Romania national rugby union team

Last updated

Romania
Rugbyromania2011.png
Nickname(s)Stejarii (The Oaks)
Emblem An oak leaf
Union Romanian Rugby Federation
Head coach Andy Robinson
Captain Mihai Macovei
Most caps Florin Vlaicu (128)
Top scorer Florin Vlaicu (1,024)
Top try scorer Cătălin Fercu (33)
Home stadium Stadionul Naţional de Rugby Arcul de Triumf
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
First colours
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body collarblue.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current18 (as of 19 July 2021)
Highest13 (2003, 2005, 2006)
Lowest20 (2019)
First international
Flag of Romania.svgRomania 0–21 United States  Flag of the United States.svg
(Stade Pershing, Paris, France; 1 July 1919) All-military sides
Biggest win
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 0–100 RomaniaFlag of Romania.svg
(Burgas, Bulgaria; 21 September 1976)
Biggest defeat
Flag of England.svg  England 134–0 RomaniaFlag of Romania.svg
(London, England; 17 November 2001)
World Cup
Appearances8 (First in 1987 )
Best resultOne Win, 1987, 1991, 1995,1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015
Medal record
Website rugbyromania.ro

The Romania national rugby union team (Romanian : Echipa națională de rugby a României) represents Romania in men's international rugby union competitions, nicknamed Stejarii (The Oaks), is long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations. They have participated in all but one Rugby World Cup and currently compete in the first division of the European Nations Cup, which they won recently in 2017. Rugby union in Romania is administered by the Romanian Rugby Federation.

Contents

France first played rugby against Romania in 1924 when they tried to establish a rival to the Five Nations championship. Romania holds with 25 matches the record for the longest unbeaten run. [1] Although not regarded as a first-tier team in more recent times, their history includes an away draw against Ireland, and wins against four (France, Italy, Scotland, Wales) of the other Six Nations Championship teams. [2]

Romania have played in every Rugby World Cup through 2015, but were disqualified from the 2019 Rugby World Cup after fielding ineligible players during the qualification process. [3]

History

Early history

Romania versus France at the Inter-Allied Games of 1919 Stade de Colombes, 22.06.1919, jeux interallies, rugby, match France contre Roumanie.JPG
Romania versus France at the Inter-Allied Games of 1919

The game itself was introduced by students returning with rugby balls from their studies in Paris to form clubs such as Stadiul Roman from 1913 onwards. Seventeen other teams would be formed in the capital, Bucharest.

Romania's first international was played against the US in 1919. France first officially played rugby union against Romania in May 1924 when they tried to establish a rival to the Five Nations Championship (now the Six Nations). France were victorious by 59 points to 3.

Romania were one of three teams who entered the 1924 Olympics in Paris. France won 59–3, scoring 13 tries including four by the fine Stade Francais winger Adolphe Jaureguy. The USA then defeated Romania 39–0. Romania finishing third claimed the bronze medal. The Federaţia Română de Rugby was formed in 1931. In 1939 a team was formed in Braşov at an aircraft factory. This was the first team outside Bucharest.

Post-World War II

Alex Penciu, one of the greatest rugby union players in the 1960s. Alex Penciu.jpg
Alex Penciu, one of the greatest rugby union players in the 1960s.

The communist regime used rugby union like it used other sports, as a propaganda tool during the Cold War with the West. Every international success was presented as a direct result of the righteousness of the communist rule and ideology. All the financial resources were directed toward the preparation of the national team to the detriment of domestic development. Top players were employed in the army or the police, whose sides CSA Steaua București and Dynamo practised six days a week in superb sporting centres. These infrastructures bred a talented national side.

A generation of French school trained coaches from late 1940s, and 1950s built a system and led the national team to success of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. In this era Romania began to compete more regularly against the major nations. Their first win over France came in 1960 in Bucharest, in a tour match won by 11–5. In 1974 Romania won against France 15–10 in Bucharest, [4] and the FIRA – Association of European Rugby championship. [5] In 1975 Romania went for an 8-game tour to New Zealand, concluding in Wellington with a 10–10 draw against the Junior All Blacks. Exposure to international rugby developed the country's game and they began to form their own distinctive style of play, built around giant, bruising packs. That Romania was emerging as a real force on the world stage became clear on their 1979 Romania rugby union tour of Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in 1979 in an unofficial, non-cap international. The Oaks led going into the dying minutes, when only a last-gasp drop goal from Gareth Davies gave a narrow 13–12 victory for Wales. The improvement continued in 1980, when Romania crushed the French in a record 15–0 win in Bucharest. A trip to Lansdowne Road in the 1980 Romania rugby union tour of Ireland then yielded a 13–13 draw against Ireland in another unofficial, non-cap match.

