Rugby union in Venezuela

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Rugby union in Venezuela
Caracas 74 Rugby-Renault.jpg
One of the two first rugby teams in Caracas (1974)
Country Venezuela
Governing body Federación Venezolana de Rugby
National team Venezuela
First played 1950s
Registered players 2,650
Clubs 37
National competitions

Rugby union is a team sport that is played in Venezuela. It is not as popular as sports such as association football, baseball, volleyball or basketball, but it is played at some universities throughout the country.

Governing body[edit]

The governing body is the Federación Venezolana de Rugby, which was founded in 1992, and which is affiliated to the International Rugby Board and CONSUR.[1]

History[edit]

The history of rugby in Venezuela goes back to the fifties of the last century, when a group of English oil workers played the first match in Zulia state. However, the real birth of rugby in Venezuela was during the sixties. Some Frenchmen, who lived in Caracas, along with some Argentines and Uruguayans, created two clubs: Martell and Renault. Martell and Renault played the first organized match in Caracas. Later the two clubs mixed together to form a new one: the Rugby Club of Caracas (RCC). Another club, Anaucos Rugby Club, was founded by a group of Argentines and Uruguayans. The first championship was organised in 1976 and the Rugby Club of Caracas was the winner.

La Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB) was the cradle of Venezuelan rugby at university level during the seventies. Later other people created clubs of rugby in other Venezuelan universities, such as the UCV Maracay, created in 1980 by Englishman Stewart Wittering, with the help of Bob Hosty from England and Otto Gomez from Caracas. Venezuela played its first international against a touring side from Jamaica in 1980, which Venezuela easily won. These actions gave the Venezuelan rugby a major stimulus, especially with the involvement of native players and the possibility of having permanent headquarters. Luis Castro Leiva, a Venezuelan lecturer of the philosophy of history, was one of the main promoters of rugby at university. The Venezuelan rugby federation was created in 1992.

Notable players[edit]

Current events[edit]

At the beginning, rugby union was considered as an elitist sport in Venezuela because of the expenses. Players had to fund themselves in the terms of uniforms, gear, travel costs, etc. Recently the Venezuelan "National Institute of Sport" (IND) has given big financial support to the practice of this sport. On the other hand private companies like Empresas Polar, Ron Santa Teresa, Xerox, Zenda, CATIVEN, Gatorade, Sincor, G3, Price Waterhouse now offer sponsorship to the clubs.

Currently, the majority of clubs in Venezuela come from the main Venezuelan universities. The Venezuelan rugby season is held from January to July. The matches are played on the weekend. The most important tournaments are The National Championship (in Caracas), the Walter Bishop tournament (in Mérida) and the Sevens tournament (in Santa Teresa, Aragua state ).

The Venezuelan rugby federation is a member of the IRB and the CONSUR in the South American area. Rugby is rarely practiced outside universities. The most popular sports of Venezuela are baseball, basketball and football.

Although Venezuela's women have not yet played test match rugby, they have been playing international sevens rugby since 2004. (Current playing record).

Men's clubs[edit]

Caracas

  • Academia Militar de Venezuela (AMV), founded in 1975
  • Anaucos Rugby Club, founded in 1974
  • Caracas Exiles, founded in 1996
  • Hebraica Bulldogs, founded in 1994
  • OSOS Rugby Club, founded in 1984
  • Payaras R.C. (Colegio Los Arcos), founded in 1995
  • Rugby Club Caracas (RCC), founded in 1974
  • Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB), founded in 1992
  • Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), founded in 1992
  • Celtas Rugby Club, founded in 1998
  • Universidad Metropolitana (CRUM), founded in 1990
  • Espartanos Rugby Club (Univ. Nueva Esparta), founded in 1995
  • Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), founded in 1974
  • Unexpo Rugby Club Caracas founded in 1999

Barquisimeto

  • Universidad Centro Occidental (UCLA)

Ciudad Guayana

  • Albatros Rugby Club
  • Dorados Rugby Club, founded in 1996
  • Nomadas Rugby Club
  • Panteras Rugby Club, founded in 2009
  • UNEXPO Rugby Club, founded in 2002

Maracaibo

  • Maracaibo Rugby Football Club "Oil Blacks"
  • Zulianos Rugby Club

Maracay

  • Araguaney Rugby Club
  • Frailes Rugby Club

Mérida

  • Club De Rugby Caballeros De Mérida, founded in 1995
  • Mérida Rugby Club
  • IUTE Rugby Club

San Cristóbal

  • Universidad del Táchira UNETRC

Valencia

  • Valencia Rugby Club

Isla de Margarita

  • Esparta Rugby Club
  • Club de Rugby Unimar

Winners of the Venezuelan Championship (1999-2010)[edit]

  • 1999 Universidad Metropolitana
  • 2000 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2001 Universidad Metropolitana
  • 2002 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2003 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2004 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2005 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2006 Club de Rugby Caballeros de Mérida
  • 2007 Arcos Rugby Club
  • 2008 Club de Rugby Caballeros de Mérida
  • 2009 Maracaibo Rugby Football Club
  • 2010 Club de Rugby Caballeros de Mérida

Women’s clubs[edit]

Caracas

  • Ángeles CRUM, founded in 1994
  • Leónidas (Universidad de Nueva Esparta)
  • Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB)
  • Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV)
  • Universidad Metropolitana (CRUM)
  • Amazonas Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB)

Mérida

  • Espartanas

Puerto Ordaz

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.lestimbresdurugby.com/Archivesdurugby/Pays/Venezuela.htm