Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

Spanish rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Mon, 27 Aug 2018, 17:23

Very nice, both look like turf though but you can’t get everything! Very beautiful looking stadiums, perfect size for rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 27 Aug 2018, 18:33

Yes, but Spanish clubs are facing big challenges in terms of pitch maintenance and management. The number of players has doubled in a decade but clubs only grew by 40% and facilities are basically the same, so they have to endure a much more intense use. Las Terrazas is the perfect example: Alcobendas had 114 players when Las Terrazas opened in 1997, 267 in 2008, it now has 562. The pitch was exactly the same. No wonder why it was muddy all year long!

It's either building more pitches or putting artificial turf and lightning in those already built. Considering all but two clubs rely on municipally-owned stadiums, it's a clear no-brainer.

I mean, even FC Barcelona rugby branch does some of its training sessions during the week in half a pitch, since there are no other spaces available... :roll:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 00:39

Nice to see some upgrades in facilities going on. A positive sign of the progress the game has been making in the country over the past 5 -10 years.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 09:14

Even Valladolid is building a fifth rugby pitch, the third one with artificial turf:
https://www.elnortedecastilla.es/deport ... 24-nt.html

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 16:41

So how exactly did Valladolid become the hub of rugby? Did a bunch of rich expats move there or something?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 17:08

Another shot of San Amaro (Aparejadores, Burgos) grandstand from today's local media:
Image
https://www.tribunaburgos.com/noticias/ ... -temporada

Tobar wrote:So how exactly did Valladolid become the hub of rugby? Did a bunch of rich expats move there or something?

A French priest (Georges Bernès, recently died) was studying pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela back in 1961 and stopped in Valladolid, where he became a teacher in a school where pupils normally did track and field. He asked the headmaster for a rugby ball, telling him he would convince all guys to play that sport. El Salvador-VRAC rivalry comes from a rivalry between schools, that in the late eighties became more serious clubs.

You've got the full story in Spanish detailed in this article:
http://www.diariodevalladolid.es/notici ... 54382.html

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Wed, 29 Aug 2018, 12:05

Awesome, thanks. The story sounds a bit like a Webb Ellis kind of legend....priest comes over, convinces everyone to play gods sport and then a big rivalry comes out of it. I know it’s true because it’s ina more modern era but itnjust has that Hollywood story.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 18:22

4N wrote:Spain's Samuel Ezeala aiming to play for France apparently.

https://www.rugbyrama.fr/rugby/top-14/2 ... tory.shtml


Interviewed in Spanish radio after his two tries last weekend against Agen Ezeala says it: "My goal, if papers are done in time, is to play with France U20. That doesn't block me yet. Then we will see. Everytime I played for Spain it was honour but now I think about the country that welcomed me"
https://twitter.com/PlayRugbySER/status ... 4902528000

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby 4N » Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 18:37

:thumbup:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 20:41

Hopefully he doesn't make it for France so he can stay with Spain. Not to say I don't want the kid to have success out of spite or anything but I really hate seeing a kid grow up in a T2 country and shoot to play for a T1 country.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 22:55

Second week of preseason games. As explained previously, don't trust too much results since length of the games and substitutions are pretty variable:
VRAC Quesos Entrepinares (DH) 43-31 Complutense Cisneros (DH)

La Vila (DH) 0-17 SilverStorm El Salvador (DH)
Les Abelles (DHB) 0-29 SilverStorm El Salvador (DH)
La Vila (DH) 33-14 Les Abelles (DHB)

Ampo Ordizia (DH) 26-24 Biarritz Olympique (Espoirs)
Ampo Ordizia (DH) 19-14 Bizkaia Gernika (DH)
Bizkaia Gernika (DH) 0-21 Biarritz Olympique (Espoirs)

CN Poble Nou (DHB) 0-59 UE Santboiana (DH)

UBU-Colina Clinic v Senor Independiente got suspended after the latter couldn't register enough players in time according to some sources, or due to lack of insurance by its regional union according to others... In any case pretty shameful, especially considering Independiente's president is at the head of newly-formed club association.

--

The last week of preseason includes some attractive match-ups:
- Sanitas Alcobendas v Complutense Cisneros
- FC Barcelona v UE Santboiana (will have TV coverage as it is promoted as a new Catalan Supercup)
- Getxo Artea v Senor Independiente
- Saint-Jean-de-Luz v Hernani
- Liceo Francés v UBU-Colina Clinic

--

The clinic by NZRU in Madrid for young players featured on main TV news show:
http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/tele ... a/4720713/

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 07 Sep 2018, 09:02

An excerpt from a 1895 newspaper article sets that year as the date of the first rugby game played in Spain, 16 years before the previously known first reference:
https://www.farodevigo.es/deportes/2018 ... 57168.html

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Thomas » Fri, 07 Sep 2018, 09:13

