Cyprus national rugby union team

Last updated

Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus
Cyprus rugby.png
Union Cyprus Rugby Federation
Nickname(s)The Mighty Mouflons
Emblem(s) Mouflon
Ground(s) Stelios Kyriakides Stadium, Paphos
PresidentConstantinos Constantinides
Coach(es)Andrew Binikos
Captain(s) Stefan Yarrow
Most caps Georgios Agathokleous
Top scorer Marcus Holden (470)
Most tries Marcus Holden (23)
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Team kit
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Change kit
First international
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 39 – 3 Greece  Flag of Greece.svg
(24 March 2007)
Largest win
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 3 – 94 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg
(28 May 2012)
Largest defeat
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 31 – 3 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg
(7 November 2015)
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 31 – 3 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg
(29 October 2016)

The Cyprus national rugby union team is nicknamed "The Mighty Mouflons" after a kind of horned sheep which is also the republic's national animal, the Cypriot mouflon (Ovis orientalis ophion). It is featured on the 1, 2 and 5 euro cent coins as well. They have won 28 of their 30 games and hold the world record for the most consecutive international rugby union wins with 24, which was ended on 15 November 2014 as they lost to Latvia. They were controversially disqualified from the knock-out phase of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, as they did not meet the necessary membership criteria according to the International Rugby Board. [1]



The first international game of the Cyprus national rugby union team took place on 24 March 2007 against Greece in Paphos. The Cypriot XV won the game by 39-3 in front of 2,500 fans.[3]

In October and November 2007, Cyprus beat Azerbaijan, Monaco and Slovakia to win the 2006–08 European Nations Cup Division 3D, in their first year on the international scene. However, they lost the play-off game for promotion to Division 3C for the 2008–10 European Nations Cup on 6 September 2008 against Israel by a score of 23-14. This was Cyprus' only loss in international rugby for 6 years.

The following season, Cyprus had another attempt to be promoted as they played Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan and Monaco in a round-robin home-and-away basis. They won every game scoring a total of 187 points and conceding only 17. They gained automatic promotion to Division 3B, although, for the following season, the divisions had changed numbers, so instead of moving to Division 3B, they were in fact in Division 2D.

The 2010–12 European Nations Cup saw Cyprus play in Division 2D (the lowest level of the second division) against Bulgaria, Finland, Greece and Luxembourg. They won all their games for the second consecutive year increasing their win success to 15 and making it two consecutive seasons and nearly four years unbeaten. They scored 4 or more tries in each of their games during the 2010–2012 season, including an emphatic 94–3 win over Bulgaria, and were promoted to Division 2C for 2012–2014.

Their 2012–14 European Nations Cup Division 2B campaign kicked off in style with a 54–20 win over Austria. They followed that win with consecutive home and away wins against Slovenia, Bulgaria and Hungary and also a home win over Austria. On 16 March 2013 ahead of their match against Bulgaria, Cyprus were aware of a potential world record of 18 games unbeaten which would overtake the official record of 17 games originally held by both New Zealand (between 1965 and 1969 and again between 2013 and 2014), South Africa (between 1997 and 1998) and Lithuania (between 2006 and 2010). They won the match comfortably 79–10. A month later, Cyprus were informed that they would not be eligible to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and were disqualified by the International Rugby Board due to 'not meeting the necessary membership criteria'.

Cyprus played in Division 2B for the 2014–16 European Nations Cup, where they were grouped with Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra and Hungary.


The Cyprus Rugby Federation has adopted as its motto the famous Spartan phrase:

Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς, translating as "either with this or upon this", an idiom that effectively means victory or death. The origin of the motto is ancient Sparta and "this" refers to the shield. Spartans killed in battle were carried home on the shield, while those returning alive and victorious from battle would still have it. A soldier fleeing the battle would have to drop the shield.



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Home grounds

Until March 2010, Cyprus did not have a National Stadium, due to the poor recognition of the government they did not supply a stadium. Cyprus' first international was played in Paphos at Kiniras Sports ground. Then a further game at the same ground in the ENC 3D tournament against Slovakia. They then moved to the British Army base playing their games at Happy Valley in Episkopi. Now the national stadium has been recognised as Pafiako Stadium which is situated in the centre of Paphos. It holds a capacity of 10,000.

