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Spanish rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 08:44

Figaro wrote:There are two bridges to Anglesey. And Llangefni are only one of a dozen clubs on the island anyway


OK, fine. We can exclude Anglesey, but I was just making the point there are travel issues, which is the reason behind separating the north from the rest of Wales. But the travel issues are between the south and the north, not to do with getting onto the island.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby vino_93 » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 11:55

There is a club is the french island of Groix. I think only for kids. They are playing in regional Brittany league with kids from the continent.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 06 Aug 2020, 21:13

FER delays the start of the season until at least October 11th:
http://ferugby.es/la-ferugby-retrasa-el ... scenario-2

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Canalina » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 15:09

According to this argentinian magazine (page 28), more then 40% of the players in Division de Honor are foreigners: 59 % spanish, 18 % argentinian, 8 % from Oceania, 15 % others...

https://issuu.com/ingoalrevista/docs/ingoal_6_2020_web

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 16:10

It's from the same authors that conducted a similar study published in Rugby Spain some months ago.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Canalina » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 16:54

It would be interesting to see a similar stat also about italian championship. Maybe I will do it, I have the needed database thanks to the Pacitti&Volpe yearly handbook

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 17:18

Vey interesting the studies group.

Any idea about the distribution of countries in "others"?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby ficcp » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 17:44

Canalina wrote:According to this argentinian magazine (page 28), more then 40% of the players in Division de Honor are foreigners: 59 % spanish, 18 % argentinian, 8 % from Oceania, 15 % others...

https://issuu.com/ingoalrevista/docs/ingoal_6_2020_web


I suppose the 41 % of foreigners refers to players not borned in Spain.¿How many of them do have double nationality? I suppose in the 18 % of argentinians, several of them are in this case. So, they are not formed in Spain as Rugby players but they have family roots in the country.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 18:09

The original study is here and has a breakdown of nationalities, although a later redesign of the website makes it hard to read:
https://rugbyspain.com/2020/01/02/nacio ... -de-honor/

Anyway, basing the study solely on the nationality is always a partial analysis. It's not only that some may have roots in Spain or double nationalities as ficcp suggests. There are many EU citizens that stick to their original passports even though they have lived here with their families for longer than in their countries of origin, either because they don't feel the need to request a Spanish passport or because their countries don't accept the idea of a double nationality (France just changed its mind very recently on this matter).

As I've tried to explain many times, our society is changing a lot. We have one of the smallest fertility rates in the world (1.3 births per woman), yet total population keeps growing. In the building where I live there are no less than ten different nationalities represented and in the school nearby Spanish-sounding family names are barely 50% in any classroom.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Canalina » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 18:36

Done. Here it is a spanish-italian comparison, I made it without having seen the article here above.
As Ficcp and Armchair say, it was not easy to divide the various nationalities: in our italian Top12 some players are marked as stranger, some as community stranger, some as "equiparato" (I haven't found the translation in english), some as "italian by foreigner formation", some as "foreign by italian formation"... so take these italian data with a pinch of salt

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 18:59

Awesome.

Another step would be to compare budgets between Top12/10 and División de Honor. I'm really interested to compare Spanish and Italian clubs.
Last edited by victorsra on Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:01

Great job. A whole different story would be how to explain such a difference.

There was recently an interview conducted by Italian based in Spain Danilo Patella on his Facebook page with Santiago Santos, national head coach:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1072510309811080

It lasted an hour, so you can imagine the wide range of topics that were treated. But among the main issues, Santos seemed particularly pissed off at the number of users criticising how many foreigners play for Spain (reasonable question) and how it only reflects the reality of Spanish rugby. These were just a few of his words:
- "Iñaki Villanueva was a collective failure of Spanish rugby", in reference to how Spain loses a lot of local talent aged 26, 27, 28 because they quit to focus on their jobs
- "I could give you a starting XV only with players that can't play for Spain due to semipro reality of Spanish rugby"
- "If we fielded a national team of players born, grown up and formed in Spain it would be the university national team. That's Spanish rugby problem"
- "It's a shame for Spanish rugby the amount of very good players that play in División de Honor B, 50 or 60, only because División de Honor clubs don't make them good financial offers. We are unable to have the best 300 Spanish players in DH and it's impossible to field a player against Georgia if he isn't playing at least in DH" *

Of course, that's only one side of the story. DH clubs will claim that FER and national teams act almost as rivals, depriving them of their best local players for weeks or even seasons in the case of Sevens, after investing little to nothing in their development. So it's more reasonable for them to hire a dozen foreigners that won't be called by Santos, so fully available for the club, and that can be easily fired if not good enough (how can you make a local boy pro and then telling him he no longer deserves his salary?).

* IIRC at least two División de Honor B players have played for Spain under Santos guidance. One was Javier Carrión against Romania in 2017 (Sevens were almost paralyzed between 2016 Olympics and 2017 Hong Kong Sevens) and the other that very same year Javier Canosa... against Georgia.

victorsra wrote:Awesome.

