Rugby union in Hungary
|Rugby union in Hungary|
|Governing body||Hungarian Rugby Union|
Rugby union in Hungary is a minor but growing sport.
As early as 1875 a group of British Embassy employees played rugby on the Szabadság tér (Freedom Square) in Budapest.
At the 1935 World University Games held in Budapest, rugby was also included in the program (won 12-10 by France against Germany). Reasons given for the hosts not participating were lack of time for preparation and a serious injury suffered by a player.
Italians have played a major part in the establishment of Hungarian rugby, namely the late Carlos Passalacqua and his friends from the Italian Embassy in Budapest. The game was originally introduced by a group of Italian diplomats in the 1960s and 70s. who founded a number of clubs. However, when they left, the game withered away in all but Budapest, where a small group of enthusiasts kept it going. Like neighbouring Austria and the Czech Republic, rugby has tended to be strongest in the national capital Budapest (which os by far the largest settlement in the country, containing 20% of the population) - however, in 1981, it would spread into the town of Kecskemét.
- "Rugby has become the ping-pong of outdoor sports in its capacity to spread goodwill between East and West. Over the last 30 or 40 years it has spread through Eastern Europe, establishing itself strongly in Rumania and Yugoslavia, Hungary and into the USSR. The fact that a Russian team [sic] has finally played a full-scale, if unofficial Test match against France speaks for itself.
- "Rugby tours between countries on either side of the Iron Curtain have generated considerable political interest among the governments concerned, and the results can be quite astonishing. The recent Rumanian tour of New Zealand, for instance, germinated other contacts between the two countries and was partly instrumental in the establishment of new trade agreements which otherwise might not have begun."
Chris Laidlaw writing of the open secret of shamateurism in Soviet sport said:
- "So far as the East Europeans and the Russians are concerned, who knows where the incentives lie? In such societies rugby, like many other sports before it, is becoming an expression of national achievement and therefore the subject of careful nurturing. Yet, is the risk of the double standard, so evident in the athletic arena, permeating the East Europeans' approach to rugby so great as to justify the exclusion of the Communist world indefinitely from regular rugby competition?"
In the early 1990s, former Italian cap, Dr Giancarlo Tiziani was a major driving force in Austrian rugby. Before his death in 1994, he tried hard to establish a Central European equivalent of the Five Nations between Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia.
There are over two thousand registered players in the country.
Hungarian actor András Stohl played scrum-half for the now-defunct ELTE-BEAC in the 1980's. He was also involved with the MRgSz in some capacity in the first decade of the 2000's.
|poszt száma||English name||Hungarian name|
|4.||Lock/Second row||második soros|
|5.||Lock/Second row||második soros|
|poszt száma||Angol kifejezés||Magyar megfelelő|
- Hungary IRB page
- (in Hungarian) Magyar Rögbi Szövetség
- (in French) L’Encyclopédie du Rugby Mondial : Hongrie
- Hungary's rugbyhistory in photos and scanned documents from the beginnings in 1968. A continuously expanding archive in chronological order. It is mostly in Hungarian, still easy to follow the relevant events.