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Rugby union in Andorra: Map

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Rugby union in Andorramarker is considered the second most popular sport in Andorramarker and has increased in popularity rapidly over the last decade. With growing success on the international stage many now see rugby as Andorra's number one sport, although it has strong competition from association football, and to a lesser extent basketball.

In 2009, there were 222 registered players, and 2 clubs, 2 clubs., out of a total population of 88,700.

Governing body

The Andorran Rugby Federation was founded in 1986, and became affiliated to the IRFB (as it was then) in 1991.

History

Andorran rugby is around forty years old, having been introduced in the 1960s.

Because it is surrounded by some of the main rugby playing heartlands of France and Spain - Provence, Cataloniamarker (and Rousillon) and the Basque Countrymarker- Andorrans have had a long exposure to the sport through the media.

Also, three other factors have come to have an influence in recent years -

  1. A large influx of tourists, especially skiers.
  2. Andorra's status as a tax haven has brought with it many tax exiles from rugby playing countries
  3. Andorra's small size has meant that young people tend to study outside the country, and become interested in rugby at foreign universities.
Returning students have been a major factor in the growth of Andorran rugby.

One of the most prominent advocates of rugby in Andorra has been the radio personality and teacher, Anick Musolas. Musolas wasraised in La Rochellemarker, in Francemarker, and her father was rugby-mad.

Andorra managed to reach the Spanish Cup Final in 1966, but was later kicked out. It now plays in the French fourth division.

Notable Andorra-based players have included the no. 8 Tony Castillo and scrum halves Alonso Ricart and Roger Font, as well as locally based foreign players such as Jimmy Jordan, a Scottish winger from Kilmarnockmarker, and the Argentinemarker fly-half Gustavo Tumosa, who previously played for Rosariomarker.

Andorra's traditional rivals are Luxembourg, who have a similar set up. Andorra was to give Luxembourg their first internationalvictory, 10-6.

Clubs

In 1997, there were only three clubs, one being made up of ski-instructors who were locally based, but who came from all over the world.

Because of the small population of Andorra, this is not a bad ratio for a Tier 3 nation.

See also



External links



References




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