SCM USV Timișoara

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SCM Rugby Timișoara is a professional Romanian rugby union club from Timișoara, which plays in the Liga Națională de Rugby, the first division of Romanian rugby. The team first won the championship in 1972, becoming the first club outside Bucharest to achieve this performance. In the modern format of the SuperLiga, SCM Rugby Timișoara won 4 titles in 6 seasons. The team is colloquially known as "Universitatea" Timișoara as it has historical ties with the University of Timișoara. In 2014 the club became a partner of London-based Saracens rugby club. In 2020, the club's partnership with London-based Saracens rugby club ended making them change their identity to SCM Rugby Timișoara.[1] SCM Rugby Timisoara`s annual operating budget for the 2023-24 season is approximately 1,910,000 Euros.[2]

SCM Rugby Timișoara
Full nameSport Club Municipal Rugby Timișoara
Nickname(s)Bănățeni (People of Banat)
Timișoreni (People of Timișoara)
Leii (The Lions)
Founded1949; 75 years ago (1949)
LocationTimișoara, Romania
Ground(s)Stadionul Gheorghe Rășcanu (Capacity: 1,000)
PresidentAlexandru Ilie
Coach(es)Valentin Calafeteanu
Captain(s)Vlad Neculau
League(s)Liga Națională de Rugby
Team kit
Official website

History edit

In 1949, CSUT (Club Sportiv Universitar Timișoara) played its first match in the city of Sighişoara against the local team, that match was won by CSUT with a score of 34–0, the team from Timișoara having the following line-up: Liteanu, Antonescu, Popa, Nistor, Haller, Onciul, Zomborian, Georgescu (player-coach), Dăncescu, Gurti, Kalincov, Barla, Baruch, Balios and Melinte.

Name change and first National title edit

Starting with the year 1966 the team changes its name from CSUT to Universitatea Timișoara; Mitică Antonescu was in charge of the team at that point. The year 1966 was the start of the ascension for the team from Timișoara. In the 1968–69 championship the team occupies 5th place, in the 1969–70 championship the team occupies 3rd place, in the 1970–71 championship the team occupies 5th place and in the 1971–72 championship, Universitatea Timișoara – after 58 years of supremacy from the teams from Bucharest – manages to bring the national title to Timișoara.

It is said that on 12 June 1972 (the day the team won the national title) the bells of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timișoara rang one time more than usual, and on the second day at the gate of the boarding house where the majority of the rugby players of Universitatea Timișoara were living, on a board the following could be read: "Trecătorule, oprește-te un moment și înclină-te în fața ușii caminului unde trăiesc perlele rugby-ului românesc (translation: Passer-by, stop for a moment and take a bow in front of the door of the boarding house where the pearls of Romanian rugby are living)", the author of it being, at that time student, Nicolae Benga. Here are the artisans of this beautiful achievement: Duţă, Szasz, Cândrea, Peter, Suciu, Gheţu, Iacob, Ceauş, Tătucu, Nedelcu, Vollman, Rășcanu, Priess, Ionică, Ene, Malancu, Neiss, Popovici, Vlad, Ioniță, Arsene.

Chester Williams Era edit

In January 2012, former Springbok Chester Williams (the only non-white player in South Africa's winning 1995 Rugby World Cup team) joined Timișoara Saracens as head coach. His first attempt to get involved with Romanian rugby was being the technical director for CS Dinamo București. He was close to taking over the bench of Timișoara in the summer of 2011, but negotiations were put to a hold because of the World Cup that was taking place in New Zealand.

Williams brought Timișoara their first league title in 40 years in 2012. He was then replaced by fellow South African Danie de Villiers. In 2014, former New Zealand Heartland XV coach Grainger Heikell took over from De Villiers as head coach of Timișoara Saracens.

After two successful seasons for Timișoara, Chester Williams eventually returned to replace Danie de Villiers.

Romanian Cup edit

In 2011, Timișoara Saracens RCM UVT won the Romanian Cup for the first time, after a 32–10 victory against CSM Stiinţa Baia-Mare. The match took place in Alba Iulia, on the Cetate Stadium. Timișoara Saracens won the Romania Cup once again in 2014 with a victory over CSM Stiinţa Baia-Mare on Cluj Arena, and went on to repeat their cup success in 2015 and 2016.

Romanian Rugby Championship (pre-2012) and SuperLiga (2012-) edit

In 2011, Timișoara Saracens RCM UVT finished in 3rd place. After losing 22–24 to CSM Știința Baia Mare in the semifinals of the Romanian Rugby Championship, the team from Timișoara won the 3rd place final against Farul Constanţa (15–11). Under Chester Williams' management, they won the league in 2012 and 2013.

In 2014, Timișoara lost against Farul Constanța in the league semi-finals, after the medical visas were allegedly ripped out of the files of Timișoara Saracen's top six players.[3] This is one of many corruption accusations made by the team.

Timișoara Saracens won the league again in 2015 and 2016–17. These two finals, as well as the finals in 2012 and 2013, were played against CSM Știința Baia Mare. Timișoara won 8 out of 8 finals (in the SuperLiga, Romanian Cup and King's Cup) they played against Baia Mare.

During August 2020, it was announced that Timișoara Saracens RCM UVT will restart in the SuperLiga under the new name of SCM Timișoara Rugby.

This was Timișoara Saracens` logo before they changed their name to SCM Rugby Timișoara as well as their badge.

Honours edit

Domestic edit

  • Liga Națională de Rugby:
    • Winners (6): 1972, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016–17, 2017-2018
    • Runner-up (2): 1973 , 2019-2020
    • Third Place (7): 1974, 1975, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2011, 2014
  • Cupa României
    • Winners (5): 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2021
    • Runner-up (4): 1978, 1980, 2018, 2019, 2022
  • Cupa Regelui:
    • Winners (1): 2015
    • Runner-up (1): 2017

European edit

  • Energy Cup (Central and Eastern European Rugby Cup):
    • Winners (1): 2009
    • Runner-up (2): 2010, 2011

Current squad edit

Timișoara Liga Națională de Rugby squad




Back row






(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
* denotes players qualified to play for Romania on residency or dual nationality.

Notable former players edit

Former coaches edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Timișoara Saracens have become SCM Timișoara Rugby". 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  2. ^ "SCM Rugby Timișoara's annual team budget for the 2020-21 season". 23 January 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Au dispărut foile din carnete! » Scandal monstru în semifinalele Superligii Naţionale de rugby".

External links edit