By Valeria Dauhalevich
Although not so popular amongst the Hungarians, rugby is present amongst professional sports all over the country.
One of the teams in the capital is Budapest Exiles RFC (black and pink). The amateur club was founded by a group of foreigners in 1991 for visitors of the country.
Developing with time, nowadays it welcomes Hungarians as well. In addition to the original senior team, now there is a team for ladies, the so called old boys and juniors, that defend the club at the corresponding levels.
'Budapest Exiles is a real vibrant community: not only we are international, also men and women, youth and old, professional and amateurs support each other and collaborate within the club, organizing events and competitions to support the spirit and come together as a united force.
Currently the players in Budapest Exiles come from England Hungary, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, France, Wales, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Japan, Italy, New Zealand and Scotland.
There are also other former players from other countries, or those who came to Budapest just for a few months.
The team participates in numerous competitions on national and international levels.
Even though the team doesn't have a lot of fans, just like most of the teams in Hungary, every competition is witnessed by few dozens of family members and friends. 'We support each other just like a big family, it is very important.'
Since last year Budapest Exiles RFC has been playing in the Hungarian Extra League, the top division in Hungary.
Nevertheless the success of Exiles does not seem to be appreciated by their Hungarian competitors and public. 'During the games we often feel that judges tend to sympathise with our opponents more', claimed one of the players.
'We know there are better teams in Hungary, which can outplay us without exterior help!' – says the trainer.
'I do not mind loosing in a fair competition. But being discriminated against is not the spirit of rugby, - claimed one of the players.
Nevertheless Budapest Exiles RFC players find their difference a positive point, and continue their path to unity and success, looking for assets and support.