|Rugby union in Gibraltar|
|Governing body||Gibraltar Rugby Football Union/Rugby Football Union|
|First played||late 19th century|
Rugby union is a popular sport since its introduction by British military personnel in the 19th Century.
The Gibraltar Rugby Football Union (GRFU) has existed since the 1980s when the border with Spain was opened.
Rugby is played in Gibraltar under the auspices of the (GRFU), which exists for the development of the game on the Rock. In 2010 the GRFU appointed a Development Officer to promote the sport in middle schools and comprehensive schools.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, it has long had a rugby presence, and the game was probably introduced at some point during the 19th century by the military.
Around World War II, a number of Gibraltarians were evacuated to the United Kingdom, and some learned rugby while at school there or in the British Armed Forces.
Teams of Gibraltarians have been bolstered by the constant coming and going of the British Armed Forces, who traditionally had strong teams.During the mid-1960s, a mini league was set up - just in time, as the land border with Spain would close in 1968. This league was dominated by Gibraltar RFC.
Even up to the mid-1980s, rugby on the Rock had a major problem, namely the lack of grass.Games were frequently played on a rocky surface, and visitors had to play tag rugby. Peter Collings, a former St Mary's University, Blackburn and Leek winger, the Headmaster of St George's School, and others like Geoff Dunn of the Bat and Bull pub, kept Rugby alive via the tag game. Peter Collings was a one-man band for some ten years. He played and refereed, organised fixtures, the disciplinary committee and the pitch allocations. Fixtures occurred most weekends at the Devils Tower pitch and at Navy No 1 on Queensway. There were also regular and well attended Rugby Sevens events that took place, with recorded coverage from GBC television on John Shepherd's sports programmes. Tag rugby had its limitations, but with regular trips to play in Tangier against Moroccan and French teams, it allowed Rugby skills to flourish and for the game to stay alive in Gibraltar during the 1970s and 1980s when travel to Spain was impractical.
With the opening of the border in the 1980s, the huge demand by military personnel and returning local, university students led to the creation of Gibraltar's first national league. The original teams within this competition were teams from: Navy, Air Force, Army, La Linea and two Gibraltarian teams. This later increased with the introduction of the Spanish settlements of Ceuta and Cadiz to the league. The decline in this league was down to a number of factors, such as the decline in military personnel in Gibraltar as well as the increase in the number of Spanish teams taking part in the Andalucian League (FAR) and the lack of investment in youth development locally. The land border reopened in 1985, and a number of games were played against sides from Seville and Madrid.Gibraltar RFC has now merged with one of the Super4s clubs. A number of Gibraltar-based players play for the Barbarians RFC, an Andalucia Rugby Team that play in the Andalusia Divisions.
On 5 November 2011 the Gibraltar Rugby Football Union (GRFU) fielded a national team in its first official Test Match. The fixture was against the Belgium Development Team in Brussels. The final score was Belgium XV 20 Gibraltar XV 8. Test Caps have been awarded to the Gibraltar Team.
The GRFU is currently going through the process of FIRA/AER (European Rugby Federation) membership.The GRFU is planning other international fixtures versus international opponents for April 2015.
There is also a Gibraltar National sevens team that plays regularly in tournaments, particularly in the Tangier Sevens.
The lack of a decent playing pitch was long a problem, however the laying of a 3rd generation (IRB Approved) astroturf pitch has meant that Gibraltarian teams have been allowed to play their first game of XVs on their home field. The new surface was laid in April 2010 and the first game played on the pitch was against a touring side. The historic first encounter between a Spanish and Gibraltarian side (U20s) was held in September 2010, against Marbella RFC
In 2011 the GRFU hosted its first, locally based, international Sevens tournament called "The Rock 7s".
Gibraltar's National League is played amongst the four local clubs: DHL Europa Stormers, Inline Framing Straits Sharks, Ibex Buccaneers, Sovereign Insurance Rock Scorpions. The aim of the Super IVs is to give Gibraltar's young, aspiring rugby players a platform from which to continue their rugby development pathway.
Gibraltar Minis came into existence in 2011.
Harvey Armstrong record points scorer with 36 as of 14/10/16
The culture of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins. While there are Spanish and British influences, a result of the territory's status as a British overseas territory and its proximity to Spain, the ethnic origins of most Gibraltarians are a mix of Andalusian Spaniards, Genoese, Maltese, Portuguese and British. The main religion is Christianity, the majority group being the Roman Catholic Church, then the Church of England. There is a long established Sephardic Jewish community, a number of Hindu Indians and a Moroccan Muslim population. Gibraltarians of Genoese origin came to The Rock in the 18th century, with the Maltese and Portuguese following in the 19th century, coming to work and trade in the British military base. Spanish Andalusian origins are the result of generations of intermarriage with inhabitants of surrounding towns.
