, 10 Feb. 1894). He also played in all three games of Ireland's championship winning season of 1896, when a draw against Scotland deprived Ireland of a second triple crown in three years. He also played thirteen times for Leinster in the period 1890–97.
Rooke is credited by some as the original ‘flanker’ or ‘wing-forward’, instigating a style of play that saw the wing-forward break from the scrum and try to tackle and disrupt the opposition half-backs, a ploy later adopted by the Donegal-born captain of New Zealand, Dave Gallaher (qv), to great effect. It was a style of play not without its detractors, irritating some spectators, and drawing the ire of many rugby writers of the day, including the Evening Standard's prolific E. H. D. Sewell. Rooke was also a superb dribbler of the ball, a skill that was particularly important at the time. An indication of his influence on rugby is that the Irish flank forward of the 1920s, J. D. ‘Jammie’ Clinch (qv), claimed to have modelled his play on Rooke's style as described to him by his father, Andrew Clinch, who had played with him on the international team. Rooke won two Leinster senior cups with Trinity (1890, 1893) before moving on to play for Monkstown, where he won his last eight caps for Ireland. Injury forced him to retire from playing in 1900, and he served as an international team selector in 1901–2. He also served as secretary of the Leinster branch of the IRFU (1901–3) until his work as an anglican minister forced him to retire from active involvement in rugby. Rooke was appointed to parishes in Ardfert and Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry, from 1903 to 1919, and then emigrated to New Zealand. He ministered in Hunterville (1919–24) and St Thomas's parish in Wellington from 1924. He died 6 January 1946 in Wellington.
Rooke married (1910) Jane F. Sealy from Killorglin, Co. Kerry; they had three sons and two daughters.