In England, rugby is a sport that belongs to British culture like fish and chips. In Germany, on the other hand, the British national sport is less well known and a fringe sport. There are only about 18,000 members and 122 rugby clubs in the Federal Republic. So it is a developing country about rugby.
Nevertheless, the Englishman Gareth Jackson was drawn to the German Hanseatic city of Hamburg. There, the former rugby player coaches the Hamburger Rugby Club. He has been the head coach of the HRC since 2020, and this is his first stop abroad.
The HRC plays in the first Bundesliga in Germany. The league is the highest division and is divided into two parts. First, there is the Bundesliga South/West with eight clubs and then the Bundesliga North/East in which HRC plays. At the moment, they are 6th in the table with two wins and five losses.
After the winter break, Jackson wants to attack with his team and make up some more places. But for the coach, the focus is not only on the current success, but he is also planning for the long term. Since rugby is not very widespread in Germany, the Englishman sees excellent potential for developing the sport. His goal is to build structures that will benefit the sport in the long term.
Gareth Jackson wants to develop rugby in Hamburg. I spoke with him about his task at the HRC and the development opportunities.