|Rugby union in Cyprus|
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Rugby union in Cyprus is a minor but growing sport.
The governing body is the Cyprus Rugby Federation
It became affiliated to FIRA in 2006.
Cypriot rugby goes back to at least the 1950s, when it was played by British Armed Forces there. The British military still contributes teams from the Akrotiri and Dhekelia bases.
During the 1970s, rugby union in Israel trying to break out of its isolation - both political and geographical - reached out to teams in Cyprus.Many of the teams Israelis played with were British military.
In more recent times, it has mainly been a game played by expatriates.
There are several competitions including a league with teams from the British military bases and three local teams:
Cypriot rugby's main ties are to European rugby, although it does play Israel occasionally.
The situation in Northern Cyprus is somewhat different, with teams playing in the Turkish leagues. Rugby is not a major sport amongst Greek Cypriots, but it is even less so amongst Turkish Cypriots.
Rugby Football was introduced formally in league format in the early 1980s by the British Military due to the mannerism of their structure. However the first Cypriot Club was formed in 2003 known as, Paphos Tigers. Predominately made up of South African Cypriots they triumphed in the British Military Major Units League. The first game for Cyprus took place on 24 March 2007 at home against Greece. The Cypriot XV won 39-3. Cyprus continued their great start in international rugby by beating Azerbaijan 29-0 at the Pafiako Stadium in Paphos on 28 October 2007. They then put in back-to-back victories against Monaco on 31 October 2007 (19-10) and Slovakia on 3 November 2007 (38-8). Having won the FIRA ENC Division 3D Tournament, they qualified for a promotion playoff against Israel. The game took place on 6 September 2008, Cyprus were defeated 23-14 and therefore remained in ENC 3D with Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Monaco and Slovakia. Cyprus currently hold records over 3 nations in the division ENC 3D, by inflicting the worst defeats of Slovakia, Azerbaijan and Monaco respectively. During the 2009 FIRA AER European Sevens Championship, Cyprus Sevens Team took part in two tournaments in Athens and Split. Their performances during these competitions led to them jumping 11 places in the FIRA rankings and are currently ranked 12th in Europe.
The first international game of the Cyprus Rugby National Team took place on March 24, 2007 against Greece in Paphos. The Cypriot XV won the game by 39-3 in front of 2,500 fans.
In October and November 2007, Cyprus beat Azerbaijan, Monaco, Slovakia to win the FIRA 3D Tournament, a great achievement in their first year on the international scene. However, they lost the play-off game for promotion to level 3C on 6 September 2008 against Israel (which plays in the European leagues) by a score of 23-14.
Cyprus now play in the 2B level, after winning promotion consecutively from the 2008-2010 edition onwards.
The Armenian national rugby union team began playing in the European Nations Cup in 2004. However, Rugby Europe suspended the Rugby Federation of Armenia in November 2014 due to inactivity.
The Greece National Rugby Union team represents one of the world's newest rugby union playing nations. The national team is governed by the HRF, or EOP, presided by Evangelos Stamos. Greece has been participating in international competitions since October 2005 playing its first international game against Austria in Vienna. Since then, they have played several international games in FIRA competition 3D, and in Greece. Greece played Slovakia in the Final on 12 May 2007 in Thessaloniki, where they won 20–17 and in doing so gained promotion to division 3C. The current coach of the Greek national team is Mike Bishop taking over from Niall Doherty who is currently involved with Turkey. The national side is ranked 102nd in the world
The Luxembourg national rugby union team is a minor team, and is ranked as a third tier nation. The team participates in the annual Rugby Europe Championship Conference 2 North 2017–18 Rugby Europe Conference. Since 1996 Luxembourg also competes in the sevens circuits in Europe Luxembourg national rugby sevens team.
The Russia national rugby union team represents Russia in men's international rugby union international competitions, nicknamed the Bears, is administered by the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR). The RUR is considered the official successor union of the Soviet Union by World Rugby and the combined CIS team which played in the early 1990s. Since 1992, the team has played as Russia. Its first test match as Russia was against the Barbarians in Moscow in June 1992 and the country's first test against an official Test nation was against Belgium later that same year.
The Cyprus Rugby Federation (CRF) the governing body for rugby union in Cyprus. It runs several competitions including a league with teams from the British military bases and three local teams:
Rugby union in Israel was brought to the country by British soldiers during the British Mandate for Palestine. Rugby Israel was founded as the Israel Rugby Union in 1975, and joined the IRB in 1988. For political reasons it is also part of FIRA-AER, the European rugby body, rather than the Asian Rugby Football Union.
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. 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.
Rugby union in Turkey is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Armenia is a growing sport. The national team is currently unranked in the world rankings, which records only the top ninety-six countries. The governing body for Armenia is the Rugby Federation of Armenia.
Christo Kasabi is a Greek Cypriot rugby player who plays for the Cyprus national rugby union team as of 2012. He plays his club rugby in England for Enfield Ignatians.
The Cyprus national rugby sevens team competes in the FIRA-AER European sevens. They have only played for 2 seasons. In their first season of the 2008 competition they managed to compete with the First and Third Tier sevens teams by defeating Georgia 7-5 and drawing 7–7 with Italy. Their second season saw them finish 12th out of 30 teams, just 2 places off qualifying for the final tournament held in Germany. In just their third year of sevens rugby, Cyprus hosted the final stage of the FIRA-AER European Sevens, this was held in Paphos on 12 and 13 June 2010.
Lawrence Macrides is a Cypriot rugby player who plays for the Cyprus national rugby union team and has done since 2007. He plays his club rugby in England for Chingford Rugby Club. He had played for 2 Cypriot clubs before; Limassol Crusaders and Nicosia Barbarians.
The 2012–14 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.
The 2012–14 European Nations Cup Third Division is the fourth tier of rugby union in Europe behind the Six Nations Championship and the 2012-2014 European Nations Cup First Division and the 2012–14 European Nations Cup Second Division.
The 2012–14 European Nations Cup Second Division is the third tier rugby union in Europe behind the Six Nations Championship and the 2012-2014 European Nations Cup First Division.
The Andorra national rugby sevens team is the official Andorra representative in international competitions of Rugby sevens. The team has played in fourteen International Sevens Tournaments. In FIRA-AER, each year a number of tournaments take place across Europe and each nation takes part in two tournaments to decide on a final 12. In 2007, Andorra were joint 12th with Croatia but qualified on a points difference. The FIRA-AER qualifiers have seen placings of 5th, 4th and 3rd. Both appearances in the finals have seen 12th (last) but notable teams have failed to qualify.
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.
Rugby Europe is the administrative body for rugby union in Europe. It was formed in 1999 to promote, develop, organise and administer the game of rugby in Europe under the authority of World Rugby.
The 2014–16 European Nations Cup Second Division is the third tier rugby union in Europe behind the Six Nations Championship and the 2014–16 European Nations Cup First Division.
Rugby union in Montenegro is a minor but growing sport. The game has only recently been developed in the country since its independence in 2006. The governing body is the Montenegrin Rugby Union which was accepted as a member of Rugby Europe at the 2014 convention held in Split, Croatia. It is not yet affiliated with World Rugby but is applying for membership.