Tag rugby, or flag rugby, is a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt that has two velcro tags attached to it, or shorts with velcro patches. The mode of play is based on rugby league with many similarities to touch football, although tag rugby is often deemed a closer simulation of the full contact codes of rugby than touch. Attacking players attempt to dodge, evade and pass a rugby ball while defenders attempt to prevent them scoring by "tagging" – pulling a velcro attached tag from the ball carrier, rather than a full contact tackle. Tag rugby is used in development and training by both rugby league and rugby union communities.
Thomond Park is a stadium in Limerick in the Irish province of Munster. The stadium is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and has Munster Rugby, Shannon RFC and UL Bohemian RFC as tenants. Limerick FC played home games in Thomond Park from 2013 to 2015 in the League of Ireland while the Markets Field was being redeveloped. The capacity of the stadium is 25,600 following its large-scale redevelopment in 2008.
The Border League, is the oldest established rugby union league in the World, having been formed in 1901. Currently known as the Booker Border League, after its sponsors, teams from all over the Scottish Borders as well as Berwick RFC from Northumberland compete every year from the competition.
Rugby union in Scotland is a popular team sport. Scotland's national side today competes in the annual Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup. The first ever international rugby match was played on 27 March 1871, at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, when Scotland defeated England in front of 4,000 people. Professional clubs compete in the Pro14, European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the Scottish League Championship exists for over 200 amateur and semi-professional clubs, as does a knock-out competition, the Scottish Cup. The governing body, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), is one of the ten first-tier member nations of World Rugby.
Rugby union is a growing team sport in Spain. As of 2019, there were 37,241 registered rugby union players in Spain, playing for 332 clubs in various divisions. The sport's governing body in Spain, the Spanish Rugby Federation, was founded in 1923. It joined the International Rugby Board in 1988, and is also a member of Rugby Europe.
Rodney Parade is a stadium in the city of Newport, South Wales, owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union. It is located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre. The ground is on Rodney Road, a short walk from the city's central bus and railway stations via Newport Bridge or Newport City footbridge. There is no spectator car park at the ground but a number of multi-storey car parks are nearby.
Victoria Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Gibraltar. It is currently used mostly for football matches, but also hosts the annual Gibraltar Music Festival. It is located close to Gibraltar Airport just off Winston Churchill Avenue. It was named after the wife of Gibraltarian philanthropist John Mackintosh.
The Gnoll in Neath, Wales is a sports ground, with a capacity of 6,000. It is used primarily for rugby union and rugby league, although it has also been used previously for association football and cricket. The stadium has hosted international rugby matches, with it being the home ground of the Wales women's national rugby union team, and men's matches included one during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup against the Cook Islands.
Glasgow Hutchesons Aloysians Rugby Football Club, often abbreviated to GHA and colloquially referred to as G-HA!!, is a rugby union club based in the Giffnock area of East Renfrewshire, Scotland. The club plays its home matches at Braidholm and currently competes in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier of Scottish club rugby.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 32,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.
Earlston RFC is a rugby union club, based at Earlston in the Scottish Borders.
Football has been a popular part of sport in Gibraltar since its introduction by British military personnel in the 19th century. The Gibraltar Football Association, founded in 1895, is one of the ten oldest active football associations in the world.
Sport plays a prominent role in Gibraltarian life. The range of sports practiced in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar is wide and varied in comparison to its size of less than 7 square kilometres. The Government of Gibraltar promotes sport within The Rock and supports many local sports associations financially. Gibraltar also competes in international sporting events, having competed in the Commonwealth Games since 1958, and in the biennial Island Games, which it hosted in 1995 and 2019.
Corstorphine RFC is an Edinburgh rugby union club. Formed in 1950, the club represented the western Edinburgh suburb of Corstorphine. In 2017 the club was rebranded as Corstorphine Cougars.
The Gibraltar Barbarians Rugby Football Club (GRFC) is a Rugby union club from Gibraltar and the surrounding Campo in Spain, who play in the Andalucian League as Gibraltar Barbarians RFC. They play their home games in the town of Guadiaro near Sotogrande in the Cadiz province of Spain. They currently play in the 1 Division National of the Federacion Andaluza de Rugby (FAR). In 2010, Campo Gibraltar is now a Gibraltar-based team and its name has been changed to Gibraltar Barbarians RFC.
The Ghana Rugby Association, operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union, is the governing body for rugby union in Ghana. It is a member of Rugby Africa and a full member of World Rugby since 2017.
Alnwick RFC is an amateur rugby union club based in the town of Alnwick, Northumberland in north-east England. The club play in North Premier, a level five league in the English rugby union system and are the most northerly rugby union club in English league rugby,. Alnwick regularly field three senior sides, all of which play competitive league and cup rugby. The club also has a junior section running teams from under 7's through to under 18's and a girls section.
The Gibraltar national rugby union team represent Gibraltar in men's rugby union.
The Border Region: Schools & Youth Competitions structures established for the 2015-16 season group schools and clubs based on the development structures they have in place, the volume of teams they operate and results over recent seasons. The fixture programmes arranged by Scottish Rugby will guarantee blocks of 'school v school' or 'club v club' fixtures in the autumn phase of the season