In the 1980s the country boasted more than 12,000 players in 110 clubs. Home nations sides began to award international caps for matches against Romania in 1981; Scotland were the first to do so when Romania visited them on their 1981 tour, Scotland winning the international by 12 points to 6. [6] Wales travelled to Bucharest in November 1983 and were totally overwhelmed, falling to a 24–6 defeat. Romania's first win over Scotland came in Bucharest in 1984 and their first away win against Five Nations opposition came in 1988 against Wales; 15–9 at Cardiff Arms Park.

Their national side beat Wales (twice – 1983: 24–6 in Romania, 1988: 15–9 in Wales), Scotland (the 1984 Grand Slam side 28–22 in Romania), France (twice 1980: 15–0 in Romania, 1982: 13–9 in Romania) and drew with Ireland (13–13, in 1980, at Dublin). In 1981, they lost to the All Blacks 14–6 but had two tries disallowed. Many felt it was wrong for the rugby union powers to fail to bring them into top-flight competition. There are even rumours that the Oaks were invited to join but refused because the championship took place during their winter break. Romania beat Zimbabwe 21–20 in their first ever Rugby World Cup match in 1987 but did not win any other games and failed to progress beyond the group stage.

After the collapse of Communism

However, with the deterioration of the domestic political and economic situation in the country in the 1990s, Romanian rugby union suffered; the two leading rugby union teams – Dinamo Bucharest and Steaua Bucharest, represented the police and the army respectively, so their state funding fell. [ citation needed ]

Post-revolution, Romanian rugby union was still alive and kicking. In 1990 they recorded their best win to date by beating France 12–6 on French soil for the first time. The following year they beat Scotland 18–12. At the 1991 World Cup they beat Fiji 17–15 and as recently as the 1995 World Cup, Romania held the eventual winners South Africa to a highly respectable 21–8.

The professionalism that followed immediately upon the heels of that World Cup was the undoing of the sport in Romania. Approximately 200 Romanian players are thought to be playing in France and Italy. It was not just playing numbers that suffered, but a whole generation of potential referees and administrators was lost to the game. By 1994 Romania's rugby fortunes had declined sharply, when a Welsh team travelled to Bucharest for an uncapped international the visitors came away with a 16–9 win. In 1997 the Romanians toured Wales. They lost 36–21 to Wales A at Pontypridd and 70–21 in a test held in Wrexham. At the 1999 World Cup Romania could again only manage a single win 27–25 against the United States. [ citation needed ]

The new millennium

Romania versus Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2005. Ireland vs Romania rugby match.jpg
Romania versus Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2005.

In 2000, Romania won the first European Nations Cup by a large margin, recording victories in all four matches. By 2001, Romania had been caught by the likes of Georgia who defeated them to take the 2001 European Nations Cup, crowned with a decisive 31–20 win over Romania in Bucharest. The national side lost to England by 134–0 in 2001 and Dinamo Bucharest lost 151–0 to Saracens in the European Rugby Shield. Several French-based players refused to turn up for the England debacle simply because their clubs refused to pay them for the week. Players in that Romanian squad were getting £30 a day in expenses while England's top earners scooped £6,000 for their afternoon's work.

In January 2002, Bernard Charreyre was appointed coach of the national team both supplied by and paid by the French Rugby Federation (FFR). Under Charreyre (known by The Oaks as 'Little Napoleon'), the Oaks' decline has been stopped and the team has started to slowly climb from the basement of international rugby union. With a change of format in the European Nations Cup, Romania started in 2002 trailing Georgia due to the inclusion of 2001 results. The Oaks won all of the remaining five games, including a hard-fought 31–23 victory in Tbilisi to win the tournament. They qualified for the World Cup in 2003, where they beat Namibia and lost to Ireland (45–17), after an honourable display, and then to Australia (90–8) and Argentina (50–3). Charreyre was dismissed after the World Cup as the Romanian Federation was not satisfied by the World Cup performance and decided not to renew his contract. Three other French coaches followed: first, Phillipe Sauton, for a very short period, Robert Antonin as a temporary stand-in and then Daniel Santamans.

