|Rugby union in Venezuela|
Rugby match at Estadio Olímpico in Caracas
|Governing body||Venezuelan Rugby Federation|
Rugby union in Venezuela is a team sport that is played as an amateur sport.
The history of rugby in Venezuela goes back to the fifties of the last century, when a group of English oil workers played the first match in Zulia State.In 1974, some Frenchmen, Argentines and Uruguayans created two rugby teams in Caracas: Martell and Renault. Martell and Renault played the first organized match on 14 July 1974. Later the two teams mixed together to form a new one: Rugby Club Caracas (RCC). Another rugby team, Anaucos Rugby Club, was founded by a group of Argentines and Uruguayans. In 1974, the first international rugby match of a Venezuelan team was held against the players from a French frigate.
In 1978, the first rugby club formed exclusively with native players was founded at Simón Bolívar University: the Club de Rugby de la Universidad Simón Bolívar (CRUSB).In the course of time, more rugby teams were created in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities.
The governing body is the Venezuelan Rugby Federation, which was founded in 1992. It is affiliated to World Rugby and Sudamérica Rugby.
The most important tournament is the Campeonato Nacional de Clubes (National Championship of Clubs) contested by Venezuelan men's clubs.Another notable tournament is the Torneo Internacional de Rugby Los Andes (Los Andes Rugby International Tournament) played at Mérida. Santa Teresa seven-a-side, the Circuito Nacional de Sevens (National Sevens Series) and the Seven de las Flores (Sevens of Flowers) are important club competitions in rugby sevens.
The matches of these competitions are played at weekends.
In Venezuela, rugby is not as popular as sports such as baseball, football or basketball. The coverage of rugby competitions by Venezuelan mass media is sporadic.
Years ago, rugby players had to fund themselves in the terms of uniforms, equipment, travel costs, etc. Recently, some financial support has come from the Venezuelan Ministry of Sport and private companies which offer sponsorship to the clubs.
Rugby in Venezuela is an amateur sport and rugby players receive no remuneration.
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