The highest oval authority in the country looks after Deportivo from France. It aims to create a global competition between nations seeking to create space within the global elite.
The Cóndors’ defeat to England highlighted the need to increase competition for Tier 2 teams, who have so far only had the chance to face the big powers at World Cups. Cristian Rudloff, president of Chile Rugby, admits to Deportivo that this is something that needs to change. He admits to being in talks with different federations to find a way to improve.
He also talks about the level shown by the Cóndors during their participation in the World Cup, which, although they have not achieved victories so far, has aroused the interest and astonishment of the great leaders of the world rugby.
Another point he addresses is his mandate as president of the Federation which governs rugby in the country and the elections which will take place at the end of the year and where he will seek re-election. “We face many challenges such as introduce rugby into public schools through national school tournaments “, underlines Perros-Guirec, before the match against the Pumas this Saturday (10:00 a.m.), the Chileans’ last duel in France 2023.
Were expectations exceeded?
The expectations were realistic given the differences with the countries we faced, but there is also always a desire to do more. Chilean rugby did not come to the World Cup to lose narrowly, but rather to give a positive impression of our level of play and create surprises. And we succeeded, because despite the results, of which we are self-critical because we do not like to lose, we demonstrated a level much higher than what the powers and World Rugby expected of us.
What do they tell you about Chile?
The greatest pride is receiving praise for our sporting performances despite the results. These are not polite compliments, they are sincere. Chile showed on the field that it had the money to compete. We were aggressive, we were frontal, we advanced in all the matches and we put our rivals in difficulty. Many managers from important countries have told me that what we are doing as Chile is going to compete with heavyweights, since we do not have this category. They tell us that we show extraordinary dedication, an understanding of the game. The compliments go in this direction. We don’t really look like beginners, we made a very aggressive game proposal.
The fans were also very applauded…
They have greatly highlighted the response of the public, which also consolidates the position that we seek to give to Chile in the world of rugby, not only on a sporting level, but also as an attractive market, either to visit us or to receive us. Seeing 10,000 Chileans at every match was highlighted by the authorities at World Rugby and in all the countries we went to. Through this, doors open for us, opportunities open up for us.
Pablo Lemoine criticizes World Rugby’s friendly system . In the meetings you had with the authorities in New Zealand and South Africa, did you find support for changing this?
All countries have a very collaborative attitude, they want to look for spaces and opportunities in the calendar to help, but you also have to be proactive and determined. Offer attractive things so that they come and play with us in Chile. This goes hand in hand with making sure you have sponsors, making sure you have state support, playing in stadiums with sufficient infrastructure, making sure they will be full, because that they are used to playing like that. If we want to play with the powers, we have to make sure that their standards and the way they compete will be the same if they visit us.
Do you think it is possible that Chile could play with a Tier 1 squad before the next World Cup?
I am a person who thinks positively and I see this possible. It’s difficult, very difficult, but I consider it possible because they told me sincerely. If it’s not the All Black, it will be the Maori All Blacks like in 2018. If it’s not the Springbook, it will be the South Africa XV, which are absolutely equivalent teams and with a high level of competition. level. France will play against the Pumas in Argentina next July and we are talking with them. But as I said, we have to offer them attractive things beyond rugby itself. We have to offer them that if they play for Chile, their experience will be enriching in every way. This is what we are waiting for with a lot of imagination and a lot of effort.
Is rapprochement with emerging countries also an option?
Naturally, we all see England, South Africa or New Zealand as the countries we dream of competing against, but we have to be realistic and also create competition between the countries we seek for this space. We have to play a global competition with Spain, Portugal, Romania, which are countries we played with in 2019. Today we see Portugal playing a very good role in the World Cup, Romania also being present. If together we build these skills, we receive them in Chile or Uruguay, the space will also continue to expand, it will be much bigger and this will give us the opportunity to generate this pressure as a bloc and not as than isolated countries.
Inside Chilean rugby
In December 2023, Cristián Rudloff will complete his term as president of the National Rugby Sports Federation. He hopes to be re-elected, which he considers achievable because he has seen how the Chilean associations have applauded his management. Over the next four years, he hopes to promote discipline in the nation’s public schools and give more regional representation on the board. Another of his projects aims to give smaller or more remote teams the opportunity to compete with more traditional teams. “On different scales, this is the same thing we are asking of World Rugby; that more space is generated, more opportunities “, precise.
There are presidential elections at the end of the year, how do you see them?
A few weeks ago, in Temuco, we had our first annual meeting and the truth is that we received very great support from all the associations. They are very grateful for the work and growth of the Federation. We are confident of moving forward and continuing to provide more support to Chilean rugby. We have many challenges within national rugby, mainly in introducing rugby into public schools, alongside rugby’s entry into national school tournaments. We have a lot of projects ahead of us.
Can anyone comment?
We are working on the inclusion of new directors in the Federation, because one of the topics we discussed at the last assembly was the creation of four new directorates, focused especially on the development of macrozones. We have divided Chile into four zones (north, coast, center and south) and there will be specific space for the four macrozones to have statutory representatives on the board of directors of the Federation. It fills us with joy that this was unanimously approved, because it means that Chilean rugby will be represented by everyone, from north to south, but also that there will be representatives who will have the obligation that their regions develop in the same way. the best possible way.
Does this go hand in hand with a decentralization of high-level competition?
On different scales, this is the same as what we are asking of World Rugby. We ask you to create more space for us, more opportunities. We are working in the same direction at the national level. That teams who have had fewer opportunities to compete at the national level, due to different factors, where geography is most important, can compete. We need a competition where these teams can compete against those who are bigger or with greater tradition. This is part of the competition that we have designed since last year and that we are going to have this year with the national club tournament. There we play it, to put it in a similar way, like the Chilean Football Cup. Geographically, they are eliminated, finally finding themselves facing more traditional teams. Next year we hope to have a North, South, Coast and Central competition, organized by the Federation, which will allow everyone to play, from the youngest, as part of our biggest challenges is to increase competition for minors. at the national level and that it is not only aimed at adults.
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I am Robert Harris and I specialize in news media. My experience has been focused on sports journalism, particularly within the Rugby sector. I have written for various news websites in the past and currently work as an author for Athletistic, covering all things related to Rugby news.