In the 2003–2004 European Nations Cup, Portugal were surprise 16–15 winners over Romania in Lisbon and installed themselves on the top of the 2003 table. In the second half of the competition, Romania seemed back on track (36–6 against Portugal in Constanţa), but went down 24–33 to Russia in Krasnodar following allegations of players having been doped. Then Portugal clinched their first title with a last-minute 19–18 win over Russia in Lisbon. In 2004, the Romanians scored a narrow 25–24 victory over Italy, their first victory to date over a Six Nations Championship side.

In 2005 Romania was given 'second tier' status by the IRB and replaced Russia in the Super Powers Cup. The USA beat a Romanian team stripped of their France-based players 23–16 in the third place play-off. The 2005–06 European Nations Cup also served as a qualifying group for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Romania triumphed despite finishing level on points with Georgia.

Romania qualified for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, finishing at the top of their pool during the Round 5 of the European qualifying tournaments. Romania won their first qualifying match on October 7, defeating Georgia in Bucharest 20–8. Their 43–20 win over Spain in Madrid on October 14 ensured that they qualified directly for the World Cup in 2007. In June 2007, Romania hosted the IRB Nations Cup in Bucuresti. [7] In the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals, Romania won a bonus point in the 18–24 loss to Italy and to win a second game with Portugal by a narrow margin (14–10), but suffered heavy losses to Scotland (42–0) and New Zealand (85–8).

Romania national rugby union team after receiving the Pershing Trophy in 2016 at their home ground, Stadionul Arcul de Triumf after a test match against USA Romania national rugby union team.jpg
Romania national rugby union team after receiving the Pershing Trophy in 2016 at their home ground, Stadionul Arcul de Triumf after a test match against USA

On 21 March 2009, Romania lost 22–21 at home to Portugal, leaving them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the 2011 World Cup – qualification for which is determined by performances in the European Nations Cup in 2009 and 2010. Romania went unbeaten, with a draw at Russia, in the 2010 phase of the European Nations Cup. The Oaks' strong finish put them in third place and the final phase of the European qualification playoffs, in which they easily defeated Ukraine over two legs (94–10 on aggregate) for the European place in the Final Place Playoff for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Romania emerged as the last qualifier for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand by overcoming first Tunisia in a winner-takes-it-all game (56–13) and later Uruguay (60–33 on aggregate). Thus, the Oaks are one of only 12 teams to participate at all World Cups alongside New Zealand, Australia, England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Canada, and Japan.

In November 2016, Romania achieved home soil wins against the US, Canada and Uruguay. [8]

In 2018, Romania finished top of the Rugby Europe Championship, meaning they qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be played in Japan in 2019. But after the conclusion of the tournament World Rugby conducted a review of player eligibility and found Romania fielded Sione Faka'osilea, who previously played for the Tonga Sevens team, which made him ineligible to play for Romania in the competition. Romania was stripped of 30 competition points, which placed them third and meant that they failed to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Russia taking their place. [9]

On 29 May 2018, it was confirmed that Romania had appealed the decision. [10] On 6 June, the appeal failed and the decision was upheld, meaning Russia was confirmed as Europe 1 and qualified for the World Cup, whilst Germany advanced to round 6. [11]

Honours

Record

Romania holds the record for the longest unbeaten run: 25 matches in between May 1959 and November 1964. [12]

Wins against Tier 1 nations

DateHomeScoreAwayVenueStatus
14 April 1940 Romania  Flag of Romania.svg3–0Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
5 June 1960 [13] Romania  Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg11–5Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
10 June 1962 Romania  Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg14–6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
11 November 1962 Romania  Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg3–0Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
14 May 1967 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg15–14Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1966–67 FIRA Nations Cup
1 December 1968 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg24–3Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1968–69 FIRA Nations Cup
25 October 1970 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg3–14Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania Flag of Italy.svg Stadio Comunale Mario Battaglini, Rovigo 1969–70 FIRA Nations Cup
11 April 1971 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg32–6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1970–71 FIRA Nations Cup
13 October 1974 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg15–10Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1974–75 FIRA Trophy
14 November 1976 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg15–12Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1976–77 FIRA Trophy
1 May 1977 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg69–0Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1976–77 FIRA Trophy
22 April 1979 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg44–0Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1978–79 FIRA Trophy
23 November 1980 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg15–0Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1980–81 FIRA Trophy
12 April 1981 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg35–9Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Brăila 1980–81 FIRA Trophy
31 October 1982 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg13–9Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1982–83 FIRA Trophy
10 April 1983 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg13–6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Buzău 1982–83 FIRA Trophy
12 November 1983 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg24–6Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
20 May 1984 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg28–22Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
14 April 1985 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg7–6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Brașov 1984–85 FIRA Trophy
12 April 1987 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg9–3Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Constanța 1985–87 FIRA Trophy
2 April 1988 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg3–12Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania Flag of Italy.svg San Siro, Milan 1987–89 FIRA Trophy
10 December 1988 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg9–15Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff Test Match
15 April 1989 Romania  Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg28–4Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1987–89 FIRA Trophy
14 April 1990 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg9–16Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Italy.svg Frascati 1989–90 FIRA Trophy
24 May 1990 France  Flag of France.svg9–12Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of France.svg Stade du Moulias, Auch 1989–90 FIRA Trophy
31 August 1991 Romania  Flag of Romania.svg18–12Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match
14 May 1994 Romania  Flag of Romania.svg26–12Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest 1992–94 FIRA Trophy
26 June 2004 Romania  Flag of Romania.svg25–24Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo Stadium, Bucharest Test Match

