Spain national rugby union team
The Spain national rugby union team (Spanish: Selección nacional de rugby de España), nicknamed Los Leones (The Lions), represents Spain in men's international rugby union competitions. The team is administered by the Spanish Rugby Federation. The team annually takes part in the European Nations Cup, the highest European rugby championship outside the Six Nations. The national side is ranked 16th in the world (as of 3 November 2020).
|Nickname(s)||Los Leones (The Lions)|
|Union||Spanish Rugby Federation|
|Head coach||Santiago Santos|
|Most caps||Francisco Puertas (93)|
|Top scorer||Esteban Roqué (285)|
|Top try scorer||César Sempere (31)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Nacional Complutense|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||19 (as of 20 December 2021)|
| Spain 9–0 Italy |
(Barcelona, Spain; 20 May 1929)
| Spain 90–8 Czech Republic |
(Madrid, Spain; 2 April 1995)
| Spain 10–92 Australia |
(Madrid, Spain; 1 November 2001)
|Appearances||1 (First in 1999)|
|Best result||Pool stage, 1999|
Rugby union in Spain dates back to 1901, although Spain did not play its first international until 1929, beating Italy 9–0 in Barcelona. Throughout the century, Spain mostly played against other European opponents such as France, Italy, Romania, West Germany, the Soviet Union, and Portugal. The team's greatest moment of success came in 1999, when Spain qualified for the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Despite being whitewashed, the team performed admirably in a group which included South Africa and Scotland.
Today, Spain competes in the European Nations Cup against Georgia, Germany, Portugal, Romania, and Russia. Spain has never been crowned European champions, though has come close. The closest they've come to becoming European champions was in 2012, having beaten both Romania and Georgia and finishing second. Many players have moved abroad to play professionally in France, in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 or possibly expanded 2023 editions of the World Cup.