Spain women's national rugby union team

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Spain
Nickname(s)Las Leonas
UnionSpanish Rugby Federation
Head coachJosé Antonio Barrio
CaptainAroa González
Most capsAroa González (74)
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current10 (as of 23 November 2020)
First international
 Spain 0-28 France 
(2 May 1989)
Biggest win
 Spain 119 – 0 Finland 
(30 April 2011)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 0-97 France 
(11 November 2017)
World Cup
Appearances5 (First in 1991)
Best result6th 1991

The Spain women's national rugby union team played their first match on 2 May 1989, against France, losing 0-28. The team played the Women's Six Nations from 2000 to 2006, but they were replaced by Italy for 2007, in order to mirror the men's tournament.

History[edit]

Top 20 rankings as of 18 April 2022[1]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  England 096.26
2 Steady  New Zealand 088.58
3 Steady  France 088.43
4 Steady  Canada 088.15
5 Steady  Australia 078.68
6 Steady  United States 076.63
7 Increase1  Ireland 076.00
8 Decrease1  Italy 075.12
9 Steady  Wales 073.63
10 Steady  Scotland 072.72
11 Steady  Spain 072.10
12 Steady  Japan 065.49
13 Steady  South Africa 063.39
14 Steady  Russia 061.10
15 Steady  Samoa 059.72
16 Steady  Kazakhstan 058.45
17 Steady  Netherlands 058.27
18 Steady  Hong Kong 057.89
19 Steady  Sweden 057.73
20 Steady  Germany 057.72
*Change from the previous week

Currently there are over 200 clubs in Spain and a league similar to that of male rugby. The first steps were taken in 1913, when women played in secret in schools, but rugby first began to be played seriously at training camps at the School of Architecture of Madrid in the early 70s by a group of architecture students. They formed a group of about 20 girls who trained regularly twice per week and as they were the only ones who practiced, played sided games between themselves. They played well

In the late seventies a group of female PE students taught by Jose Antonio Sancha, a professor of Rugby at Barcelona INEF, decided to train with the men's rugby and played the game seriously (though they were not recognised by the Catalan Federation rugby until 1983).

The first game was played in Barcelona between the BUC and INEF clubs and other clubs quickly formed in different parts of Spain but mainly in the early years only came from Barcelona and Madrid. In a few years female rugby spread to Madrid, the Basque Country and Valencia. In 1991 27 women's teams participating in regional competitions.

The national team first played in Cardiff (Wales) at the Rugby World Cup, where they won the fifth place behind the United States, England, France and New Zealand. In 1994, the Spanish team was unable to come to Scotland because of budgetary problems, however Spain remained one of the top teams in Europe. In 1995 Spain became the unexpected champions of the first European Championship by defeating rival France, in the final 21-6. The 1996 European brought a repeat of that final but this time the Spanish lost by 15-10.

In January 1997 a tour of England took place where Spain and were in the lead against the World Champions until 10 minutes from the end of the match. Only a last minute try by England gave them the win and in European (the first where all the British teams competed) played the final but Spain came 3rd. Spain qualified for the World Championships in Amsterdam and managed a creditable 7th place. Spain again reached the European final in 1999 against France, losing 13-5, after beating Wales (14-8) and Scotland (11-9).

The 2002 World Cup was held in Barcelona, New Zealand retaining its title in defeating (19-9) to England in the final at the Olympic Stadium Lluis Companys. France took the bronze after beating Canada (41-7), while Spain finished in 8th place after yielding to the United States (23-5).

Spain were also members of the Five and Six Nations from 2000 to 2006, finishing third on three occasions and winning 10 of the 33 games they played. However, in 2007 they were replaced by Italy because the Six Nations Committee wished to align the women's tournament with the men's. This has severely reduced Spain's opportunities to play top level international rugby, and may have been a factor in Spain's failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. However, they were compensated a little in 2010 when they won the "double" of the European 15s and 7s titles without losing a game.

Competitive record[edit]

Rugby World Cup[edit]

Women's Rugby World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L PF PA
Wales 1991 Plate final 6th 5 3 0 2 55 38
Scotland 1994 Did Not Qualify
Netherlands 1998 Plate Semi-final 8th 5 1 0 4 71 141
Spain 2002 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 0 3 83 66
Canada 2006 Group stage 9th 5 3 0 2 41 132
England 2010 Did Not Qualify
France 2014 Group stage 9th 5 3 0 2 105 86
Ireland 2017 Group stage 10th 5 2 0 3 73 134
Total 6/8 29 13 0 16 428 597

Five/Six Nations Championship[edit]

Women's Six Nations Championship record
Year Position Pld W D L PF PA
2000 Women's Five Nations 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 4 2 0 2 53 88
2001 Women's Five Nations 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 4 2 0 2 31 47
2002 Women's Six Nations 4th 5 2 0 3 56 100
2003 Women's Six Nations 6th 5 0 0 5 14 204
2004 Women's Six Nations 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 5 3 0 2 29 114
2005 Women's Six Nations 4th 5 1 1 3 32 161
2006 Women's Six Nations 6th 5 0 0 5 25 175
Total 3rd (best result) 33 10 1 22 240 889