Another step would be to compare budgets between Top12/10 and División de Honor.

Pre or post-COVID? We know Valladolid clubs were around 1M€ last season but only 40% was devoted to their senior men first team. Now they are going to face a 30-40% cut that could be even bigger if junior rugby isn't restarted.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:08

Spain lives the most dramatic situation of Union vs Clubs. Italy doesn't suffer that as the whole national team is in PRO14 . Before the Pro14 move, Italian clubs were in such sort of conflict with FIR?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:11

Both, pre and post. But now we can only have a clear view of pre-covid
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 20:09

This union vs clubs situation makes an argument for Spain to have a Pro club team. Portugal could do with having a pro team too. They would be good replacements for the 2 South African teams in the Pro 14.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Canalina » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 06:21

Armchair Fan wrote:...
- "It's a shame for Spanish rugby the amount of very good players that play in División de Honor B, 50 or 60, only because División de Honor clubs don't make them good financial offers. We are unable to have the best 300 Spanish players in DH and it's impossible to field a player against Georgia if he isn't playing at least in DH" *
...
Of course, that's only one side of the story. DH clubs will claim that FER and national teams act almost as rivals, depriving them of their best local players for weeks or even seasons in the case of Sevens, after investing little to nothing in their development. So it's more reasonable for them to hire a dozen foreigners that won't be called by Santos, so fully available for the club, and that can be easily fired if not good enough (how can you make a local boy pro and then telling him he no longer deserves his salary?)

I was asking something about the first paragraph but then I saw that the answer was somehow contained in the second paragraph.
The doubt was: if the clubs can't make good financial offers to the spanish players how can they do it to stranger players?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 07:58

Canalina wrote:The doubt was: if the clubs can't make good financial offers to the spanish players how can they do it to stranger players?


I think in general in richer European t2 countries, many foreign players see it as a life experience like a working travel year (NZ, Oz) or as a chance to get into richer countries (Argentinians, Georgians maybe even Saffas come into my mind) and build a career afterwards, while a local player more likely needs to really make a career out of it or just plays for fun. So maybe the answer for you is, that Spanish players might have a different perception what a good financial offer actually is.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 09:03

RugbyLiebe has a point.

We have seen young players from New Zealand come to Spain for a sabbatical, then returning and becoming Super Rugby players (Lian Mitchell), while others from Argentina, South Africa or Pacific Islands just use Spain as a first step towards professionalism, they accept a low salary for the first year (but interesting because they are offered housing, food and transportation, so no expenses) in the hope of being called from Italy or France. That's why sometimes DH players end up playing RWC (Kurt Morath, James Faiva, Afa Amosa) or given shots in T1 sides years later (Juan Pablo Socino, Joel Sclavi).

Some others are less ambitious and just use rugby to improve their lives. There are many players from Argentina that come to Spain for low salaries (400€) but receive free housing (they share a flat) and free or low-cost education while cumulating enough years of residence to qualify for citizenship. 400€ for them mean a chance to change their lives while doing what they love the most. 400€ for a Spanish player don't even allow them to move from their parents' house. That's why you see so many players from Valencia and Andalucía in DH and Spain national team but so few from Madrid and Valladolid: these accept such an offer and move to Madrid and Valladolid to study there while sharing a flat, or living in a residence while earning some pocket money. But it isn't a viable plan when you are 26, 27, 28...

And yes, there are a few that earn good salaries here. 2,000€, 2,500€. But we talk about a minority and these salaries aren't accessible to Spanish players. As I said, a bad foreigner can easily be fired. He can also return to his country in the summer and earn some more money. A Spaniard would have to be paid such a salary for 12 months (not from September to May, the length of the league) and it would be awkward to fire a local guy.

As a summary: for the cost of professionalising a Spanish player, clubs can hire up to three foreigners that make an immediate impact and are fully available.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 07 Sep 2020, 13:13

Sevens national team captain Paco Hernández calls it a day aged 31:
https://twitter.com/PacoHernandez_6/sta ... 9642809344

He will be best remembered for this tackle


Sevens will hold a training camp this month in Sierra Nevada with just 9 usual Sevens World Series players, which proves they are probably already thinking about a very late 2021 start with basically a new squad:
https://www.revista22.es/2020/09/feijoo ... ra-nevada/

There is a key player missing in that list that could easily make the transition to XV given his young age and potential, Alejandro Alonso (VRAC).

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 07 Sep 2020, 19:56

victorsra wrote:Spain lives the most dramatic situation of Union vs Clubs. Italy doesn't suffer that as the whole national team is in PRO14 . Before the Pro14 move, Italian clubs were in such sort of conflict with FIR?


I mean the Top 14 clubs are literally suing World Rugby over France's autumn calendar as we speak, and the Welsh are about to go into open revolt over their unions interesting approach to passing on debt & risk. The "at least the foreigners are actually turning up each week" argument has been in England & France since pro rugby. It's been resolved by bribing the clubs and stuffing the internationals full of cash.

