Rugby union in Andorra
|Rugby union in Andorra|
|Governing body||Andorran Rugby Federation|
Rugby union in Andorra is considered the second most popular sport in Andorra and has increased in popularity rapidly over the last decade and the national team has had a growing success on the international stage.
In 2010, there were 213 registered players, and 2 clubs.
As of August 2015 there are 192 members of which 22 are women and 172 are seniors,whilst there only being one referee and 15 coaches.
Andorran rugby is around forty years old, having been introduced in the 1960s.
Because it is surrounded by some of the main rugby playing heartlands of France and Spain - Provence, Catalonia (and Roussillon) and the Basque Country - Andorrans have had a long exposure to the sport through the media.
Also, three other factors have come to have an influence in recent years -
- A large influx of tourists, especially skiers.
- Andorra's status as a tax haven has brought with it many tax exiles from rugby playing countries
- Andorra's small size has meant that young people tend to study outside the country, and become interested in rugby at foreign universities.
Returning students have been a major factor in the growth of Andorran rugby.
Notable Andorra-based players have included the no. 8 Tony Castillo and scrum halves Alonso Ricart and Roger Font, as well as locally based foreign players such as Jimmy Jordan, a Scottish winger from Kilmarnock, and the Argentine fly-half Gustavo Tumosa, who previously played for Rosario.
In 1997, there were only three clubs, one being made up of ski-instructors who were locally based, but who came from all over the world. Because of the small population of Andorra, this is not a bad ratio for a Tier 3 nation.
The main club in the country is VPC Andorra XV, that currently plays in the lower French leagues.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- (in English) fédération andorrane Archived September 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., sur irb.com, consulté le 9 mai 2009.
- Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p62
- Bath p70