Armchair Fan wrote:An excerpt from a 1895 newspaper article sets that year as the date of the first rugby game played in Spain, 16 years before the previously known first reference:
https://www.farodevigo.es/deportes/2018 ... 57168.html


So Vigo is the birthplace of Spanish Rugby?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 07 Sep 2018, 10:42

A bit of an exaggeration to me. Sant Boi will always be the place were it found its roots. Vigo or A Coruña were simply hosts of bored British guys :P

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 20:38

I made today the trip to attend the first ever rugby game at Juan Rojas stadium, Unión Rugby Almería's new home. Unfortunately rain spoiled somewhat the party, with a game between local team and an Andalusian XV being the headliner. Alhambra Nievas, recently retired, refereed the game:
Image
Image

I spoke to some club member and they are extremely excited about having a stadium for their own, even if only the first phase of renovation works has been achieved. The pitch must be enlarged, they want to put a gym and a hall under the main grandstand, etc...

Structurally the club faces a big challenge, as it is a 'franchised' club, a union of different clubs from the same province. Now that they found a common home they need to put a bit of order in their underage rugby since it's quite a long way behind usual standards in out country, as well as keep moving forward their women and mixed ability branches. Amusingly enough their veterans team looks like the one with better health in spite of heavy drinking :D. I leave their link in case somebody needs to plan an oldies tour... But it's a decent effort for a project that started four years ago and survives in Spanish second-tier league.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 21:04

This is a beautiful sight to see. Owning a stadium is a huge advantage not only because the fans can come and actually see the game from above but because the club can really do whatever they want, whenever they want. This will help a lot with getting the young players out and keeping the club together. I’d love to watch a game here one day.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 21:31

Armchair Fan wrote:I made today the trip to attend the first ever rugby game at Juan Rojas stadium, Unión Rugby Almería's new home. Unfortunately rain spoiled somewhat the party, with a game between local team and an Andalusian XV being the headliner. Alhambra Nievas, recently retired, refereed the game:
Image
Image

I spoke to some club member and they are extremely excited about having a stadium for their own, even if only the first phase of renovation works has been achieved. The pitch must be enlarged, they want to put a gym and a hall under the main grandstand, etc...

Structurally the club faces a big challenge, as it is a 'franchised' club, a union of different clubs from the same province. Now that they found a common home they need to put a bit of order in their underage rugby since it's quite a long way behind usual standards in out country, as well as keep moving forward their women and mixed ability branches. Amusingly enough their veterans team looks like the one with better health in spite of heavy drinking :D. I leave their link in case somebody needs to plan an oldies tour... But it's a decent effort for a project that started four years ago and survives in Spanish second-tier league.



That's a bit amazing. That must have been a crazy funding project.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby iul » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 21:37

How did they obtain the stadium? Did they buy it, or they got it from the local authorities?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 21:44

I may be mistaken, but on paper they don't own it. It's still owned by town hall but in practice they will have a lot of freedom to manage it (just as it happens with football clubs in our country).

The stadium was built in 1976 but got abandoned in 2005 because a newer one was built and ends grandstands were affected by poor quality cement. It's been used only for training purposes since then, so from local politics POV it made sense to give it a new use and I'm told URA's president was quite persistent.

Phase I (tearing down one of the ends, making one grandstand accessible, cleaning inside...) cost was just shy of 0.5 M€, while Phase II (tearing down the other end, renovating the other grandstand, enlarging the pitch...) I think will be around 0.7 M€.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 02:34

Apparently Almeria is where they shot a tons of Spaghetti Westerns, including the Dollars Trilogy and it also provides a ton of fruit/vegetables to the rest of Europe.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 07:35

Yes, greenhouses are the reason why there are the finances to do things there, especially as rugby isn't a lower class sport...
Image

During post-game lunch one of the sponsors was giving away tomatoes and peppers, for example.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 09:52

Maybe there are other abandoned stadiums that could be renovated for rugby. How much widening does the field need to be?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 10:03

I don't think there are that many. The main issue is that when a football club goes bankrupt or moves to another stadium, there are three below it plus those that are created as a replacement and people willing to build houses in the same place. Even in this one-off case there is a third division football club claiming they should be allowed to play at Juan Rojas. But rugby people has menaced to tear down any soccer goal that is put in place :D

I don't know the exact measures. The field as it is can host national games for sure, but they intend to bring some test match in the near future and they've been told they need to make it a bit larger to comply with World Rugby requirements. There was a big chance for this November, but it doesn't look there will be enough time to do it.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 10:21

Minimum dimensions for test matches are 106m x 68m. Most soccer fields can accommodate that size. Are they sure the pitch isn't big enough? It would save them money.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Tobar » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 19:30

There is pitch dimensions but I think they need to make sure they have extra space for players and staff as well as “proper” locker room facilities. From the looks of those pictures, the field goes pretty much all the way to the walls.

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