Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

Spanish rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 12:30

Absolutely, but the plan was never to put a full-strength side against them, and to add salt to injury starting scrum-half broke his nose a few minutes before the game leaving his 18 year-old brother in charge. The first half was a disaster, then things became much closer.

In general I would Spain is able to compete with any team outside Tier 1, understanding "to compete" as having the level to be a decent opposition and not suffering heavy defeats, but we are awful at scoring and securing wins. First half against Argentina XV in 2017 Nations Cup was a clear example, we spent 35 minutes in their 22 and went to halftime losing 0-10. Then floodgates were opened and subs were done just to rest players for the game against Uruguay... And when you think that going to RWC obliges to pick up all possible bonus points in 2018 REC or beating Tonga or Canada or Uruguay, it's hard not to believe we should already be thinking about 2023 rather than 2019.

Basically we need reaching RWC more than we deserve it.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 18:07

By the way, there is an interesting tidbit disclosed by FER's media manager during women's national team media day prior to WRWC. Their WRWC qualifier away against Scotland has been the most watched rugby game on TV this season, above any men's match. It took a place a Friday evening, so I wonder whether it would be possible to hold test matches or REC games in that slot...

And it's true Spain Women have had lots of luck with their TV slots. Their Olympic quarterfinal took place in prime time and that game in Scotland was also an ideal timing... but because they were able to reach such stages on the field. We must be really thankful to them.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 09:18

From FER press release of their General Assembly:
- División de Honor will start on 17/9 and will finish on 27/5.
- División de Honor Femenina (women's league) will now be played on a home and away basis. Will start on 8/10 and finish on 8/4.
- An agreement has been reached with Teledeporte (public sports channel) to broadcast a División de Honor game every week, all national teams games and a weekly rugby show.
- Budget for 2018 is 3,3 M€.

Unfortunately TV news aren't as promising as they look. Games won't be live and clubs have big doubts on who will pay for this. And budget concerns me. If in the moment of history where rugby grows the most and has the biggest media exposure in Spain the budget isn't increased we've got a serious issue here.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby amz » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 09:32

So no space for one live match per week? This is sad, although when I read first line about I thought this should be good.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 10:23

No. There aren't official details yet, but it seems from what has been tweeted by some clubs that RTVE could broadcast games anytime from 14:00 to 20:00 on Sundays. Exposure will be there, but diehard fans won't have any interest on following games they already could have seen by streaming.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 14:48

FER has uploaded their draft 2018 budget. Good news, there are proposed training camps and games with Portugal at U18 and U20 levels. Bad news, they don't seem to have a clue about RWC repechages and there is some sponsorship lost or unconfirmed (LaLiga, most notably):
http://ferugby.es/userfiles/file/Transp ... 202018.pdf

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby olivier » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 14:50

Armchair Fan wrote:FER has uploaded their draft 2018 budget. Good news, there are proposed training camps and games with Portugal at U18 and U20 levels. Bad news, they don't seem to have a clue about RWC repechages and there is some sponsorship lost or unconfirmed (LaLiga, most notably):
http://ferugby.es/userfiles/file/Transp ... 202018.pdf

They don't want to go to repechage. They want Europe 1 spot.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 14:56

If you have a look at the document it would seem they predict to win the repechage against Tonga/Samoa, since they only forgot November 2018 final repechage... :lol:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby olivier » Mon, 10 Jul 2017, 15:00

Armchair Fan wrote:If you have a look at the document it would seem they predict to win the repechage against Tonga/Samoa, since they only forgot November 2018 final repechage... :lol:

Europe 2 vs Oceania 3 is a playoff not a repechage.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 14 Jul 2017, 08:42

Extremely good news from Madrid. For two years its Town Hall has been holding participative budgets where people could vote for new investments in their neighborhoods. Well, last year a rugby pitch was voted. This year two new projects passed through (one of them in Hortaleza, a place that holds 3% of all Spanish rugby players). And different works are in progress in other current pitches, as many as seven could be built or reformed in the next year.

Probably the most important will be Las Terrazas in Alcobendas, considering its horribly muddy state and its club ambitions.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Bogdan_DC » Fri, 14 Jul 2017, 10:45

@ Armchair fan i used to have some ties with your rugby, some of my fellows used to play rugby in Spain. You always look like having the potential, good players and great team attitude.Despite what people generally think you have some good teams even back to the '80 &'90. But always looks like you sabotage your own rugby because of your union personal struggles&vendettas.But 2016 looks different story, different approach & a better structure.Everybody seems going in the same direction. What's changed in your rugby?Do you have a different management? Do you think that if you don't qualify to the World Cup it will throw you back to chaos?Or everything looks put on a course and despite successful/unsuccessful campaign the things looks on the track for your rugby?What is your view on this? I must admit that next year game in Madrid it gives me shivers :).

