|Nickname(s)||Schwarze Adler (Black Eagles)|
|Emblem||Bundesadler (Federal Eagle)|
|Head coach||Mark Kuhlmann|
|Most caps||Alexander Widiker (59)|
|Top scorer||Raynor Parkinson (323)|
|Top try scorer||Jaco Otto (23)|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||30 (as of 23 November 2020)|
| France 30−5 Germany|
(17 April 1927)
| Germany 108−0 Serbia and Montenegro |
(12 November 2005)
| Russia 89−6 Germany|
(16 April 2000)
The Germany national rugby union team (German: Deutsche Rugby-Union-Nationalmannschaft) represents Germany in men's international competitions. currently plays at the second level of European rugby but is yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. The national team first played in 1927, with rugby union in Germany being administered by the German Rugby Federation (Deutscher Rugby-Verband).
Germany competes in the Trophy Division, the second tier of the Rugby Europe International Championships, the senior men's rugby tournament for European nations below the Six Nations.
Germany's greatest achievement in men's rugby is arguably the silver medal won at the 1900 Olympic Games.
Germany's declared aim was originally to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England,but then lowered this ambition to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, for which it also failed to qualify. The national side is ranked 30th in the world (as of 26 April 2021).
The German rugby union team's history began on 17 April 1927, when they played France in Paris, losing 5–30. The team established itself in their early years as number two in continental Europe, behind the French. They played 14 tests against their neighbour before the Second World War, winning two of them. As an indication of the team's strength, they did not lose to any team but France until 1937, when Italy beat them 9–7. Because Germany never played any of the Home nations, it is difficult to judge the true strength of the team from that era.
With the outbreak of the war in 1939, rugby came to a halt and Germany only played one more game, against Italy, in 1940. Germany lost almost a complete first XV in the war, and thus came out of it as a much weaker side, never able to repeat its pre-war successes.
After an absence of 12 years, Germany, now considerably reduced in size and under the name of Federal Republic of Germany, played its first post-war international in 1952, beating Belgium 16–9. At the same time, in the Eastern part of the country, the German Democratic Republic, the German Democratic Republic national rugby union team was formed. The DRV continued to offer the East German DTSB to play a rugby friendly, but this was always declined by the East.
Until 1965, Germany played friendlies only as there was no European rugby competition it could take part in.
The team also made an appearance at England's home ground, Twickenham Stadium, in 1956, losing 8–26 to Harlequin F.C. on 8 September of that year.
From 1965, it became part of the second tier of FIRA rugby, effectively the third tier of European rugby, the Five nations tournament being outside the FIRA structure. In 1975, it played its first international against a non-European nation, beating Morocco in Hannover.
The team's greatest success in the second half of the 20th century was promotion to the A group of FIRA rugby in 1981. From 1981 to 1983, Germany played ten games at this level, but won just one and were relegated back to the B level. After this, the team dropped briefly to the C level in 1985 but promptly returned to the second tier.
With the German reunification, in 1991, the German Democratic Republic national rugby union team was dissolved and became part of the Federal Republic's team. In 1994, Horst Kemmling, Germany's long-standing captain, ended his international career, having played a record number of 50 games for Germany from 1976 onwards.
With the reorganisation of the European Nations Cup (ENC) in 2000, Germany became part of the second division.
In 2000 the German Rugby Federation celebrated its centenary. Centenary celebrations included a banquet in the Heidelberg Castle and the hosting of the European leg of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Heidelberg, in which the German team came close to upsetting Ireland, who had Gordon D'Arcy in their line-up. The tournament was won by the Welsh team, which featured Andy Marinos and Arwel Thomas.
The highlight of the Centenary season was the Centenary Match against the famous Barbarians. The Barbarians included a host of internationals including Scott Hastings, Peter Stringer, Shaun Longstaff, Jeff Probyn, Frankie Sheahan, Russell Earnshaw, Shaun Connor, John Langford and Derwyn Jones and won 47-19 against a determined German team.
Germany remained in the second division of the European Nations Cup until 2008, when it achieved promotion to the top level, facing Europe's number 7 to 11 teams in 2009 and 2010. Its declared aim at this level was to avoid relegation; qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup was not really expected from the team.
