Rugby Clube de Loulé

Finding a way to win, both on the pitch and in the local community.

What does it mean to be a winner? Is it the team winning a trophy at the end of a long season that is important? Or are the people working behind the team the ones who make a difference? The hardworking team at Rugby Clube de Loulé are well on the way to showing that sporting success and a positive impact on the community are both achievable.

Rugby Clube de Loulé is located in the city’s beautiful municipal park, which is a fitting location, given how embedded it is in the local community. With nearly 300 members of all ages and nationalities, staff from the club are active in local schools, spreading the word about a sport which has rapidly grown in popularity thanks to the national team’s success in the 2023 World Cup. In addition to a senior team, Rugby Clube de Loulé offers playing opportunities for women, veterans,  teenagers and children of all ages, so there is every opportunity to get involved.

The club’s community-orientated outlook is typified by the talented João Nogueira, coach of the under-19s team. Born and bred in Loulé, João’s father was among the club’s founding members. For all these reasons and more, this is far more than just a job for João; it’s a way of life. As João said, “My passion is rugby, Rugby Clube de Loulé, and my country.”

In addition to coaching the under-19s team, João helps with the senior team’s coaching and coordinates the training schedule of all the coaches. He’s also their main contact point with the board, which João describes as “one of the best boards we’ve ever had. All are volunteers and give their body and soul to the club, as does our president, André Coelho.”

João’s work is certainly appreciated by the head coach of the senior team, Marco Mama. Marco enjoyed a 12-year professional playing career in the UK at Bristol Bears and Worcester Warriors. He also represented Zimbabwe at international level, so he certainly understands what ‘good’ looks like. Marco was full of praise for João’s knowledge, work and attitude, which has allowed him the freedom to focus on coaching.

Marco has been in his post for a year, and his outlook mirrors that of the club. “Rugby is a unique sport,” said Marco. “You spend 80 minutes using every ounce of strength, skill and speed to get the better of your opponent while staying true to the values of honesty, integrity and respect. Our goal at Rugby Clube de Loulé is to create an enjoyable environment where individuals of all ages and backgrounds can challenge themselves and grow and prosper.”

The senior team has been in a tough league this season, comprising some of the best teams in Portugal, who can draw upon finances and resources currently beyond that of Rugby Clube de Loulé. Despite this, and a challenging start to the season, the senior team has demonstrated significant improvement, showing that they are able to compete with every team in the league and securing their place for the 2024/25 season, which starts in October.

Why not go along to the club and say hello to Marco and João? You’re guaranteed a warm welcome from one of Portugal’s most community-orientated sporting clubs.

Parque Municipal de Loulé – Anfiteatro António Aleixo 8100 Loulé 

+351 289 412 436


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