Mariana Lucescu – The First Female Coaching a Rugby Football Team

© – Symbol of Romanian Rugby Football

Born in 1935, Mariana Lucescu started to enjoy rugby football since her relationship with the one who would become her husband, Dan Lucescu – Romanian rugby coach. As rugby football was seen eminently as a sports for men, Mariana’s activity produced a great confusion inside Romanian sport area of that time.

Also physical education teacher and basketball player, the Lady of Romanian rugby activated as a rugby coach at Sport School CSS number 2 in Bucharest and her little “players” were pupils coming from Pantelimon (nowadays a city from Ilfov county). Her manner of imposing discipline was respected by everyone, even by children coming from poor and less educated families.

If her “apparition” was shocking, the moment when she won the first National Junior Championship with CSS 2 School (1973) against a praised rugby team trained by the great rugby coach Cornel Munteanu was inconcievable. Her supportive nature with children and devotion to rugby football brought to her memorable records another 2 national titles (1975, 1976). Also known as “Madame Rugby”, “The Lady of Romanian Rugby Football” or “The Iron Lady”, Mariana became the coach of several overrated rubgy players: Alexandru Achim, Stelian Podărăscu, Dumitru “Mituș” Alexandru, Vasile Țața etc.

After her death in 1999, her name was aligned at the Romanian sports personalities list as a reward for her activity and devotion to Romanian rugby through excellence, professionalism, patience and ambition in changing the structure of an exclusive male sports. Role-model not only for people involved in Romanian sports area, Mariana Lucescu is celebrated yearly by present or famous former rugby players. Since 2003, “Mariana Lucescu Memorial” is played on rugby football stadium located on Răscoalei street, Pantelimon, Ilfov county.

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