European competitions

Romania's only annual tournament is a competition involving Europe's tier 2 and tier 3 national teams. From 1936 through 1938, they competed in the FIRA Tournament against France, Germany and Italy. In 1965 till 1973 the FIRA Nations Cup was formed allowing other teams to be promoted or relegated from the competition. Romania won the competition once in 1969, being the only team to defeat France.

Pre–WWII Tournament (1936–1938)
NationGamesPointsTable
points
Champs
playedwondrawnlostforagainstdiff
Flag of France.svg  France 660013348+853
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany 63038392−90
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy 53027576−10
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 710681114−330
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 21012048−280
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 2002862−540
FIRA Nations Cup (1965–1973)
NationGamesPointsTable
points
Champs
playedwondrawnlostforagainstdiff
Flag of France.svg  France 262501824198+626657
Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania 261718528222+306511
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia 172213135411−267160
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 920765332−267130
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1341886227−141120
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 1011881132−5160
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg  Spain 31025655+150
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 300319132−11330
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 300323108−8500

European Nations Cup (2000–present)

Winners

YearFirst DivisionLower Division Champions
WinnerSecondThirdRelegatedDivision 2Division 3
2000 Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
2001 Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Not played [14]
2001–2002 Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic [15] Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
2003–2004 Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova
2004–2006 Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia
2006–2008 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
2008–2010 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Germany.svg  Germany [16] Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania
2010 Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
2011 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine [17] Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
2012 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
2013 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium [18] Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
2014 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
2015 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
2016 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
2017 Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic / Flag of Malta.svg  Malta
2018 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Germany.svg  Germany -
2019 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
2020 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
TBD

All-time table

PldWDLPFPAPDAVPPGPtsChamps
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 1008341330961151+194530.9633411
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 1007222630241311+171330.242885
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 854733421901788+40226.071860
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 853534716051865−26018.881521
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 802545115752020−44519.691450
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 2960233621075−71312.48400
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2531213411064−72313.64260
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 151014278652−37418.53170
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 201019201998−79710.05150
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 53029469+2518.80110
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 202117204412−20813.680
ENC champions ENC champions en.svg
ENC champions

Rivalries

Romania and Georgia have enjoyed a rivalry between the two most successful teams in the European Nations Cup. The winner of the rivalry takes home the Antim Cup.

Romania had competed in every Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987; that streak ended in 2018, when they were expelled from the 2019 tournament via points deduction for fielding ineligible players. Their best finish was with one win in 1987, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015. They lost all pool matches in 1995 and 2011. So far Romania has not hosted any World Cup games, but it may put in bids for future tournaments.

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
YearRoundPWDLFAPWDLFA
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 1987 Pool stage310261130-
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg IRFU flag.svg Flag of France.svg 1991 Pool stage3102316432018542
Flag of South Africa.svg 1995 Pool Stage30031497420210546
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 1999 Pool Stage3102501266402300127
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2003 Pool Stage41036519221018431
Flag of France.svg 2007 Pool Stage410340161121002452122
Flag of New Zealand.svg 2011 Pool Stage40044416912813376142
Flag of England.svg 2015 Pool Stage41036012910811242106
Flag of Japan.svg 2019 Expelled after qualification8602296106
Flag of France.svg 2023 To be determinedTo be determined
Total8/9286022365106857412141940722

