FC Barcelona Rugby League
|Full name||Futbol Club Barcelona Rugby Lliga|
|Key people||Sandro Rosell (Chair)|
|League||Catalan Rugby League Championship|
Futbol Club Barcelona Rugby Lliga are the rugby league extension of the FC Barcelona association football club's sporting family, based in Barcelona, Catalonia. They won the Catalonia's Cup in 2008 and now play in the Catalan Rugby League Championship, the premier rugby league tournament in Catalonia, after being admitted into the competition in 2010. The sports club's president is Sandro Rosell.
FC Barcelona's sporting club expanded into rugby league in 2008, after having teams in rugby union, basketball, team handball, futsal, track and field athletics, roller hockey and ice hockey already established in Spanish sport. Like the football team and other sporting expansions from FC Barcelona, their kit manufacturers are Nike. The club played and won the inaugural Catalonia Cup, a competition featuring developing teams in the region that took place in April 2008 with 3 teams: FC Barcelona, Aligots de Girona and Nord-Català. Barcelona won their first ever competitive rugby league game in their history against Girona Buzzard by 22 points to 20. They then defeated Roussillon 24-4 to win the triangular tournament.
In 2009 the club withdrew from Catalan competitions to strengthen for a bid to join the Catalan Rugby League Championship. They decided to rejoin in 2010 after the first professional rugby league game to take place in Barcelona in 2009, between Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves in Super League XIV which attracted a crowd of 18,150, evidently strengthened the popularity of the game in Spain and particularly the Catalan region.
After reforming, the club joined the Catalan Rugby League Championship (CRLC) in 2010; a two-pool league in which Barcelona University Club were the reigning champions from the 2009 season. Barcelona formed something of a rivalry with BUC in the seven-team competition, as both competed concurrently, but in separate pools. It is widely speculated, but purely a hypothesis, that this branch of the successful FC Barcelona club will become members of the Rugby Football League and possibly Super League should the venture prove a success in Catalonia, as they were now playing more competitive rugby, on a more regular basis. Their first ever game was against CR Sant Cugat on 13 May 2010, a game which ended in a disappointing 30-20 loss. They earned their first win of the competition with a 44-30 win at home to GEiEG to give them a hope of qualifying for the finals. And, despite GEiEG winning their last game of the pool against Sant Cugat, Barça were able to qualify for the third and fourth place play-off, where they played CE INEF Lleida, in a narrow 36-30 loss.
The following was the squad that finished fourth in the 2010 CRLC:
|FC Barcelona RL 2010 squad|
|First team squad||Coaching staff|
- Catalonia Cup: 1
- "Barca branch into rugby league". bbc.co.uk. 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
- "FC Barcelona add rugby league section". lasttackle.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Cornella and Barca in the league newcomers". rugbyliga.cat. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "El FC Barcelona guanya la primera Copa Catalunya de Rugbi Lliga". vilaweb.cat. 2008.
- "El FC Barcelona guanya la primera Copa Catalunya de Rugbi Lliga". rugbylliga.cat. 2008.
- Patrick, Hamish (2009-06-21). "Warrington spoil the party for Catalans". London: timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
- "Sant Cugat victory against FC Barcelona (30-20)". rugbylliga.cat. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "L’INEF Lleida puja al podi i queda tercer" (in Catalan). ACRL. June 13, 2010.