With over 8,000 spectators, Germany's home game against the Netherlands in Hanover, at the Rudolf-Kalweit-Stadion in April 2007, achieved the best crowd figures for a rugby match in Germany since the pre-Second World War days.
Germany was unbeaten at home from 12 November 2000, when it lost to Ukraine, until 8 November 2008, when it lost to a Welsh selection.
In March 2009, coach Mark Kuhlmann stepped down after three and a half years in office, while the other two coaches Rudolf Finsterer and Bruno Stolorz, remained in the job. Stolorz was seconded to the German team by the Fédération française de rugby to improve Germany's performance in the sport.
After five losses in the European Nations Cup in 2009, Germany achieved a win in a friendly against Hong Kong late in the year. Germany also managed a 15–12 victory over Switzerland but, as the German team had only one regular player in its side, captain Kehoma Brenner, the team was referred to as Germany A.Mustafa Güngör became Germany's new captain on 8 December 2009, after the retirement of the previous captain Jens Schmidt, and played his first game in this role four days later, against Hong Kong. Germany fielded eight uncapped players in this game. A planned game against the British Forces in Germany in January 2010 had to be called off twice because of bad weather.
Despite disappointing results on the field and the distinct possibility of Germany being relegated, the sport made some progress in the country in 2009–10. With the admittance of sevens rugby to the Olympic Games, rugby in Germany is now eligible for federal grants. Additionally, the Bundeswehr , the German army, has agreed to admit eight to ten players per year to its sports program, making those players effectively professionals.
In October 2009, the DRV decided to set its aim at playing two friendlies every year in November at home and two in January abroad. It also plans to organise a 10-day tour in Europe every year from 2013.
After disappointing results against Georgia, Portugal and Romania in spring 2010, the team's performance improved against Russia. In its final ENC game against Spain, where a victory by eleven points was needed, Germany played their best game in the campaign yet but nevertheless lost and was relegated. As a consequence, coach Rudolf Finsterer resigned after ten years of service.He was replaced by Torsten Schippe in July 2010, with South African Jakobus Potgieter as Schippes assistant.
Germany suffered a defeat in its opening game of the 2010–2012 European Nations Cup First Division B, losing to Poland 17–22 after leading 17–9 at half time. The defeat was seen as unnecessary by the President of the German Rugby Federation, Claus-Peter Bach, but he also considered Poland's victory as deserved. Germany went into the match with a new coach and assistant, a new captain, Alexander Widiker and five uncapped players.
Germany finally achieved its first win in the ENC since 26 April 2008, when it beat the Netherlands in Amsterdam on 27 November 2010. Its last victory in the European competition had come at the same place against the same opposition, just over 31-month earlier.
After a disappointing first half of the campaign, where Germany only won one of its five games, the team improved and won three in the second half, consequently finishing fourth overall out of six teams. With the final game against Moldova, Germany's captain Alexander Widiker played his 50th game for his country, thereby equaling Horst Kemmling's record.
Germany again competed in the European Nations Cup First Division B in 2012–2014, once more facing Poland, Moldova and the Czech Republic. Additionally, it also competed against Ukraine, relegated from the A group, and Sweden, promoted from the Second Division. Germany's first match was on 27 October when it played Ukraine at home.Before that the team played an unofficial warm up match against the New Zealand Ambassador's XV on 13 October 2012, a team that featured former All Black Keith Lowen in its ranks, and ended in a 22–20 victory for Germany.
Germany won its opening match against Ukraine 46–28, a game in which captain Alexander Widiker became the country's record international rugby union player with 51 games.After a loss to Poland, Germany finished 2012 with a win over Moldova. The German team lost a warm up match to a Welsh student selection in February 2013 before winning its first competitive match in 2013, against Czech Republic, 27-8. Germany finished the first phase of the campaign with a 73-17 victory over Sweden.
Germany's coach Torsten Schippe resigned from his post in April 2013, citing work commitments as the reason, despite achieving good results with his team.
