Spain national rugby union team
|Union||Spanish Rugby Federation|
|Nickname(s)||El XV del Leon, Los Leones|
|Most caps||Francisco Puertas Soto (93)|
| Italy 0 - 9 Spain
(May 20, 1929)
| Czech Republic 8 - 90 Spain
(April 2, 1995)
| Australia 92 - 10 Spain
(September 1, 2001)
|Appearances||1 (First in 1999)|
|Best result||No games won|
The Spain national rugby union team are a national sporting side of Spain, representing them at rugby union. Spain have been playing rugby since the late 1920s, playing their first international against Italy in 1929. They have qualified for one Rugby World Cup, in 1999 where they were pooled with Scotland, South Africa and Uruguay. Spain have also in the past contested the European Nations Cup. Spain plays in red and blue colours.
Throughout the 1930s the Spanish contested games against other European sides, winning the majority of them, losing only to Germany. The national Spanish rugby team did not participate in any rugby during the 1940s.
The Spanish returned in 1951, and throughout the decade found moderate success. Though the side lost regularly to sides such as West Germany. The side found success in the earlier years of the 1960s, though there was a lack of games played during the 1963-5. The latter half of the decade saw the Spanish win most of their fixtures against neighbouring European sides.
During the early 1980s Spain played Argentina for the first time, as well as consistently playing their old European rivals, New Zealand Māori also played the Spanish in 1982, Spain did however lose the match by over 60 points, and again in 1988, at Seville, losing by a minor margin, 12-22. Spain played the Soviet Union as well as other new opponents during the decade, including Zimbabwe, whom the Spanish played several times during the mid-1980s. In 1994 the Spanish played rugby heavy-weights, Wales, who won by over 50 points.
During the mid to late 1990s, Spain completed a nine-game winning streak, winning games against nine different European sides.
Spain began their quest for 1999 Rugby World Cup qualification in Pool 3 of Round B of the European qualification. They won all four of their games in the round, finishing first in the group above Portugal. They, along with Portugal advanced to the next pool round with Scotland. They finished second and qualified for their first Rugby World Cup.
For the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Spain were in Pool A, along with Scotland, South Africa and Uruguay. Their first ever World Cup game was played against Uruguay, with Spain losing 27-15. They lost their subsequent pool games to Scotland and the Springboks by 40 points, both of which were played at Murrayfield. They failed to score a try in the tournament, the only team in the World to have qualified but not scored a try in the World cup.
Spain began 2003 Rugby World Cup qualifying games in May 2002. Spain advanced to Round 3 after defeating Portugal. However, here they lost to both Italy and Romania, and moved through to face Russia for a place in the repechage competition. They defeated Tunisia and moved onto face the USA, who won the round and qualified into the World Cup.
For the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Spain finished at the top of Pool A or Round 2 of the European qualification and advanced to Round 3 where they went into Pool A. Here they won all four fixtures to finish at the top and advance to the play-off. There they faced Germany, and although they lost the first game, they won the second and went through on a 42-28 aggregate and went into Round 4 where they defeated the Czech Republic to enter Round 5. However they lost out to Romania and Georgia in Pool B, ending their hopes of reaching the World Cup in France.
Spain missed the qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Spain entered the top 20 in the IRB ranking in February 2012 for the first time following a 25-18 win over the higher ranked Georgia, and Spain remained in the top 20 throughout the year, ending 2012 ranked 18th.
Their Test record against all nations, updated 25 November 2013:
|Royal Air Force rugby team||4||0||2||2||0%|
|French protectorate of Morocco||4||1||1||2||25%|
|New Zealand Services||2||0||0||2||0%|
|South Africa "A"||1||0||0||1||0%|
European Nations Cup
- Spain's finish of 6th (last) in the 2003-04 competition meant Spain was relegated to Division 2 for the 2005-06 season. Spain won the Division 2 competition in 2005-06, resulting in their promotion back to the First Division.
2012-2014 European Nations Cup
|16-Mar-2013||Portugal||9-9||Santiago de Compostela|
Rugby World Cup record
|World Cup record||World Cup Qualification record|
|1991||Did not qualify||6||4||0||2||159||94|
|2003||Did not qualify||9||2||0||7||158||359|
|2015||To be determined||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2019||To be determined|
Head Coach: Santiago Santos
- Caps Updated: 30 October 2013
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by the International Rugby Board.
- Spain national rugby union team (sevens)
- Spain women's national rugby union team
- Spain women's national rugby union team (sevens)
- Rugby union in Spain
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spain national rugby union team.|
- Richards, Huw A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84596-255-5); Chapter 6, Gathering Storms, p129
- IRB.com, 2012 in review: Highs and lows in rankings, Jan. 7, 2013, http://www.irb.com/rankings/news/newsid=2064835.html
- Actualización del XV del León para la Gira por Sudamérica