Overall

Men's World Rugby Rankings
Top 20 as of 13 September 2021 [19]
RankChange*TeamPoints
1Steady2.svgFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 092.49
2Steady2.svgFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 090.31
3Steady2.svgFlag of England.svg  England 085.44
4Steady2.svgIRFU flag.svg  Ireland 084.85
5Increase2.svg2Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 084.11
6Decrease2.svg1Flag of France.svg  France 083.87
7Decrease2.svg1Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 082.86
8Steady2.svgFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 082.02
9Steady2.svgFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 080.59
10Steady2.svgFlag of Japan.svg  Japan 079.13
11Steady2.svgFlag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 076.87
12Steady2.svgFlag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 073.73
13Steady2.svgFlag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 073.59
14Steady2.svgFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 070.65
15Steady2.svgFlag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 068.57
16Increase2.svg1Flag of the United States.svg  United States 067.12
17Decrease2.svg1Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 067.02
18Steady2.svgFlag of Romania.svg  Romania 066.22
19Steady2.svgFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 065.67
20Steady2.svgFlag of Spain.svg  Spain 064.82
21Steady2.svgFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 062.08
22Steady2.svgFlag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 061.23
23Steady2.svgFlag of Russia.svg  Russia 060.94
24Steady2.svgFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 059.30
25Steady2.svgFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 059.04
26Steady2.svgFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 056.32
27Steady2.svgFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 056.16
28Steady2.svgFlag of Chile.svg  Chile 055.20
29Steady2.svgFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 054.12
30Steady2.svgFlag of Germany.svg  Germany 053.13
* Change from the previous week
Romania's historical rankings

See or edit raw graph data.

Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 13 September 2021 [19]

Below is a table of the representative rugby matches played by a Romania national XV at test level up until 10 July 2021. [20]

OpponentPlayedWonLostDrawnWin %ForAgaDiff
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 90900.0%114341−227
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina XV 541080.0%11374+39
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 30300.0%20189−169
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 7700100.0%35881+277
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 2200100.0%7826+52
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 2200100.0%1703+167
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 862075.0%138142−4
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 1100100.0%2711+16
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 6600100.0%30753+254
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia 18170177.8%349105+244
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany 13120192.3%39369+324
Flag of England.svg  England 50500.0%24335−311
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 312033.3%4270−28
Flag of France.svg  France 50841215.7%4731342−869
Flag of France.svg  France A 10100.0%1620−4
Flag of France.svg  France XV 50500.0%30153−123
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 25 915136.0%411504−93
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 1165054.5%367158+209
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 90900.0%102390−288
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland XV 10010.0%1313+0
IRFU flag.svg Emerging Ireland 10100.0%1031−21
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 421623338.1%634609+25
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy A 422050.0%6587−22
Flag of Italy.svg  Emerging Italy 2200100.0%4326+17
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 615016.7%119152−33
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan XV 1100100.0%3025+5
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 871087.5%34256+286
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 651083.3%15866+92
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 7700100.0%29646+250
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 20200.0%1499−85
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand XV 10100.0%3060−30
Flag of New Zealand.svg  Junior All Blacks 10010.0%1010+0
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 16142087.5%514143+371
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 26233088.5%803286+517
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 24167166.7%580347+233
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 2200100.0%4937+12
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 13211015.4%192475−283
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland A 10100.0%1821−3
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 10100.0%821−13
Flag of South Africa.svg Emerging Springboks 20200.00%2086−66
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 15123080.0%251153+98
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 37343091.9%1063379+684
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 313033.3%5564−9
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 541080.0%18942+147
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 7700100.0%40043+357
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 927022.2%104230−126
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 971177.8%22685−141
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 826025.0%96342−246
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales XV 10100.0%1213−1
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 981088.9%19969+130
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 4400100.0%12384+39
Total4572601881256.89%101988266+1932

Players

Current squad

On the 15th of June 2021, the following 40 players were called up for the World Rugby test match against Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina. [21]

On the 18th of June, Luigi Ostoni was called up to the squad. [22]

On the 22nd of June, Dan Groza and Cosmin Iliuță were called up to the squad. [23]

