CATALONIA RUGBY LEAGUE NATION OVERVIEW
Information on this page was updated – 19/12/2011
Foundation Year – 2006
International Team – Catalonia Rugby League
Top level domestic competition – The inaugural top level Catalan rugby league championship kicked off in 2009 involving 9 teams running from May to June.
History – Catalonia are a new rugby league playing region and continues the trend of European nations taking up the sport. Catalonia is made up of 5 provinces; Lleida, Tarragona, Girona, Barcelona (Spain) and Catalunya Nord (France). Their is hope that the recent success of the Catalans Dragons in southern France will assist with the growth of the sport in the Catalan region of Spain.
Rugby league was introduced in 2006 in the south part of Catalonia due to the efforts of the ACRL (Catalan Rugby League Association) and the Aligots de la (team from the University of Girona) who played the Tramuntana Tournament with the universities of Perpinya (North Catalonia) and Montpelier (France).
On making the Challenge Cup Final in 2007 the Catalans Dragons received unprecedented media exposure in Catalonia due to their Catalonia connections. After losing the final the Dragons were invited to Spain’s powerful Football Club FC Barcelona and received a huge applause from the pre game crowd.
In early 2009 the Rugby League European Federation in conjunction with the Association Catalana Rugby League held a coaching course in Barcelona. The course was well attended with over 40 candidates participating.
On the back of the coaching course the local rugby league competition “Catalan rugby league championship” kicked off in 2009. Catalonia have around 16 teams playing in two competitions. Nine teams participate in the Catalan rugby league championship (GEiEG, Garrotxa R.C., Crancs de Vic, CNPN-Enginyers, BUC, INEFC Lleida, Valls R.C., Sant Cugat, Tarragona R.C.). There are also 7 teams in the universities championship (Aligots de la UdG, Universitat de Perpinya, Garrins de Vic, Centaures de la UAB, Cocos de la URL, UPC and Taurons de la UPF). The uni championship was also played again in 2010.
In early 2009 Catalonia were unranked in world rankings but were awarded official observer status by the Rugby League International Federation.
On the 27th of march, the Catalan university selection went to Leeds to play a match against Leeds Trinity College going down to the more experienced team from Leeds ( Leeds 34 – Catalan Universities 10 ).
In June 2009 the Catalans Dragons played the Warrington Wolves in Barcelona in front of over 18,000 fans. The game was hailed a huge success with many of Barcelona locals taking part in the carnival atmosphere. As a warm up to the Super League game the local Catalan national side defeated the Czech Republic 52 – 10. This was another shot in the arm for rugby league as it continues to grow in Catalonia region.
In July 2009 the Catalonia national team played Morocco in the first match of the Euro-Med Challenge. Catalonia put in a gutsy performance against a Moroccan team full of professional players from the French Elite competitions. After being down 22 – 0 at half time Catalonia crossed the line in the 2nd half with the final score being 29 – 6. In their second match Catalonia narrowly loss to Belgium 28 – 22
The last international Catalonia played was in July 2010. Catalonia defeat Czech Republic 66-16. In 2011 Catalonia dropped off the RLEF rankings. Do date no reason has been given by the RLEF as to why this happened.
Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Catalonia we would love to hear from you. Please email us at: [email protected] or join our international rugby league Forums at http://forums.rugbyleagueplanet.com and let us all know what’s going on in your part of the world.
CATALONIA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE RESULTS
2010 Rugby League Results
Jul 10th Czech Republic 16 – Catalonia 66
2009 Rugby League Results
Jul 25th Belgium 28 – Catalonia 22 (Euro-Med Challenge)
Jul 4th Morocco 29 – Catalonia 6 (Euro-Med Challenge)
Jun 20th Catalonia 52 – Czech Republic 10
2008 Rugby League Results
Jun 27th Morocco 62 – Catalonia 12