Schippe was replaced by his assistant Kobus Potgieter as coach of the German team.Germany started the autumn of 2013 with two wins in friendlies against the B team of the Czech Republic and the New Zealand Ambassador's XV, the later with former All Black captain Taine Randell in its ranks. It then won its away match against Ukraine before winning at home against Poland, thereby taking back the lead in its division. Germany lost its last game of 2013, 15–30 to Moldova, but won comfortably 76–12 against the Czech Republic in April 2014. This game was to be the 58th and last for German captain and record international Alexander Widiker as he retired from international rugby after that.
Germany's last game of the 2012–14 campaign was against Sweden on 26 April where a bonus point win would guarantee the side the championship, promotion and an advancement in the Rugby World Cup qualifying.Germany won the game 45–20 to advance to a play-off game against the Netherlands in the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Europe qualification, which they won 17-7. They played Russia for a chance to qualify for the Repechage and lead 20–17 up to the 77th minute but eventually lost 20–31 and were knocked out of the qualifying.
Germany played two warm up matches in 2014. Germany played a match against the New Zealand Ambassadors XV which it won 21–19.Germany then lost to Namibia 58–20.
Germany is competing in the European Nations Cup First Division 1A in 2014–16. It is facing Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Spain in this competition, the same opponents it faced at its last stint at this level when it lost all ten games and was relegated. Germany began its ENC campaign in February 2015 with an 8–64 loss against Georgia. It also lost the following four games against Russia, Portugal, Romania and Spain. Germany thereby ended the first half of the 2014–16 campaign in sixth and last place with just one point out of five games, a bonus point earned against Rumania.
Germany played two friendlies against Brazil, on 28 November in Blumenau, and 4 December in São Paulo as warm-up matches for the upcoming European Nations Cup games.In the first-ever game against a South American opponent Germany won 29–12 and thereby climbed to 27th spot in the world ranking. After losing the first two games of the 2016 campaign Germany defeated Portugal 50–27 in Hanover in front of over 8,000 spectators. After losing to Romania Germany drew their final game of the campaign, against Spain, thereby finishing in fifth place, above Portugal, and avoiding relegation.
Germany played in the 2016–17 Championship Division of the Europe International Championships.
The performance of the German team since introduction of the European Nations Cup in 2000.
|Years||Division||W–L (Pts Diff)||Position||Promotion /|
|2002–2004||Second Division||5–2 (+102)||2nd||—|
|2006–2008||Second Division||6–2 (+67)||1st||Promoted|
|2008–2010||First Division||0–10 (−409)||6th||Relegated|
|2010–2012||Division 1B||4–6 (+17)||4th||—|
|2012–2014||Division 1B||8–2 (+218)||1st||Promoted|
|2014–2016||Division 1A||1–8 (−234)||5th||—|
|2017||Championship Division||2–3 (−80)||5th||—|
|2018||Championship Division||0–5 (−325)||3rd (Romania, Belgium and Spain deducted points)||—|
|2019||Championship Division||0–5 (−115)||6th||Relegated|
|2020||Trophy Division||1–2–2 (−23)||4th||—|
|2001–2002||2003 Rugby World Cup — Europe qualification – Round 2 – Pool A||2nd|
|2004–2006||2007 Rugby World Cup — Europe qualification – Round 3 – Play-off||Lost to Spain 28–42 on aggregate.|
|2008–2010||2011 Rugby World Cup — Europe qualification — ENC Division 1||6th/6th in ENC.|
|2012–2014||2015 Rugby World Cup — Europe qualification — Round 6||Lost to Russia 20–31.|
|2017–2018||2019 Rugby World Cup – play-off qualifications||Finished 2nd at repechage tournament|
The following table shows all German wins during the Rugby World Cup era (1987–present) against teams that have played in a Rugby World Cup.
|13 May 2006||Spain||18–6||2007 Rugby World Cup — Europe qualification – Round 3 – Play-off|
|27 February 2016||Portugal||50–27||European Nations Cup|
|12 November 2016||Uruguay||24–21||Autumn International|
|11 February 2017||Romania||41–38||Rugby Europe Championship|
|16 June 2018||Portugal||16-13||2019 Rugby World Cup – Europe qualification|
Men's World Rugby Rankings
|Top 30 rankings as of 19 July, 2021|
|*Change from the previous week|
Results listed includes games that was played as West Germany. See East Germany for results recorded by East Germany.
