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Czech Rugby faces its biggest challenge yet – The Australian Waratahs

5.9.2005 CzechRugby.Info press release: For immediate release

Morgan TurinuiMorgan Turinui
Morgan Turinui
Chris WhitakerChris Whitaker
Chris Whitaker
Mat RogersMat Rogers
Mat Rogers

Saturday October 8th 2005 will be a turning point for the development of Czech rugby when the national team play the Australian Super 12 professional rugby team, the Waratahs.

Never in the 80 year- history of Czech rugby have the national side had the opportunity to play a southern hemisphere team of such high calibre.

The Waratahs will kick off their Autumn Central & Eastern European tour in Prague at Slavia Eden Athletic Stadium against the Czech Rugby Union national XV. International Australian players will be amongst the touring members to visit Prague.

To confirm the real strength of the club side, 12 Waratahs turned out to play for the Australian national throught this years Australian Tri-Nations campaign (the most prestigious international tournament in the Southern Hemisphere). Many of those who represented the side will be on the autumn tour in Europe.

As the 2007 world cup in France looms, this match will serve to identify the true level that Czech rugby is at.


Outsider

Having spectated a plethora of Czech club games and test matches, there is an abundance of talent that is rarely used to its full potential.

The Czechs, having had a mixed 2004-2005 season, finishing x in the 6 Nations A competiton, will mark this occasion as litmus test for rugby in the Czech Republic. Despite having such a rich history (founded in 1926 as one of the first FIRA members), rugby in the Czech Republic receives little following in the media and general public, although the country now boasts 20 teams, two leagues a cup and a sevens side. The country has also recently experienced a surge in women’s rugby.

This will be a momentous occasion, not just for Czech Rugby, but for Czech sport as a whole. The Czech mentality is conducive to the game of rugby; a sport that combines charatcteristics of camaradery, stamina and physical strength.

Ladislav Vondrášek, 3 years captain of the Czech National side commented that “Nowadays, we have lots of players playing their rugby abroad. Especially in England and France. This helps the quality of our game massively and helps boost a positive image of rugby in the Czech Republic. It also affords our players the opportunity to play against one of the most famous rugby clubs in the world.

Tickets for the game and gala dinner, to follow in the evening, will be on sale from September 8th and can be obtained from Patrick Davidson (see contacts below), Milan Razga (President of Slavia Rugby Club) or on the gates. Profit proceeds from the match and gala dinner will be donated to youth development in Rugby in the Czech Republic.


Notes to the editor

Rugby in Australia is massively extensive, producing 100,000 players. 120 of that number are fully professional, with 300 semi-professionals. Furthermore, the Australian club sides that participate in the Super 12 tournament allow only Australian nationals to play.

The Waratahs last year boasted a budget of 12 million Australian dollars (equivalent of 240 million kc). A net sum of 3 million Australian dollars was donated to the Australian Rugby Union for the development of youth rugby in individual provinces.

The Czech National team is coached by two new coaches, Josef Fatka and Petr Michovsky. They are assisted by Frenchman Christian Galonnier who is the rugby advisor of the Youth and Sports board of the Hautes-Pyrenees region.

There are about 15 players in the team playing abroad in competitions at various levels. In France, there are two players in PRO D2, six in Federale 1 and about five other playing in other competitions.

In England, there are three players playing National Division Two. There are some other players playing minor competitions in England, Wales, and Germany.

The Czech National side plays in the six nations B tournament alongside the likes of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Georgia and Romania.


Related links:

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    Mobile: +420 602 615 094

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    +420 222 319 395
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