|Rugby union in Chile|
|Governing body||Chilean Rugby Federation|
|First played||Late 19th century|
Rugby union in Chile is a fairly popular sport.
The Chilean Rugby Federation was founded on 4 May 1953 and governs the sport in Chile. Their statutes and regulations were officialized at 16 December 1963. It is affiliated to the Olympic Committee of Chile, the Confederación Sudamericana de Rugby, FIRA and World Rugby.
Rugby was first introduced into South America in the late 19th century by British immigrants, but this was mainly in Brazil and neighbouring Argentina.
It was introduced by the British in the 19th century. It is believed that the first people who played it in Chile were the English who worked at the saltmines in Iquique. Rugby was also developed by the English private colleges. For many years it was a sport mostly played by the upper classes in Chile. The first teams appeared in Valparaíso and Santiago de Chile, who later formed the Unión de Rugby de Chile. The British influence can be noticed by the fact that several of the main Chilean teams have English names.
Some rugby did trickle across the border from Argentina, but it was not until the 1920s that the game really became established, around Santiago and Valparaíso.
During the 1950s, Chile was visited by the Irish tour of 1952 and a 1954 French tour.
Chilean delegates were amongst those who went to the centenary congress of the International Rugby Football Board in 1986.
In South America, with the dominance of Argentina, Chile used to consider itself the best of the rest.This was confirmed in many people's minds when Chile won the second place in the 1981 South American Championship in the absence of Argentina. However, of the other South American nations only Uruguay has qualified for the Rugby World Cup.
In the late 1980s, former French coach Jean-Pierre Juanchich became national administrator of the sport, lending it some extra credibility.During the 1980s, Chilean rugby participation increased by 400%, and whereas it was previously confined to the cities of Santiago and Valparaíso, it began to spread throughout the country.
The tragic crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, and the resulting books and films, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors and Alive brought Uruguayan and Chilean rugby into the global limelight. The Uruguayans were on tour, and had played several games in Argentina, and were due to play some return matches in Chile.
Alive tells the story of a Uruguayan Rugby team (who were alumni of Stella Maris College (Montevideo)) and their friends and family who were involved in the airplane crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 which crashed into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972. It was published two years after survivors of the crash were rescued.
The Chile national rugby union team, known as "Los Condores" ("The Condors") it is the 24th in the World Rugby Rankings, and it is the third best team from South America, after Argentina and Uruguay.
Although Chile's women have not yet played test match rugby, they have been playing international sevens rugby since 2004. (Current playing record).
Chile National Rugby Championship started in 1948, and its first winner was Prince of Wales Country Club.
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On 2 August 1947, Star Dust, a British South American Airways (BSAA) Avro Lancastrian airliner on a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile, crashed into Mount Tupungato, in the Argentine Andes. An extensive search operation failed to locate the wreckage, despite covering the area of the crash site, and the fate of the aircraft and its occupants remained unknown for over 50 years, giving rise to various conspiracy theories about its disappearance.
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, later known as Andes flight disaster, Miracle Flight 571, and The Miracle of the Andes, was a chartered flight that originated in Montevideo, Uruguay, bound for Santiago, Chile. On October 13, 1972, while crossing the Andes, the inexperienced co-pilot of the Fairchild FH-227D, who was the pilot flying, mistakenly believed they had reached Curicó, despite instrument readings that indicated otherwise. The aircraft began descending too early to reach Pudahuel Airport and struck a mountain, initially shearing off both wings and the tail section. The remaining portion of the fuselage slid down the mountain about 725 metres (2,379 ft) before striking ice and snow on a glacier. The flight was carrying 45 passengers and crew, including 19 members of the Old Christians Club rugby union team, along with their families, supporters, and friends.
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Rugby union in Uruguay is considered a popular sport. The Uruguay national team, commonly known as Los Teros, have been playing international rugby since the late 1940s and have made appearances in four Rugby World Cups: 1999, 2003, 2015 and 2019.
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