|Full name||Rugby Club Tirana|
|Union||Rugby union in Albania|
|Nickname(s)||Klubi i Regbisë Tirana|
|Ground(s)||Tirana Olympic Park (Capacity: 1,200)|
|Active branches of KF Tirana|
Tirana Rugby Club (Albanian:Klubi Regbisë Tirana) is a rugby team based in Tirana, Albania. Established in August 2013, it is the first and oldest rugby team in Albania.
In 2011, rugby was promoted as the next major sport in Albania. The first match was held on 4 August 2013, with the participation of Tirana Rugby Club and immigrants from Italy. The promotional event was held at Selman Stërmasi Stadium.
In August 2013 Tirana RC was officially founded from some guys who simply had the desire to offer something more than the existing sports in the country. It was created for something different, more adrenaline, more contact. The beginnings and creation of a compact squad was not easy due to lack of popularity of this sport, which made the approach and recruitment very difficult. Xhino Drangu and Adam Vernon were two guys who worked hard to establish the first steps of the game which then made the recruitment easier. More new players joined the club. Drangu has had 5 years experience in the United Kingdom. He became the first coach in 2013 and later the clubs first President. He helped players start understanding and play genuine rugby.
As years went on, squad became more solid and was able to play friendlies. The first one was played against Kosovo Roosters RC in 2013. In 2014, Adam Vernon became the second coach of the team. He is of English origin and has played rugby in high levels, semi or fully professional. The second friendly was again played against Kosovo Roosters RC in Tirana. In beginning of 2015, club submitted the necessary application to become officially recognized. Registration was made possible and club got the status of a non-profit organization. Same year, along with rugby, club took part at the first cricket game in Albania. This was mediated from members of the British Embassy in Albania and of Crown Agents.
In 2015, club took part in a tournament organized in Pristina with the participation of 3 clubs: Tirana RC (Albania), Kosovo Roosters RC (Kosovo) and Kibubu RC (Belgium). Tirana RC ranked third in the end of the event. Same year two more friendlies were played against RK Podgorica (Montenegro), a very experienced team with many players part of Montenegro National Team. First match was played in Albania and second one in Montenegro and despite the heavy defeats, served as necessary tests and experience for Tirana's young players. As Tirana RC was gaining more experience and connections with other clubs, the plan of a Nationwide Cup was soon materialized. It was named "Skenderbe Cup" and there were only two participants; Tirana RC and Kosovo Roosters RC. It consisted of three matches within a year and the winner of two matches would be the victor. Other Albanian and Kosovan clubs were free to join the event. First match was played in 28 November 2015 and was won by Tirana RC with a score 24-10. A second one was played in Pristina.
In 2016, Tirana RC created a second club, KR Iliret. History was written again on 16 May when for the first time the two first clubs of Albania had their first match. This was played in Elbasan and KR Iliret won 12-0. Match was sponsored by OSCE.
The two teams played two more friendlies, on 30 October 2016 and 9 January 2018.
On 9 April 2016 Tirana RC played a friendly against RK Mornar in Tirana, which was won by the guests. 1st part ended 17-17 and the 2nd 27-36.
On 19 June 2016 Tirana RC participated on the second Cricket Game in Albania.
With Tirana RC growing with new members and gaining more experience, club is planning to arrange friendlies with stronger rivals. The main goal of Tirana RC is development of rugby as a new sport in Albania and, as the first and only rugby squad has the obligation to disseminate it further. The other goal is assisting and cooperating on the creation of other rugby teams in the country.
An important step in the establishment of relations with international clubs is twinning with two Italian clubs, Aquila and Gran Sasso. Club is attempting on organizing events and matches in the future.
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
|Club president||Xhino Drangu|
|Head coach||Adam Vernon|
|Internal Coordinator||Ditmar Halla|
|External Coordinator||Mariglen Nezaj|
|Director of Albania Rugby||Marty Lusty|
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