Timișoara Saracens

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Timișoara Saracens SCM UVT
Timișoara Saracens Logo (2015).png
Full nameTimișoara Saracens Sport Club Municipal Universitatea de Vest din Timișoara
Founded1949
LocationTimișoara, Romania
Ground(s)Stadionul Dan Păltinișanu (Capacity: 32,972)
PresidentAlexandru Ilie
Coach(es)Chester Williams
League(s)CEC Bank SuperLiga
2017–181st
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
rugby-timisoara.ro

Timișoara Saracens SCM UVT is a professional Romanian rugby union club from Timișoara, which plays in the SuperLiga CEC Bank, the first division of Romanian rugby. The team first won the championship in 1972, becoming the first club outside Bucharest to achieve this performance. In the modern format of the SuperLiga, Timișoara Saracens won 4 titles in 6 seasons. The team is colloquially known as "Universitatea" Timișoara as it has historical ties with the University of Timișoara. In 2014 the club became a partner of London-based Saracens rugby club.

History[edit]

In 1949, CSUT (Club Sportiv Universitar Timișoara) played its first match in the city of Sighişoara against the local team, that match was won by CSUT with a score of 34–0, the team from Timișoara having the following line-up: Liteanu, Antonescu, Popa, Nistor, Haller, Onciul, Zomborian, Georgescu (player-coach), Dăncescu, Gurti, Kalincov, Barla, Baruch, Balios and Melinte.

Name change and first National title[edit]

Starting with the year 1966 the team changes its name from CSUT to Universitatea Timișoara; Mitică Antonescu was in charge of the team at that point. The year 1966 was the start of the ascension for the team from Timișoara. In the 1968–69 championship the team occupies 5th place, in the 1969–70 championship the team occupies 3rd place, in the 1970–71 championship the team occupies 5th place and in the 1971–72 championship, Universitatea Timișoara – after 58 years of supremacy from the teams from Bucharest – manages to bring the national title to Timișoara.

It is said that on 12 June 1972 (the day the team won the national title) the bells of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timișoara rang one time more than usual, and on the second day at the gate of the boarding house where the majority of the rugby players of Universitatea Timișoara were living, on a board the following could be read: “Trecătorule, oprește-te un moment și înclină-te în fața ușii caminului unde trăiesc perlele rugby-ului românesc (translation: Passer-by, stop for a moment and kneel in front of the door of the boarding house where the pearls of Romanian rugby are living)”, the author of it being, at that time student, Nicolae Benga. Here are the artisans of this beautiful achievement: Duţă, Szasz, Cândrea, Peter, Suciu, Gheţu, Iacob, Ceauş, Tătucu, Nedelcu, Vollman, Rășcanu, Priess, Ionică, Ene, Malancu, Neiss, Popovici, Vlad, Ioniţă, Arsene.

Chester Williams Era[edit]

In January 2012, former Springbok Chester Williams (the only non-white player in South Africa's winning 1995 Rugby World Cup team) joined Timișoara Saracens as head coach. His first attempt to get involved with Romanian rugby was being the technical director for CS Dinamo București. He was close to taking over the bench of Timișoara in the summer of 2011, but negotiations were put to a hold because of the World Cup that was taking place in New Zealand.

Williams brought the first league title in 40 years to Timișoara in 2012. He was then replaced by fellow South African Danie de Villiers. In 2014, former New Zealand Heartland XV coach Grainger Heikell took over from Danie de Villiers as head coach of Timișoara Saracens.

After two successful seasons for Timișoara, Chester Williams eventually came back to replace Danie de Villiers.

Romanian Cup[edit]

In 2011, Timișoara Saracens RCM UVT won the Romanian Cup for the first time, after a 32–10 victory against CSM Stiinţa Baia-Mare. The match took place in Alba Iulia, on the Cetate Stadium. Timișoara Saracens won the Romania Cup once again in 2014 with a victory over CSM Stiinţa Baia-Mare on Cluj Arena, and went on to repeat their cup success in 2015 and 2016.

Romanian Rugby Championship (pre-2012) and SuperLiga (2012-)[edit]

In 2011, Timișoara Saracens RCM UVT finished in 3rd place. After losing 22–24 to CSM Știința Baia Mare in the semifinals of the Romanian Rugby Championship, the team from Timișoara won the 3rd place final against Farul Constanţa (15–11). Under Chester Williams' management, they won the league in 2012 and 2013.

In 2014, Timișoara lost against Farul Constanța in the league semi-finals, after the medical visas were allegedly ripped out of the files of Timișoara Saracen's top six players.[1] This is one of many corruption accusations made by the team.

Timișoara Saracens won the league again in 2015 and 2016-17. These two finals, as well as the finals in 2012 and 2013, were played against CSM Știința Baia Mare. Timișoara won 8 out of 8 finals (in the SuperLiga, Romanian Cup and King's Cup) they played against Baia Mare.