Head Coach: Flag of England.svg Andy Robinson

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

Player Position Date of birth (age)CapsClub/province
Florin Bârdașu Hooker (1991-09-23) 23 September 1991 (age 29)5 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Eugen Căpățână Hooker (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 35)53 Flag of Romania.svg Rugby Timișoara
Ovidiu Cojocaru Hooker (1996-11-19) 19 November 1996 (age 24)16 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Iulian Hartig Hooker (1998-10-11) 11 October 1998 (age 22)4 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Ionel Badiu Prop (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 32)25 Flag of France.svg Valence Romans
Vasile Bălan Prop (1992-02-07) 7 February 1992 (age 29)2 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Costel Burțilă Prop (1991-07-14) 14 July 1991 (age 30)5 Flag of France.svg Hyères
Alex Gordaș Prop (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 (age 27)24 Flag of France.svg Nice
Domițian Mureșan Prop (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 26)0 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Laurențiu Nica Prop (1998-01-30) 30 January 1998 (age 23)0 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Alexandru Savin Prop (1995-02-12) 12 February 1995 (age 26)12 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Alexandru Țăruș Prop (1989-05-09) 9 May 1989 (age 32)39 Flag of France.svg Rouen
Marius Antonescu Lock (1992-08-09) 9 August 1992 (age 29)40 Flag of France.svg Bourg-en-Bresse
Johannes van Heerden Lock (1986-12-09) 9 December 1986 (age 34)47 Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo București
Marius Iftimiciuc Lock (1997-08-13) 13 August 1997 (age 24)3 Flag of France.svg Périgueux
Adrian Moțoc Lock (1996-07-11) 11 July 1996 (age 25)15 Flag of France.svg Aurillac
Luigi Ostoni Lock (2001-09-10) 10 September 2001 (age 20)0 Flag of France.svg Bayonne Espoirs
Florian Roșu Lock (1993-04-20) 20 April 1993 (age 28)1 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Cristi Boboc Back row (1995-10-09) 9 October 1995 (age 25)3 Flag of Romania.svg Tomitanii Constanța
Cristi Chirică Back row (1997-04-09) 9 April 1997 (age 24)18 Flag of France.svg Appaméen
Răzvan Ilișescu Back row (1993-12-09) 9 December 1993 (age 27)3 Flag of France.svg Mazamet
Mihai Macovei Back row (1986-10-29) 29 October 1986 (age 34)89 Flag of France.svg Colomiers
Vlad Neculau Back row (1998-07-01) 1 July 1998 (age 23)5 Flag of Romania.svg Rugby Timișoara
André Gorin (c) Back row (1987-11-30) 30 November 1987 (age 33)35 Flag of France.svg Hyères
Kamil Sobota Back row (1992-03-31) 31 March 1992 (age 29)2 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Damian Strătilă Back row (1996-07-28) 28 July 1996 (age 25)0 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Julien Bartoli Scrum-half (1999-09-21) 21 September 1999 (age 21)0 Flag of France.svg Hyères
Gabriel Rupanu Scrum-half (1997-09-28) 28 September 1997 (age 23)4 Flag of Romania.svg Rugby Timișoara
Florin Surugiu Scrum-half (1984-12-10) 10 December 1984 (age 36)89 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Tudor Boldor Fly-half (1997-11-29) 29 November 1997 (age 23)9 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Dan Groza Fly-half 1996 (age 2425)0 Flag of Italy.svg Torino
Daniel Plai Fly-half (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994 (age 27)17 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Alexandru Bucur Centre (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 27)6 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare
Taylor Gontineac Centre (2000-07-16) 16 July 2000 (age 21)4 Flag of France.svg Rouen
Vlăduț Popa Centre (1996-03-27) 27 March 1996 (age 25)16 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Ionuț Dumitru Wing (1992-11-06) 6 November 1992 (age 28)47 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Cosmin Iliuță Wing (1998-03-02) 2 March 1998 (age 23)0 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Nicolas Onuțu Wing (1995-12-27) 27 December 1995 (age 25)15 Flag of France.svg Vienne
Robert Neagu Wing (1991-07-20) 20 July 1991 (age 30)7 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Marius Simionescu Wing (1997-09-05) 5 September 1997 (age 24)14 Flag of Romania.svg Dinamo București
Sioeli Lama Fullback (1995-10-21) 21 October 1995 (age 25)0 Flag of Romania.svg Steaua București
Ionel Melinte Fullback (1996-01-31) 31 January 1996 (age 25)15 Flag of France.svg Hyères
Paul Popoaia Fullback (2000-05-29) 29 May 2000 (age 21)3 Flag of Romania.svg Baia Mare

Notable players

Romania's current top point scorer and most capped player of all time, Florin Vlaicu. Florin Vlaicu Penalty 2017.jpg
Romania's current top point scorer and most capped player of all time, Florin Vlaicu.

The 1924 Romania Olympic team are the only Romanian inductee to have been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. Nicolae Mărăscu captained the famously Hall of Fame side. The highest point of Mărăscu's career was at the 1924 tournament, earning Romania the bronze medal. He played as a centre and had five caps, without ever scoring, since his first match, in 1919, a 48–5 loss to France, in Paris, for the Inter-Allied Games, and his last, at 22 May 1927, in a 21–5 win over Czechoslovakia, in Bratislava.