Until the separation of Germany to East and West, Germany had a winning record of 51.35%, winning 19 matches in 37 games between 1900 and 1940. As West Germany, they recorded a 40% win rate, winning 62 matches in 155 games from 1952 and 1990. As a united Germany, from 1900 until present day, Germany has won 151 of their 333 representative matches.
Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Germany national team at test level up until 7 January 2019.
|Serbia & Montenegro||7||6||0||1||85.71%||232||26||+206|
|Wales Dev. XV||1||0||1||0||0.00%||14||27||−13|
German 47-man squad for the 2019–20 Rugby Europe Trophy.
Head Coaches: Byron Schmidt and Melvine Smith
|Player||Position||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Club/province|
|Elmar Heimpel||Hooker||0||RG Heidelberg|
|Marcel Becker||Hooker||19 January 1999||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Mark Fairhurst||Hooker||12 September 1998||4||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Antony Dickinson||Prop||5 February 1994||11||RG Heidelberg|
|Felix Martel||Prop||17 January 1996||9||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Jörn Schröder||Prop||8 November 1992||28||Heidelberger RK|
|Marcus Bender||Prop||28 May 1988||16||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Paul Schüle||Prop||19 January 1997||2||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Paul Weiss||Prop||14 September 1991||7||SC Neuenheim|
|Samy Füchsel||Prop||28 July 1992||45||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Emil Rupf||Lock||9 August 2000||4||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Erik Marks||Lock||9 December 1996||30||Vannes|
|Hassan Rayan||Lock||24 August 1994||1||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Michel Himmer||Lock||0||La Rochelle|
|Mick Burisch||Lock||28 November 1999||0||SC Neuenheim|
|Tim Schiffers||Lock||24 July 1995||0||RG Heidelberg|
|Carsten Lang||Loose forward||5 September 1994||6||RG Heidelberg|
|Chris Umeh||Loose forward||9 May 2001||0||Berliner RC|
|Felix Schippe||Loose forward||18 December 1994||0||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Johannes Schreieck||Loose forward||0||RG Heidelberg|
|Justin Renc||Loose forward||0||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Marcel Henn||Loose forward||10 September 1992||9||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Nico Windemuth||Loose forward||0||SC Germania List|
|Nicolas Rinklin||Loose forward||7 November 1996||0||SC Neuenheim|
|Onisimo Seremaia||Loose forward||0||TSV 1846 Nürnberg|
|Robert Lehmann||Loose forward||22 September 1988||4||SC Neuenheim|
|Daniel Windolf||Scrum-half||0||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Emil Schäfer||Scrum-half||6 July 1999||0||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Oliver Paine||Scrum-half||25 September 1991||10||SC Neuenheim|
|Pierre Mathurin||Scrum-half||25 September 1990||10||Heidelberger RK|
|Tim Menzel||Scrum-half||1 January 1992||37||Rennes Étudiants Club Rugby|
|Daniel Koch||Fly-half||22 October 1995||4||SC Germania List|
|Nikolai Klewinghaus||Fly-half||16 March 1998||10||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Anton Gleitze||Centre||10 April 2000||0||Berliner RC|
|Jarrod Saul||Centre||11 May 1992||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Lukas Deichmann||Centre||13 February 1993||1||SC Frankfurt 1880|
|Luke Wakefield||Centre||12 April 1992||0||SC Neuenheim|
|Maximilian Kopp||Centre||0||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Niklas Hohl||Centre||5 August 1996||0||Heidelberger RK|
|Pascal Fischer||Centre||31 March 1992||12||DSV 78 Hannover|
|Felix Lammers||Wing||6||Heidelberger RK|
|Joshua Tasche||Wing||8 September 1995||0||SC Neuenheim|
|Philip Gleitze||Wing||10 April 2000||0||Berliner RC|
|Zinzan Hees||Wing||11 December 1994||1||RK Heusenstamm|
|Benedikt Müssig||Fullback||18 February 2000||0||TSV Handschuhsheim|
|Leon Hees||Fullback||31 March 1993||0||RK Heusenstamm|
|Leonard Becker||Fullback||6 July 1994||0||SC Neuenheim|
Men's World Rugby Rankings
|Top 30 rankings as of 19 July, 2021|
|*Change from the previous week|
The following players have captained Germany in the recent past:
|Clemens von Grumbkow||2015|
The following coaches have led Germany in the recent past:
|Mark Kuhlmann (interim)||2019|
|Byron Schmidt and Melvine Smith||2020|
|Mark Kuhlmann||2020 -|
The following players were part of the team that won the silver medal at the 1900 Summer Olympics:
The Sport-Club Frankfurt 1880 e.V. is a German sports club from Frankfurt am Main. The club is mainly known for its rugby union team, which currently plays in the Rugby-Bundesliga, the highest level of the league system for rugby union in Germany. Apart from rugby, the club hosts other sports such as athletics, curling, field hockey, lacrosse, and tennis.
