The Camp Nou will host rugby league on Saturday, 4.30pm CEST. The Catalans Dragons from Perpignan will face the Wigan Warriors in the Super League. So, here are 10 things for you to know about the sport played with an oval ball:
1) The Perpignan Catalans Dragons are a rugby club who were founded in 2006 in the southern French city. Immediately after their creation they joined the English Super League, and are one of the European elite in this sport. The club has grown and grown, serving up competition for the area’s rugby union club, the USAP, and are seven times champions of France.
2) The Dragons managed to win the first trophy in their history last summer, the Challenge Cup, after beating the Warrington Wolves (20-14) in the final at Wembley, a stadium full of good memories for Barça as it is where they won two Champions League titles in 1992 and 2011. Before this unprecedented win for the Perpignan club, the English stadium reverberated to the sound of ‘Els Segadors,’ the Catalans Dragons’ anthem, as well as that of Catalonia.
3) On September 23, 2018, the Catalan Dragons had a schedule full of events in Barcelona after their historic victory in the Challenge Cup. The Generalitat received them and the Camp Nou, at half-time between Barça v Girona, showed their appreciation.
4) Against Wigan, the Dragons could find it difficult, having previously lost 42-0 to the same opponents earlier in the seaosn. However, at the moment, the Dragons have 8 wins and 6 defeats in the Super League, giving them 16 points in fourth place whilst the English team are eighth with 12 points (6 wins and 8 defeats).
5) For Saturday’s duel at the Camp Nou, the Catalans Dragons will wear a special blaugrana shirt, similar to the Barça jersey. The French club usually plays in white, red and yellow and its badge carries the colours of the Catalan flag.
7) Wigan Warriors, a club located in near Manchester, are the current champions of the Super League.
8) The Super League is one of the best rugby leagues in the world, along with the National Rugby League in Australia and New Zealand. At the end of the regular season of the Super League, the top 8 play a final league phase (a Super 8) retaining the points of the regular season. At this stage, all teams face each other once before the top four meet in the semifinals.
9) Two years ago at the Camp Nou, a rugby match was held. And there was a record attendance of 99,000 people. on that occasion it was the final of the 14 (French rugby union) between Racing Metro and Toulon. In 2009, the Dragons played at Montjuïc Olympic Stadium in front of 18,150 spectators.