Achievements[edit]

  • SuperLiga CEC Bank:
    • Winners (6): 1972, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016–17, 2017–18
    • Runner-up (1): 1973
    • Third Place (7): 1974, 1975, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2011, 2014
  • Romanian Cup:
    • Winners (4): 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
    • Runner-up (2): 1978, 1980
  • King's Cup:
    • Winners (1): 2015
    • Runner-up (1): 2017
  • Energy Cup (Central and Eastern European Rugby Cup):
    • Winners (1): 2009
    • Runner-up (2): 2010, 2011

Current squad[edit]

The Timișoara Saracens squad for the 2018–19 Superliga season is:[2]

Timișoara Saracens
Pos. Nat. Name Date of birth (age) Height Weight Caps Former club
HK Romania Eugen Căpățână (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 32) 179 cm 105 kg 37 homegrown player
HK Romania Andrei Rădoi (1987-02-07) 7 February 1987 (age 32) 185 cm 107 kg 72 England Ealing Trailfinders
HK Romania Marian Sabău (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 30) 183 cm 108 kg Romania Știința Petroșani
PR South Africa Henri Boshoff (1992-02-08) 8 February 1992 (age 27) 187 cm 111 cm South Africa Valke
PR Tonga Sione Halalilo (1992-04-28) 28 April 1992 (age 26) 185 cm 130 kg Tonga Toloa Old Boys
PR Romania Samuel Mariș (1985-05-13) 13 May 1985 (age 33) 190 cm 131 kg 6 France CA Périgueux
PR Romania Gigi Militaru (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 30) 180 cm 117 kg 3 Romania Știința Petroșani
PR Romania Horațiu Pungea (1986-02-18) 18 February 1986 (age 33) 190 cm 132 kg 30 France Oyonnax
PR Tonga Sione Taupaki (1988-08-11) 11 August 1988 (age 30) 180 cm 113 kg Tonga Toloa Old Boys
LK Romania Marian Drenceanu (1990-03-01) 1 March 1990 (age 29) 202 cm 124 kg 6 Romania CSU AV Arad
LK Romania Marius Iftimiciuc (1997-08-13) 13 August 1997 (age 21) 201 cm 110 kg 1 homegrown player
LK Romania Dorin Lazăr (1990-01-23) 23 January 1990 (age 29) 196 cm 113 kg 16 Romania CSA Steaua Bucuresti
LK Romania Ionuț Mureșan (1994-10-06) 6 October 1994 (age 24) 196 cm 107 kg 3 Romania Universitatea Cluj-Napoca
LK Romania Valentin Popârlan (1987-06-12) 12 June 1987 (age 31) 197 cm 117 kg 75 Romania CSA Steaua Bucuresti
FL Romania Randall Morrison (1984-02-12) 12 February 1984 (age 35) 187 cm 100 kg 1 South Africa Golden Lions
FL Romania Vlad Neculau (1998-01-07) 7 January 1998 (age 21) 191 cm 99 kg homegrown player
FL Romania Vasile Rus (1983-10-20) 20 October 1983 (age 35) 193 cm 109 kg 14 France SC Mazamet
FL Romania George Tătăruș (1996-05-07) 7 May 1996 (age 22) 180 cm 85 kg homegrown player
FL England Thomas Whitehurst (1994-12-12) 12 December 1994 (age 24) 189 cm 104 kg England Harlequin F.C.
N8 Samoa Michael Stewart (1991-10-15) 15 October 1991 (age 27) 195 cm 109 kg New Zealand Rugby Southland
SH South Africa Kevin Luiters (1992-07-02) 2 July 1992 (age 26) 174 cm 82 kg South Africa Pumas
SH Romania Gabriel Rupanu (1997-09-28) 28 September 1997 (age 21) 176 cm 73 kg homegrown player
FH Romania Jody Rose (1986-07-29) 29 July 1986 (age 32) 178 cm 86 kg 12 South Africa Golden Lions
FH Romania Luke Samoa (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 (age 30) 183 cm 101 kg 5 Romania CSM Baia Mare
CE Romania Marius Iștoc (1997-03-29) 29 March 1997 (age 21) 181 cm 95 kg homegrown player
CE Tonga Tevita Manumua (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 26) 187 cm 107 kg England Saracens
CE Romania Florin Popa (1996-03-27) 27 March 1996 (age 22) 175 cm 90 kg 6 homegrown player
CE Romania Jack Umaga (1984-06-18) 18 June 1984 (age 34) 183 cm 101 kg 17 New Zealand Tasman Makos
WG Australia John Leiataua (1991-01-13) 13 January 1991 (age 28) 188 cm 111 kg Romania CSM Baia Mare
WG Romania Mădălin Lemnaru (1989-03-26) 26 March 1989 (age 29) 189 cm 95 kg 35 Romania CSA Steaua București
WG Tonga Viliami Moala (1981-01-23) 23 January 1981 (age 38) 174 cm 81 kg New Zealand Petone Rugby
WG Romania Stephen Shennan (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 28) 183 cm 83 kg 17 Australia Boroondara Redbacks
WG Romania Vlad Zaharia (1995-01-12) 12 January 1995 (age 24) 181 cm 77 kg 3 homegrown player
FB Romania Gabriel Conache (1991-01-24) 24 January 1991 (age 28) 180 cm 88 kg 3 Romania CSU AV Arad
FB Romania Cătălin Fercu (1986-09-05) 5 September 1986 (age 32) 183 cm 87 kg 105 England Saracens
FB Romania Marius Simionescu (1997-09-05) 5 September 1997 (age 21) 183 cm 85 kg 6 homegrown player

* Internationally capped players in bold.

Notable former players[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gsp.ro/sporturi/rugby/au-disparut-foile-din-carnete-scandal-monstru-in-semifinalele-superligii-nationale-de-rugby-433903.html
  2. ^ "TIMISOARA SARACENS current squad list". SuperLiga CEC Bank (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 December 2018.

External links[edit]