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 14 Jul 2017, 11:05

Nothing has changed, Bogdan. There is a clear direction regarding senior international teams because after near-bankrupcy in 2014 and World Rugby + Spanish Sports Council rescue package the same management has been in place, not even holding a proper election in 2016. But conflict exists between clubs and union or even between clubs. It could be seen when 2017 Copa del Rey final host had to be decided or with the way Eurosport TV deal was mismanaged.

There is a balance, but a very fragile one and only because everybody knows that until debt is repaid (75% is already done) it's not the time to ask for changes. There is a big lack of transparency in the union. There are clubs with totally opposite views of where the national league should be heading. And in spite of the good vibes surrounding Spanish rugby, private investments are yet to come.

I don't think not qualifying for RWC will send us to chaos, because it's the most probably outcome to be honest. But it will for sure slow down growth. I don't know for how long players will keep growing at a 10% yearly rate if senior performances don't improve. And if we don't make the most of the next four, five, six years, it's pretty clear to me Germany will overtake us quickly. Some Spanish pundits are quite spot on when they say Spain faces the risk of becoming world rugby's Benidorm. A place to come for rugby holidays, holding the odd international match between foreign nations for foreign fans and that's it.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Bogdan_DC » Fri, 14 Jul 2017, 11:24

I used to play against a very good Santander junior team, back to 1998 or 1999 i think :).I remember talking with Spanish boys and they tell me something like playing senior rugby in Spain is expensive because clubs must pay a fee to union and probably they quit after finish their age grade rugby. This is true or maybe i understand this wrong?I always think that rugby is anything but not expensive to play.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 14 Jul 2017, 12:13

So you can imagine how Spanish rugby really is... Santander has a club in División de Honor, Independiente RC. They used to have a sponsor, Bathco. They lost it last year saying they were fed up with rugby and false promises from public instituions. And now that very same sponsor has decided to sponsor a club from the very same city, CR Santander, with the goal of reachng División de Honor. This team is now called Bathco Rugby Club after reaching División de Honor B (second tier). Instead of having one big club in a small talent pool region you've got two at war.

División de Honor is semi-pro. Most of paid players are those born abroad. Very few clubs pay Spanish players, most of them give them other facilities like housing (it's usual to see clubs partner with public housing institutions or real estate companies) or grants (Cisneros works like this to attract young talent from outside Madrid, other clubs partner with private universities) so they can continue with their studies. So you've got very good players that prefer to keep playing with their local clubs in División de Honor B or simply playing with second or even third teams from División de Honor as a hobby as long as they study or work. In fact, División de Honor clubs work on having multiple senior teams, whether in national second-tier or regional leagues, so they don't lose their young players forever and some of them can be back after a few years.

Most often it's not a question of how expensive it is to play rugby but how much do they lose by playing rugby instead of studying or working. We very recently lost our Sevens captain, Ángel López, aged 25 because he had been accepted to work as a doctor in national healthcare system. Jesús Recuerda, XV captain, has totally disappeared from rugby fields after returning from France and accepting a new job in a multinational corporation, even though he was expected to play for Alcobendas.

It's changing little by little and you find in División de Honor B very interesting projects like Burgos (although very reliant on foreign talent), Marbella (great academy but didn't shine at senior level until now, they're trying to repatriate great players) or Valencia (lots of clubs, all of them trying to go pro but on their own...). But Rome wasn't built in a day and promotion/relegation ladder doesn't favor big changes in the teams that play top-tier.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Bolaroid » Sun, 23 Jul 2017, 02:40

Armchair Fan wrote:I don't think not qualifying for RWC will send us to chaos, because it's the most probably outcome to be honest. But it will for sure slow down growth. I don't know for how long players will keep growing at a 10% yearly rate if senior performances don't improve. And if we don't make the most of the next four, five, six years, it's pretty clear to me Germany will overtake us quickly. Some Spanish pundits are quite spot on when they say Spain faces the risk of becoming world rugby's Benidorm. A place to come for rugby holidays, holding the odd international match between foreign nations for foreign fans and that's it.

That would be a sad outcome. I always felt Spain had so much potential for the 6N because people from the UK & Ireland love the place and obviously there is a lot of historical rivalry to build upon.

Out of interest, if the plan for Argentina to play out of Madrid in the 6N had happened a few years ago, what impact do you think this would have had for the growith and popularity of Spanish rugby?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 23 Jul 2017, 08:51

If it had happened by 2008 or 2010, I would say it would have failed or at least it wouldn't have drawn as many local fans as today. Even if the structure is more or less the same and our rugby is still amateur, things have changed a lot on the interest side in just five or seven years.

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