Lithuania national rugby union team

Last updated
Lithuania
Coat of arms of Lithuania.svg
Nickname(s)Vytis (The Knights)
Emblem Vytis (Knight Riding on a Horse)
Union Lietuvos Regbio Federacija
Head coachNtando Manyosha
CaptainTBC
Most caps Mindaugas Misevičius
Laurynas Tipelis (45)
Top scorerKęstutis Marcišaukas (272)
Home stadium Šiaulių Savivaldybės Stadionas
World Rugby ranking
Current44 (as of 10 January 2021)
Highest34 (2018, 2019)
Lowest70 (2005)
First international
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 31-5 Lithuania  Flag of Lithuania.svg
(Berlin, Germany; 1 May 1993)
Biggest win
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 5-77 Lithuania  Flag of Lithuania.svg
(Belgrade, Serbia; 24 April 2010)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 83-6 Lithuania  Flag of Lithuania.svg
(Copenhagen, Denmark; 29 May 1999)
Website regbis.lt

The Lithuania national rugby union team (Lithuanian : Lietuvos Nacionalinė Regbio Sąjungos Komanda) represents Lithuania in men's international rugby union competitions. Nicknamed The Knights (Vytis), is considered one of the relatively stronger tier 3 teams in European rugby and currently compete in the second division of the Rugby Europe International Championships in the Rugby Europe Trophy, a competition which is just below the Rugby Europe Championship where the top 6 countries in Europe (apart from the teams in the 6 nations) compete. They are yet to participate in any Rugby World Cup and play in black with a pattern involving the colours red, yellow and green (the colours of the Lithuanian flag).

Contents

History

Rugby was first introduced into Lithuania in 1961. However, as the country was a part of USSR, the national team could not be formed. After the collapse of the USSR, Lithuania could finally form their very own national team where they would start playing un-official friendlies against Latvia, their traditional rivals as well as representative team from Kaliningrad before finally playing their first official game against Germany, in 1993 where they lost with the score 31-5.

After the reestablishment of independence in 1990, Lithuania's rugby authorities worked to gain international recognition after gaining continental recognition in 1991 by FIRA Europe (as it was known at the time) and by 1993, the national team were participating in the qualifying for the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Lithuania also participated in the 1992-1994 FIRA Trophy competition at the bottom of the pyramid but failed to win any of their games. Later on in 1996, Lithuania had achieved their first official victory against Luxembourg during the qualifying competition for the 1999 World Cup. Overall, the 1990s were a poor decade for the national team, yet it must be considered that they were a relatively new country, never mind the fact that Lithuania started playing test match rugby in 1993.

Up until 2006, Lithuania was lingering in the middle of the third division of the European Nations Cup. However, a 100 percent record in their 2006-2008 European Nations Cup Third Division campaign earned them promotion from Division 3B to Division 3A. This effort was followed by another perfect record in the 2008-2010 European Nations Cup Third Division and a further promotion to Division 2A. Moreover, victories over Israel and the Netherlands would take them to the semifinal round of the European qualification tournament for a spot in the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final Place Play-off. The rise in form of the national had thus resulted in an increase in the popularity of the sport in Lithuania.

During their 2008–10 European Nations Cup campaign, Lithuania was credited with setting a new record for consecutive Test wins in men's rugby. Their 77–5 away win over Serbia on April 24, 2010 was listed as their 18th straight, surpassing the previous record set by New Zealand in 1965–69 and by South Africa in 1997–98. [1] This undefeated campaign, which could have led to a Lithuanian presence at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, ended in the 27–16 loss to Ukraine in the European qualifying semifinal. However, on later review, it was found that the first game in the 18-game sequence was in fact a loss, and as such are now credited with having held an equal record with South Africa and New Zealand (the record would later be broken by Cyprus in 2013). [2]

Current squad

Head Coach: Flag of South Africa.svg Ntando Manyosha

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

Player Position Date of birth (age)CapsClub/province
Tomas Zibolis Hooker (1981-10-06) 6 October 1981 (age 39)29 Flag of Lithuania.svg RK Šiauliai
Rokas Daknys Prop (1987-04-01) 1 April 1987 (age 34)13 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Richardas Stankus Prop (1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 33)10 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Ignas Darkintis Prop (1989-02-08) 8 February 1989 (age 32)15 Flag of Spain.svg Ordizia RE
Laurynas Tipelis Prop (1981-07-07) 7 July 1981 (age 40)45 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai BaltRex
Žygimantas Radžius Lock (1990-06-30) 30 June 1990 (age 31)8 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg RGC
Evaldas Gaubys Lock (1991-01-01) 1 January 1991 (age 30)7 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Nerijus Mačiulis Lock (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 (age 28)2 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Marius Andrijauskas Flanker (1980-01-01) 1 January 1980 (age 41)26 Flag of England.svg Peterborough Lions RFC
Andrius Martinskas Flanker (1982-01-10) 10 January 1982 (age 39)37 Flag of Sweden.svg Enköpings RK
Domantas Tautkus Flanker (1993-06-02) 2 June 1993 (age 28)1 Flag of Lithuania.svg Panevėžys Ryšių statyba
Justas Urbonas Flanker (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 29)4 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Vaidotas Gaubas Flanker (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 (age 28)1 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai BaltRex
Mindaugas Grigas Number 8 (1980-08-06) 6 August 1980 (age 40)28 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Mindaugas Misevičius Scrum-half (1982-01-01) 1 January 1982 (age 39)45 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Tomas Astrauskas Scrum-half (1979-01-01) 1 January 1979 (age 42)27 Flag of Lithuania.svg RK Šiauliai
Kęstutis Marcišauskas Fly-half (1985-07-24) 24 July 1985 (age 36)36 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Mantas Maršantas Fly-half (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 (age 28)2 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai BaltRex
Gediminas Marcišauskas Centre (1982-01-01) 1 January 1982 (age 39)24 Flag of England.svg Peterborough Lions RFC
Gediminas Liutkus Centre (1982-01-01) 1 January 1982 (age 39)36 Flag of Sweden.svg Enköpings RK
Edmundas Ščiavinskas Centre (1981-04-26) 26 April 1981 (age 40)36 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai BaltRex
Justas Vasiliauskas Wing (1985-01-01) 1 January 1985 (age 36)33 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Mantautas Vilimavičius Wing (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 29)2 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Donatas Vilimavičius Wing (1993-09-11) 11 September 1993 (age 27)2 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai Vairas
Vytaras Bloškys Fullback (1991-08-30) 30 August 1991 (age 29)6 Flag of Lithuania.svg Šiauliai BaltRex

Current coaching staff

The current coaching staff of the Lithuanian national team: [3]

NameNationalityRole
Rimantas ZeringisFlag of Lithuania.svg  LTU Manager
Ntando ManyoshaFlag of South Africa.svg  RSA Head coach
Karolis Navickas Flag of Lithuania.svg  LTU Assistant coach
Mantvydas TveragaFlag of Lithuania.svg  LTU Assistant coach
Dr Paulius SugintasFlag of Lithuania.svg  LTU Team doctor
Arūnas AugaFlag of Lithuania.svg  LTU Physiotherapist

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Lithuania set new Rugby World Record". International Rugby Board. 2010-04-26. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  2. "Cyprus on verge of historic win". Scrum.com. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  3. "Netherlands vs Lithuania Match Report" (PDF). www.rugbyeurope.eu. Rugby Europe. 7 March 2020.

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