GroundRecordRecent WinTeamRecent DrawRecent Loss
Pafiako Stadium, Paphos 77,8%2018Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia N/A6 May 2017
Happy Valley, Episkopi 100%2009Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia N/AN/A
Kiniras Sports Ground, Paphos 100%2007Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia N/AN/A

Cyprus Sevens

International record

Since their first match in 2007, Cyprus have lost only 15 matches out of Fifty. They recorded their first win over Malta on 23 November by 18 to 16 to celebrate their 50th International, which now gives them a 70% winning ratio.

Cyprus are not a full member of the International Rugby Board, so none of their international matches count towards the IRB World Rankings.

24 March 2007 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg39 – 3Flag of Greece.svg  Greece Paphos Friendly
(First International)
29 October 2007 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg29 – 0Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Paphos 2006-08 ENC 3D
31 October 2007 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg19 – 10Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco Nicosia 2006-08 ENC 3D
3 November 2007 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg38 – 8Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Paphos 2006-08 ENC 3D
6 September 2008 Israel  Flag of Israel.svg23 – 14Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Netanya 2006-08 ENC 3C/3D Play-off
29 November 2008 Azerbaijan  Flag of Azerbaijan.svg3 – 37Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Baku 2008-10 ENC 3D
6 December 2008 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg24 – 3Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco Episkopi 2008-10 ENC 3D
14 March 2009 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg33 – 7Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Episkopi 2008-10 ENC 3D
21 March 2009 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg6 – 8Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Zenica 2008-10 ENC 3D
14 November 2009 Monaco  Flag of Monaco.svg5 – 44Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Monaco 2008-10 ENC 3D
6 March 2010 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg59 – 0Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Paphos 2008-10 ENC 3D
27 March 2010 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg15 – 0Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina Paphos 2008-10 ENC 3D
20 November 2010 Greece  Flag of Greece.svg13 – 33Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Athens 2010-12 ENC 2D
12 March 2011 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg55 – 8Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
26 March 2011 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg70 – 10Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
7 May 2011 Luxembourg  Flag of Luxembourg.svg0 – 50Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Luxembourg 2010-12 ENC 2D
8 October 2011 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg48 – 7Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
28 April 2012 Bulgaria  Flag of Bulgaria.svg3 – 94Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Pernik 2010-12 ENC 2D
26 May 2012 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg72 – 5Flag of Greece.svg  Greece Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
9 June 2012 Finland  Flag of Finland.svg5 – 52Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Helsinki 2010-12 ENC 2D
17 November 2012 Austria  Flag of Austria.svg20 – 54Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Vienna 2012-14 ENC 2C
8 December 2012 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg49 – 8Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
16 March 2013 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg79 – 10Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
20 April 2013 Hungary  Flag of Hungary.svg15 – 16Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Esztergom 2012-14 ENC 2C
9 November 2013 Slovenia  Flag of Slovenia.svg3 – 34Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Ljubljana 2012-14 ENC 2C
30 November 2013 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg22 – 8Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
26 April 2014 Bulgaria  Flag of Bulgaria.svg15 – 46Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Sofia 2012-14 ENC 2C
17 May 2014 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg46 – 13Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
1 November 2014 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg30 – 10Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
15 November 2014 Latvia  Flag of Latvia.svg39 – 20Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Riga 2014-16 ENC 2B
28 March 2015 Hungary  Flag of Hungary.svg15 – 17Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Szazhalombatta 2014-16 ENC 2B
2 May 2015 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg20 – 26Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
7 November 2015 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg3 – 31Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
28 November 2015 Andorra  Flag of Andorra.svg22 – 13Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Andorra la Vella 2014-16 ENC 2B
9 April 2016 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg15 – 3Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
23 April 2016 Lithuania  Flag of Lithuania.svg47 – 15Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Vilnius 2014-16 ENC 2B
23 October 2016 Malta  Flag of Malta.svg31 – 3Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Paola 2016-17 Conference 1 South
12 November 2016 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg28 – 38Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Paphos 2016-17 Conference 1 South
11 February 2017 Andorra  Flag of Andorra.svg15 – 14Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Andorra la Vella 2016-17 Conference 1 South
6 May 2017 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg27 – 29Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Paphos 2016-17 Conference 1 South
11 November 2017 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg42 – 5Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Paphos 2017-18 Conference 2 South
14 November 2017 Slovakia  Flag of Slovakia.svg6 – 38Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Piestany 2017-18 Conference 2 South
24 March 2018 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg17 – 5Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia Paphos 2017-18 Conference 2 South
28 April 2018 Serbia  Flag of Serbia.svg35 – 17Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Belgrade 2017-18 Conference 2 South
20 October 2018 Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg46 – 24Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Split 2018-19 Conference 1 South
10 November 2018 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg22 – 34Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Paphos 2018-19 Conference 1 South
23 March 2019 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg10 – 37Flag of Malta.svg  Malta Paphos 2018-19 Conference 1 South
6 April 2019 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg22 – 23Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Zenica 2018-19 Conference 1 South
19 October 2019 Cyprus  Flag of Cyprus.svg20 – 25Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Paphos 2018-19 Conference 1 South
23 November 2019 Malta  Flag of Malta.svg16 – 18Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Paola 2018-19 Conference 1 South


Cyprus national XV record as of 17 December 2020.

