Poland has become a popular destination for touring rugby clubs whether it is an official club tour looking for some entertainment and a little rugby to celebrate the end of the season or a group of rugby friends looking for a tournament in the summer months. Poland has a rising trend in rugby tours and tournaments. The nearby European countries flock to Poland all year round to participate in arranged friendlies or take part in the various tournaments. Every year the attendances at these events is forever increasing as Poland’s rugby scene gains more interest and a higher profile.
Apart from the Kracking Rugby Fest ! one of the fastest rising tournaments in popularity is the Krakow Sevens which is a fantastic and relatively new tournament catering for the juniors with girls and boys U.19s and the new added U.16s. Competitions also taking place at Juvenia Krakow’s ground from the first weekend in September. The opening party dinner in the ground’s restaurant followed by the group qualifying stage on the Saturday then all finals on Sunday with an after party including live music. After a successful inaugural 2019 tournament which saw young enthusiastic rugby players from Denmark, Ukraine, Austria, Sweden and Poland battle it out for the U19s Champion’s title. The next tournament will also introduce a more expanded U.16s section for boys and girls.
Moving to Poland’s capital city we have the Warsaw Rugby Festival, also an annual event for 10s for men and 7s for women managed by Warsaw Frogs RFC and Co RFC who combine all their experience and talents to stage this long running tournament which takes place in the latter part of the month of May. Like the KRF in Krakow, exhibition rugby, fun partying and rugby traditions are key and paramount to satisfying the international competitors who challenge themselves both on and off the field. Warsaw Frogs RFC also arrange friendlies with travelling teams on tour.
Moving further north to reach the Baltic Sea coast and the tri-city area for the international Sopot Beach Rugby, now in its 8th year is Poland’s most well-known rugby in the sand tournament that takes place on the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea. Even though the games only last for a few minutes it requires plenty of replacements as running on sand will drain your energy and stamina in seconds. Beach rugby is a new challenge for rugbyists and the social aspects are highlighted with sun, sea and fresh air plus copious amounts of the amber liquid to revive you. Sopot’s tournament runs continuously from early morning to late afternoon and finishes with a beach party for all participating teams, Sopot is also part of the Tri-City area which includes Gdansk and Gdynia should you wish to take in the sights.
These are the mainstream tournaments in the major tourist or easy access areas but let’s not forget some of the excellent training camp complexes in Poland. In all the major cities there is an emphasis on pre-season training facilities available or sports academies which specialise. One remarkable training camp is in the mountain area of Zakopane.
This facility offers every conceivable service to prepare amateur and, indeed, professional teams. Zakopane is a popular all year round holiday region and the spa and health services are always in demand from all walks of life not just sports people. Rugby in Poland is certainly on the rise and with the tournaments in Krakow, Warsaw and Sopot drawing a very international crowd and increasing attendance every year will help promote Poland as a great place to discover and play rugby. So, all team tour organisers consider coming to Poland on your next tour abroad, you will not be disappointed. A great tour for the traditional end of season party which many teams go abroad for every two years has to have two important ingredients beer ‘n rugby. Poland has both of them, good, cheap beer and plenty of rugby to suit.