Iulian Dumitraș was Romania's main man. Dumitraș was known to be one of the Oaks' most gifted playmakers, with an accurate kicking boot and a penchant for sparking attacks. Having made his test debut in 2002, he went on to start in every match a Rugby World Cup 2007 in France, bringing plenty of experience to the nation. The then standing 1.88m and weighing in a 110 kg, Dumitraș was a punishing runner when he chimes into the line on attack, which he looked to do often, and he provided a solid and dependable last obstacle in defence.

Sorin Socol is regarded by many good judges as the then best player in the current squad and was one of the rocks of the Romanian forward pack. He has captained the most matches to date for Romania, between 2003 and 2011. A total of 61 tests, 36 of them were as captain. He captained Romania for the first time on 30 October 2003 during the 2003 Rugby World Cup match against Namibia. He went on and featured in the 2007 World Cup squad and eventually retired from all international rugby after the 2011 tournament. Socol had one of Romania's highest winning percentage as a captain of 63.88.

Florin Vlaicu is Romania's top ever point scorer and also the most capped player appearing in 104 tests so far. Vlaicu made his international debut in 2006 as a substitute against Ukraine. He played for Romania in the IRB Nations Cup and in their 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifying before appearing for them in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He played two Tests at the World Cup as a substitute against both Scotland and the All Blacks. He also played at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups.

Cristian Petre is Romania's most recognized player after dominating the lock position for eleven years. He is one of Romania's most capped player with a total of 92 matches and a career span that started in 2001 against England and ended in 2012 against Italy. Petre has featured in three Rugby World Cups, first in 2003, going on to feature in 2007 and his last being in 2011. Petre has scored a total of six tries and had winning percentage of 55.43.

Cătălin Fercu is generally regarded as one of Romania's true global superstar of rugby union. Fercu is Romania's top try scorers. He had quickly made appearances on the international stage at a very young age and played against France and Scotland in the Autumn internationals in 2006. He also scored a try against the French. Fercu helped guide Romania to the 2007 Rugby World Cup as he played in the qualifier matches including the vital games against Georgia and Spain and scored a try against Spain in the game that sealed their qualification to the Rugby World Cup. Fercu was a late withdrawal from their Rugby World Cup squad in 2011 because he was not prepared to fly all the way to New Zealand. The Romanian side arrived in Christchurch to prepare for their first game of the tournament against Scotland in Invercargill on 10 September without Fercu, who failed to get on the plane when it left Romania.

Another one of the Oaks greatest players are Romeo Gontineac, represented Romania in four Rugby World Cups from 1995 to 2007. The hard running centre, who became the national coach in 2010, was capped 75 times for the nation, scoring 13 tries and a drop goal. During his career he played professionally in Romania, South Africa and France.

Members of the 1924 Olympics team

Coaches

Current coaching staff

The current coaching staff of the Romanian national team: [24]

NameNationalityRole
Daniel Carpo Flag of Romania.svg  ROU Manager
Andy Robinson Flag of England.svg  ENG Head coach
Steve Scott Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Assistant coach (Forwards)
Sosene Anesi Flag of New Zealand.svg  NZL Assistant coach (Backs)
Florin TașcăFlag of Romania.svg  ROU Strength & Conditioning coach
Dr. Dan Wanya-CrînguFlag of Romania.svg  ROU Team doctor/Covid manager
Marius TodosiFlag of Romania.svg  ROU Kinesiotherapist
Sandu ConstantinFlag of Romania.svg  ROU Kinesiotherapist
Paul LarterFlag of Scotland.svg  SCO Video-Analyst
Marius ChiriacFlag of Romania.svg  ROU GPS-Analyst

Individual all-time records

Most caps

#PlayerPosSpanMatStartSubWonLostDraw%
1 Florin Vlaicu Centre 2006–present127102257945363.09
2 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005–present10910727333368.34
3 Valentin Calafeteanu Scrum-half 2004–present10054466137262.00
4 Cristian Petre Lock 2001–2012928395040255.43
5 Mihai Macovei Flanker 2006–present8978115236160.11
6 Csaba Gál Centre 2005–20158865234937256.81
Florin Surugiu Scrum-half 2008–present8859295532163.37
8 Valentin Poparlan Lock 2007–7750274829062.33
9 Romeo Gontineac Centre 1995–2008767513541046.05
Adrian Lungu Centre 1980–1995767514036052.63
Lucian Sîrbu Scrum-half 1996–20117662144034253.94