I personally cannot remember the Italian club politics pre-Celtic League but I would be fairly surprised if it wasn't some version of the same issues seen elsewhere, with local issues dialling up or down particular fetures.

Armchair Fan wrote:The original study is here and has a breakdown of nationalities, although a later redesign of the website makes it hard to read:
https://rugbyspain.com/2020/01/02/nacio ... -de-honor/

Anyway, basing the study solely on the nationality is always a partial analysis. It's not only that some may have roots in Spain or double nationalities as ficcp suggests. There are many EU citizens that stick to their original passports even though they have lived here with their families for longer than in their countries of origin, either because they don't feel the need to request a Spanish passport or because their countries don't accept the idea of a double nationality (France just changed its mind very recently on this matter).

As I've tried to explain many times, our society is changing a lot. We have one of the smallest fertility rates in the world (1.3 births per woman), yet total population keeps growing. In the building where I live there are no less than ten different nationalities represented and in the school nearby Spanish-sounding family names are barely 50% in any classroom.


Quite, there %ages are similar to the Premiership and though not as extreme as Spain by the sounds of it at least 1/3rd of Leicester's population is foreign born, why should the rugby team be different?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 07 Sep 2020, 20:01

Armchair Fan wrote:RugbyLiebe has a point.

We have seen young players from New Zealand come to Spain for a sabbatical, then returning and becoming Super Rugby players (Lian Mitchell), while others from Argentina, South Africa or Pacific Islands just use Spain as a first step towards professionalism, they accept a low salary for the first year (but interesting because they are offered housing, food and transportation, so no expenses) in the hope of being called from Italy or France. That's why sometimes DH players end up playing RWC (Kurt Morath, James Faiva, Afa Amosa) or given shots in T1 sides years later (Juan Pablo Socino, Joel Sclavi).

Some others are less ambitious and just use rugby to improve their lives. There are many players from Argentina that come to Spain for low salaries (400€) but receive free housing (they share a flat) and free or low-cost education while cumulating enough years of residence to qualify for citizenship. 400€ for them mean a chance to change their lives while doing what they love the most. 400€ for a Spanish player don't even allow them to move from their parents' house. That's why you see so many players from Valencia and Andalucía in DH and Spain national team but so few from Madrid and Valladolid: these accept such an offer and move to Madrid and Valladolid to study there while sharing a flat, or living in a residence while earning some pocket money. But it isn't a viable plan when you are 26, 27, 28...

And yes, there are a few that earn good salaries here. 2,000€, 2,500€. But we talk about a minority and these salaries aren't accessible to Spanish players. As I said, a bad foreigner can easily be fired. He can also return to his country in the summer and earn some more money. A Spaniard would have to be paid such a salary for 12 months (not from September to May, the length of the league) and it would be awkward to fire a local guy.

As a summary: for the cost of professionalising a Spanish player, clubs can hire up to three foreigners that make an immediate impact and are fully available.


Are the Spanish club sponsors not able to sort out "soft jobs" with sponsors where they can train a lot and miss work for matches, albeit not train "full time" so to speak? In the amateur days this was pretty standard practice in England, I'm surprised more can't be done to help them along with their careers whilst making the most of their 20s to play at least on the national level.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 07 Sep 2020, 21:13

They do find them (in fact it's how foreigners will survive until the league restarts), I imagine the kind of jobs some clubs find simply aren't attractive for most Spaniards.

There are a few DHB clubs were even job commitments are detrimental to performance. They may attract people to work on coastal restaurants and bars but they can't engage on September weekends nor from March onwards.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 08 Sep 2020, 08:14

Often in England they'd do something vague in insurance (e.g. Neil Back worked for Axa, Graham Rowntree worked for a local firm where Peter Wheeler was managing director), or banking (Martin Johnson worked for Midland Bank, part of HSBC, Stuart Barnes was a mortgage broker). Occasionally they'd be self employed, and I'm sure "networking" helped them sustain regular jobs, e.g. Darren Garforth was(and is again) a scaffolder, Richard Cockerill was an antiques restorer (apparently he was genuinely quite good at restoring specialist pieces).

But yes even that is by no means a perfect solution, or one that can compete with professionalism.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 08 Sep 2020, 14:55

Spanish captain Fernando López leaves Ordizia for a yet-to-be-annouced French club because he can't afford inactivity:
https://twitter.com/ORDIZIARUGBY/status ... 2796935168

As said in a different thread, it is increasingly likely that we won't see any rugby in Spain until 2021.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 08 Sep 2020, 18:38

Tarbes confirms his signing and López gives Veintidós an interview

The same magazine mixed the news with an opinion article alerting that many players are considering moving to France and Portugal as well. To be honest, I don't think it is that bad. We need national team players playing in order to be ready for RWCQ and if foreigners think they are better aboad, good luck. Our clubs have filled División de Honor of them instead of taking care of their local player pool, they reap now in difficult circumstances what they sowed.

Asking FER to pay for COVID testing in a semipro league where players will be in permanent contact with work colleagues and classmates is throwing money directly to the bin.

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