Swiss rugby is actually amongst the oldest in the world. The earliest recorded match in Switzerland was in 1869 (the Swiss Federation was founded in 1972). The St.Gallen Rugby Club was established in 1990 and today I like to tell you some facts about this tough sport! Therefore I asked some questions to Silae Schlegel – Player and as well Coach of the Woman’s Team.
The «Bishops» was established in 1990, meanwhile the club is now called «Rugby Club St.Gallen». There are seven rugby leagues in Switzerland, the «Bishops» play in the National League C. Since 2009 there is also a junior team and since 2011 a woman’s team. The flourishing womans team is called «Cindies» and unites players from Eastern Switzerland, Konstanz (DE), Voralberg (AT) and Liechteinstein (LI) and plays in the NLF B. Two women from the «Cindies» team also play in the Swiss-NationalTeam and one in the U18-Swiss-National team!
Unfortunately they are still too few players to set up a separate team, thats why they are always looking for new members! If you are interested – just go for a training and try it out! It doesn’t matter if you are strong, fast, big or short – everyone will find the right position. The training is every Tuesdays and Thursdays from 19 to 21 o’clock. The juniors start already at 18 o’clock. All you need are clothes that can get dirty, kickshoes (with studs) and a gum shield. If you want to know more about rugby boots read this blogpost.
Each team has its own flag. The emblem of the bishops is a tribute to Irish rugby – this fits in with the founding of St. Gallen by Gallus the Irish monk. The flag of the Cindies shows the Lake Constance and symbolizes the four countries, which the Team represents.
Legend has it that in 1823, during a game of school football in the town of Rugby, England. A student started picked up the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal line while playing a football match, created a new modality of this game that was called Rugby. That young player who became so popular was William Webb Ellis. Nowadays the World Champion gets a trophy called after him. Rugby is a tough combative action sport within which there is a great deal of respect and fairness towards your teammates, your opposition and the referee. Traditions of sportsmanship are held high throughout all the clubs at all levels. The diversity of people within the rugby community is very wide.
«Rugby connects Cultures!»
Rugby short explained
Rugby is played by two teams of 15 players, with up to 7 substitutes allowed. The object of the game is score more points than your opponents in the 80 minute time frame allotted for each rugby match. The team with the greater number of points at full time is announced as the winner. A rugby match comprises a first half and second half, each lasting for 40 minutes, separated by a 10-minute halftime period. Although the aim of the game is simple, there are many laws which make can make it hard for the new viewer to keep track of what is going on. The rivalry on the pitch is forgotten once the match is over, with players from both teams mingling in a friendly atmosphere as they discuss the match’s highlights. Mouthguards are mandatory and are required to be worn by all players during training and games. Some players wear a scrumcap or headband against ear injuries. And tape – Rugby players need tape, a lot of tape! But the sport is no more dangerous than football – it just looks harder. It’s important that you are trained, fit and using the learned techniques.
«Recently we donated no longer used rugby dresses to a Kenyan rugby club. Out of gratitude, the team renamed their club to «St.Gallen Limuru RFC». Thats why there is a St. Gallen rugby club now in Kenya!»
The Bishopscup is an international 10-rugby tournament. It is open to women’s and men’s teams. Referees of the London Society of Rugby Union come to St.Gallen annually and direct the matches, subject to the rules of the IRB. Over the years, the Bishopscup has become the largest rugby tournament in Switzerland and teams from many countries in Europe and North America come and play together. For many of them, the Bishopscup is the conclusion and highlight of their rugby season. We offer teams and spectators a combination of competition, sportiness and conviviality. More about this: bishopscup.ch
All Photos © Copyright Jodok Küng