December 21, 2021 2 min read
Everyone knows that rugby started in the United Kingdom, but what few may know, is that Rugby has been going in Germany since 1850. Neuenheim College was the first rugby club in mainland Europe to host a match. The game was between the college and a team from Karlsruhe, and took place on October 14th, 1850.
Rugby was first enjoyed by a small elite in the country, but by 1899, Deutsche Rugby Verband, the German Rugby Union, had formed and was in charge of 19 clubs. By the turn of the 19th century even some schools were hosting rugby matches. A yearly north versus south match was established and in 1909 a club championship was set up.
Between 1927 and 1938, Germany played France every year. France tended to get the win, and sometimes by a large margin, with the biggest being 34-0.
The Germans do boast a couple of victories over Les Bleus though. Including a close 17-16 scoreline at their 1928 meeting in Frankfurt, and again in 1951, 13-8. Other notable victories for the national side include a 20-0 victory over Denmark in 1906 and a 19-8 victory over Italy in 1936. There's been a slight resurgence in recent years, with the Germans nothcing up victories against Kenya, Uruguay and Brazil during 2016 and 2017.
In terms of competitive success at the international level, Germany has not fared as well as some of their European counterparts in the professional era; however, they continue to be one of the sport's powerhouses on the continent. As of right now, there are about 3,000 registered men's players scattered over 124 Clubs, competing in 4 national leagues. There are also 5 women's clubs.
The Bundesliga is the top, semi-professional league. Players from around the world partake and its a good place to develop your talents without too much pressure. (Yaaa).
The Bundesliga has 12 teams with the final played at Berlin's Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, in front of 6,000 fans.
Over the last decade, the family who made their millions from selling Capri-Sun juices, put around 20 million Euros into improving the German national side. This funding has now dried up and leaves the German rugby union in a place of uncertainty.
Germany also failed to qualify for the Rugby Europe, the second tier national competition in Europe, which means they can't qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. If they want to get back to competing with France, they've got everything to work on. And how exciting for them.
March 09, 2022 4 min read
As far as I'm concerned this last weekend's Heineken Cup encounters will be remembered primarily for confirming one thing – that Stade Toulousain are the true aristocrats of European rugby.