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [25]

Most tries

#PlayerPosSpanMatStartSubPtsTries
1 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005–109107217133
2 Gabriel Brezoianu Centre 1996–20077167414228
3 Mihai Macovei Flanker 2006–8978119519
4 Ovidiu Toniţa Flanker 2000–2016736767515
5 Petre Mitu Scrum-half 1996–20094136533914
Cristian Săuan Wing 1999–2007373257014
Marius Tincu Hooker 2002–2012534947014
Florin Vlaicu Centre 2006–12710225100714
95 players on 13 tries

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [26]

Most points

#PlayerPosSpanMatPtsTriesConvPensDrop
1 Florin Vlaicu Centre 2006–present1271019141722004
2 Dănuţ Dumbravă Fly-half 2002–201573389373742
3 Petre Mitu Scrum-half 1996–2009413391455530
4 Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 1997–2007603161253464
5 Valentin Calafeteanu Scrum-half 2004–present1002331132371
6 Neculai Nichitean Fly-half 1990–1997282010184510
7 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005–present10917133110
8 Gelu Ignat Fly-half 1986–199225148115326
9 Gabriel Brezoianu Centre 1996–20077114228100
10 Dumitru Alexandru Fly-half 1974–19904811934258

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [27]

Most matches as captain

#PlayerPosSpanMatWonLostDraw%PtsTries
1 Mihai Macovei Flanker 2012–present583918168.649018
2 Sorin Socol Lock 2001–2011362212263.88255
3 Stelian Burcea Flanker 2009–201819136068.42153
4 Mircea Paraschiv Scrum-half 1980–198718710141.66164
5 Haralambie Dumitras Number 8 1989–19931459035.71205
Romeo Gontineac Centre 1999–200314410028.5751
7 Tiberiu Brînză Number 8 1994–19971311207.6951
8 Marius Tincu Hooker 2007–20121156045.4500
9 Costica Mersoiu Number 8 2007–20081064060.0051
10 Alin Petrache Number 8 1999–2004734042.8500

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [28]

Most points in a match

#PlayerPosPtsTriesConvPensDropOppositionVenueDate
1 Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 322820Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Romania.svg Iași 05/10/2002
2 Virgil Popisteanu Fly-half 2701210Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 13/04/1996
Petre Mitu Scrum-half 271260Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Portugal.svg Lisbon 04/02/2001
4 Ionel Rotaru Wing 255000Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 13/04/1996
5 Florin Vlaicu Fullback 241801Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 22/03/2008
Florin Vlaicu Centre 241250Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 09/02/2013
7 Gelu Ignat Fly-half 220540Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Flag of Italy.svg Treviso 30/09/1990
Petre Mitu Scrum-half 221430Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Romania.svg Bârlad 18/03/2001
Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 221150Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of Russia.svg Krasnodar 24/03/2002
105 players on 21 points

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [29]

Most tries in a match

#PlayerPosPtsTriesConvPensDropOppositionVenueDate
1 Gheorgie Rascanu Flanker 205000Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Bucharest 02/05/1972
Cornel Popescu Wing 205000Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Bârlad 18/10/1986
Ionel Rotaru Wing 255000Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 13/04/1996
4 Petre Motrescu Wing 164000Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg Bucharest 01/05/1977
Gheorghe Solomie Wing 204000Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Brussels 04/10/1997
Lucian Colceriu Wing 204000Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 02/05/1998
710 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Romania vs Argentina, 3 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [30]

Media coverage

Romania's Rugby Europe Championship matches, mid year tests and end of year internationals are currently televised by TVR.

Kit suppliers

PeriodKit manufacturerShirt sponsor
1919–1985No supplierNo shirt sponsor
1985–1988 Adidas
1988–1989 Bukta
1989–1990 Adidas
1990–1991 Puma AG (Worn in the 1990–91 Latin Cup)
1991–1994 Adidas
1995–1996 Gilbert
1996–1997 Puma AG [31]
1997–2001 Gilbert
2002 Petrom
2003–2008 O'Neills Orange
2009No shirt sponsor
2010 CEC Bank
2011 KooGa
2012 Tall Ball
2012 Samurai Sportswear (worn in the 2012 end of the year internationals)
2013–2016 BLK
2016–2019 Mizuno
2020 Tall Ball
2021 Macron
2021– Macron Stanleybet

See also

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