The RG Heidelberg is a German rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga. Apart from rugby, the club also offers the sport of rowing.
The Heidelberger Ruderklub is a German rowing club and rugby union club from Heidelberg, currently playing in the Rugby-Bundesliga.
Mustafa Güngör is a German international rugby union player, playing for the TV Pforzheim in the Rugby-Bundesliga and the German national rugby union team. He is a former captain of the German Sevens and German XV team. He made his debut for Germany in a game against Sweden in 2003.
Germany at the 2006–2008 European Nations Cup was the first time since 1981 that the German national rugby union team reached highest level of FIRA rugby, the European Nations Cup, by winning its group, the Division 2A in 2006–2008.
Alexander Widiker is a German international rugby union player, playing for Heidelberger RK in the Rugby-Bundesliga and, formerly, the German national rugby union team.
Matthieu Franke is a German international rugby union player, playing for RC Orléans in the Fédérale 1 and the German national rugby union team. He is the brother of Guillaume Franke, who has also played for Germany. He made his debut for Germany in a game against Moldova on 11 November 2006.
Guillaume Franke is a German international rugby union player, playing for RC Orléans in the Fédérale 1 and the German national rugby union team. He is the brother of Matthieu Franke, who has also played for Germany.
Christian Baracat is a German international rugby union player, having played for the SC Neuenheim in the Rugby-Bundesliga and the German national rugby union team. He has played professional rugby since 1996.
Rudolf Finsterer is a retired German international rugby union player and coach, formerly coaching the RG Heidelberg in the Rugby-Bundesliga and, until the 20 March 2010, the German national rugby union team.
Bruno Stolorz is a former coach of the German national rugby union team.
Germany at the 2008–2010 European Nations Cup was the first time since 1981 that the German national rugby union team competed at the highest level of FIRA rugby, the European Nations Cup, during 2008-2010.
The Rudolf-Kalweit-Stadion is an association football and rugby union stadium in Hanover, Germany. It is the home ground and owned by the football team Arminia Hannover and also frequently used for international games of the Germany national rugby union team. Additionally, the American football team Hannover Spartans also uses the ground.
The Germany national under-18 rugby union team is the under-18 team of the Germany national rugby union team in the sport of rugby union.
Germany at the 2010–2012 European Nations Cup saw a return of the German national rugby union team to the ENC Second Division, having been relegated without a win from the First Division in 2008–2010. The renaming of division within the ENC however meant, that the former Second Division is now named First Division B. The team struggled in the first half of the competition, only winning one of their five games but improved in the second half, when it won three games, to finish fourth overall and well clear of relegation.
Arthur Zeiler is a German international rugby union player, playing for the Heidelberger RK in the Rugby-Bundesliga and the German national rugby union team.
Tim Menzel is a German international rugby union player, playing for the TSV Handschuhsheim in the Rugby-Bundesliga and the German national rugby union team.
Sven Wetzel is a German international rugby union player, playing for the TSV Handschuhsheim in the Rugby-Bundesliga and the German national rugby union team.
The 2014–16 European Nations Cup First Division is the premier rugby union competition below the Six Nations Championship in Europe. It is divided into two tiers; Division 1A and Division 1B.