 % Won
Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra 31205747+1033%
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 330011833+85100%
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 33001253+122100%
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 33004628+18100%
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 440027436+238100%
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 303071100–290%
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 220012215+107100%
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 330014421+123100%
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 44009446+48100%
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 30306495–310%
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 20202370–470%
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 20203573–380%
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 2200987+91100%
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 31203184–5333%
Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco 33008718+69100%
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 10101735–180%
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia 330010921+88100%
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 330010016+84100%


NameYearsTestsWonDrewLostWin percentage
Niall Doherty2007–20084400100%
Paul Shanks2008–201424230196%
Phil Llewellyn2014–2015420250%
Paul Shanks2015–201510010%
Alexander Zavallis2015–201510010%
Andrew Binikos2016–20181140736%
Andrew Barnett2018–410325%

Current squad

Head Coach: Flag of Cyprus.svg Andrew Binikos

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of birth (age)CapsClub/province
Antonis Thoma (captain) Hooker (1977-04-01) 1 April 1977 (age 44)21 Flag of Cyprus.svg Paphos Tigers
Constantinos Constantinides Hooker (1987-01-16) 16 January 1987 (age 34)8 Flag of Cyprus.svg Limassol Crusaders
Christo Kasabi Prop (1985-08-06) 6 August 1985 (age 36)20 Flag of England.svg Enfield Ignatians
Kyriacos Vatikiotis Prop (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 32)10 Flag of England.svg Manchester
Alexander Ioannou Prop (1988-11-30) 30 November 1988 (age 32)6 Flag of England.svg Peterborough Lions RFC
Marko Mladenovic Flanker (1990-12-24) 24 December 1990 (age 30)11 Flag of Scotland.svg Falkirk RFC
Dan McFarlane Flanker (1989-01-25) 25 January 1989 (age 32)13 Flag of Cyprus.svg Limassol Crusaders
Chris Dicomidis Number 8 (1985-09-14) 14 September 1985 (age 35)2 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd RFC
Burhan Torgut Scrum-half (1990-11-27) 27 November 1990 (age 30)8 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg UWIC Rugby Club
Theo Gabrielides Scrum-half (1999-04-26) 26 April 1999 (age 22)2 Flag of England.svg Richmond F.C.
Ryan Bennett Scrum-half (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 31)8 Flag of England.svg Charlton Park RFC
Alexander Zavallis-Roebuck Fly-half (1990-09-20) 20 September 1990 (age 30)6 Flag of England.svg Preston Grasshoppers
George Agathocleous Centre (1982-01-23) 23 January 1982 (age 39)21 Flag of Cyprus.svg Paphos Tigers
Reno Ioannides Centre (1984-02-17) 17 February 1984 (age 37)8 Flag of France.svg Montluçon Rugby
Samuel Emery Centre (1991-04-05) 5 April 1991 (age 30)7 Flag of England.svg CS Rugby 1863
Will Booth Centre (1990-12-28) 28 December 1990 (age 30)1 Flag of Cyprus.svg Limassol Crusaders
Andreas Zacharia Wing (1989-04-04) 4 April 1989 (age 32)9 Flag of England.svg University of Lincoln
Fidias Efthymiou Wing (1990-12-05) 5 December 1990 (age 30)10 Flag of England.svg Dings Crusaders RFC
Matt King Wing (1989-11-25) 25 November 1989 (age 31)6 Flag of England.svg Macclesfield RFC
Seyhan Fell Wing (1986-05-09) 9 May 1986 (age 35)14 Flag of England.svg Folkestone RFC
Marcus Holden Fullback (1989-08-22) 22 August 1989 (age 32)29 Flag of Scotland.svg Stirling County


Recent call ups

See also

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  2. "Cyprus clock up record breaking win". ESPN scrum. 16 March 2013. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  3.,25883,3551_92843 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Most wins by greater than a converted try". ESPN Scrum. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2019.