Rugby Europe Women's Championship[edit]

Rugby Europe Women's Championship record
Year Position Pld W D L PF PA
France 1988 European Cup Withdrew
Italy 1995 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2 2 0 0 27 6
Spain 1996 European Championship 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 82 15
France 1997 European Championship 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 62 19
Italy 1999 European Championship 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 30 30
Spain 2000 European Championship 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 71 57
France 2001 European Championship 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 52 26
Italy 2002 European Nations Cup Withdrew
Sweden 2003 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2 2 0 0 45 15
France 2004 European Championship 6th 3 1 0 2 48 49
Germany 2005 European Championship Withdrew
Italy 2006 European Nations Cup
Spain 2007 European Championship 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 4 3 0 1 128 31
Netherlands 2008 European Championship 6th 3 1 0 2 52 68
Sweden 2009 European Trophy 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 3 2 0 1 92 18
France 2010 European Trophy 1st place, gold medalist(s) 4 4 0 0 145 33
Spain 2011 European Trophy 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 4 3 0 1 152 19
Italy 2012 European Championship 4th 3 0 0 3 6 175
Spain 2013 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 3 3 0 0 171 7
Belgium 2014 European Trophy Withdrew
Switzerland 2015 European Trophy
Spain 2016 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 3 3 0 0 208 7
Belgium 2018 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2 2 0 0 84 7
Spain 2019 European Championship 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2 2 0 0 95 0
Total 7 titles 53 38 0 15 1,550 582

Overall[edit]

(Full internationals only)

Correct as of 31 March 2019
Rugby: Spain internationals 1989-
Opponent First game Last game Played Won Drawn Lost Percentage
 Australia 1998 1998 1 0 0 1 0.00%
 Belgium 2010 2016 2 2 0 0 100.00%
 Canada 1991 2014 3 0 0 3 0.00%
 Czech Republic 2016 2016 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 England 1991 2017 16 1 1 14 6.25%
 Finland 2011 2011 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 France 1989 2014 19 5 0 14 26.32%
 Germany 1996 2018 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 Hong Kong 2015 2018 4 4 0 0 100.00%
 Ireland 1997 2008 9 5 0 4 55.56%
 Italy 1991 2017 13 10 0 3 76.92%
 Japan 1991 2002 2 2 0 0 100.00%
 Kazakhstan 2006 2014 2 2 0 0 100.00%
 Netherlands 1996 2019 8 8 0 0 100.00%
 New Zealand 1998 1998 1 0 0 1 0.00%
 Russia 1997 2019 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 Samoa 2006 2014 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 Scotland 1997 2016 19 7 0 12 36.84%
 South Africa 2014 2018 2 2 0 0 100.00%
 Sweden 2004 2013 5 4 0 1 80.00%
 United States 1998 2017 3 0 0 3 0.00%
 Wales 1998 2017 10 6 1 3 60.00%
Summary 1989 2019 130 69 2 59 53.85%

Players[edit]

Recent squad[edit]

The following players were named to the squad for the 2022 Rugby Europe Women's Championship.

  • Head Coach: José Antonio Barrio
2022 European Championship Squad
  • Marta Estelles
  • Sidorella Bracic
  • Aleuzenev Cid
  • Iciar Pozo
  • Laura Delgado
  • Nuria Jou
  • Maria Roman
  • Anna Puig
  • Carmen Castellucci
  • Carmen Rodera
  • Olivia Fresneda
  • Maria Calvo
  • Maria Losada
  • Lucia Diaz
  • Anne Fernandez
  • Clara Piquero
  • Patricia Garcia
  • Bruna Elias
  • Claudia Pena
  • Elisabet Segarra
  • Lea Ducher
  • Monica Castelo
  • Lourdes Alameda
  • Julia Castro
  • Zahia Perez
  • Cristina Lopez
  • Ines Bueso-Inchausti

Previous squads[edit]

Most capped Players[edit]

# Player Position Career Caps
1. Catalonia Aroa González Hooker 1997–2017 74
2. Basque Country (autonomous community) Inés Etxegibel Fly-half 1994–2007 64
Galicia (Spain) Rocío García Prop 2003–2017 64
4. Basque Country (autonomous community) Isabel Rodríguez Scrum-half 2003–2011 56
5. Catalonia Bárbara Plà Centre 2004–2017 53
6. Community of Madrid Pilar López Lock 1996–2003 49
Basque Country (autonomous community) Nerea Otxoa de Aspuru Prop 2003–2013 49
8. Balearic Islands Mercedes Batidor Flanker 1995–2002 47
9. Castilla–La Mancha María Isabel Pérez Wing 1991–2002 46
10. Basque Country (autonomous community) Karitte Alegria Number 8 1994–2005 43
Catalonia Coral Vila Fullback 1996–2003 43
Galicia (Spain) Helena Roca Centre / Fly-half 2001–2014 43


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 4 April 2022.

External links[edit]