|Rugby union in Moldova|
|Governing body||Moldovan Rugby Federation|
|First played||Mid 20th century|
Rugby union in Moldova is a popular sport. The governing body in Moldova is the Moldovan Rugby Federation (Federatia de Rugby din Moldovei).
Rugby union was played in the Russian Empire as early as in 1908. In 1934, the Moscow Championship was started, and in 1936, the first Soviet Championship took place.
In 1949, rugby union was forbidden in the USSR during the "fight against the cosmopolitanism". The competitions were resumed in 1957, and the Soviet Championship in 1966. In 1975, the Soviet national team played their first match.
Rugby union appears to have been introduced to the Moldavian SSR in 1967.
Moldova had its own rugby team in the USSR, but it was not treated as a proper national side.
Perhaps surprisingly, the popularity of rugby in Moldova is growing rapidly, with well over 10,000 fans regularly turning up to their home matches in the European Nations Cup. Since 2004, the number of Moldovan rugby players has more than doubled, due to the national team's growing international reputation. Rugby union in Romania is quite a major sport, going back ninety years, and as Moldova shares a language, and a border with Romania, this has helped its popularity there.
The Moldova national rugby union team represents Moldova in international rugby union matches. They have yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup.
According to the IRB website, Moldova will play in their first-ever IRB Sevens World Series event when the season reaches its climax in Scotland.
Although Moldova's women have not yet played test match rugby, they have been playing international sevens rugby since 2007. (Current playing record).
The Spain national rugby union team represents Spain in men's international rugby union competitions, nicknamed Los Leones, is administered by the Spanish Rugby Federation. The team annually takes part in the European Nations Cup, the highest European rugby championship outside the Six Nations. The national side is ranked 16th in the world.
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.
Rugby union in Russia is a moderately popular sport. Russia is ranked 20th worldwide by the World Rugby, having over three hundred clubs and close to 22,000 players nationally. Russian Rugby Championship is the top-level professional competition held in Russia. Krasnoyarsk, in the middle of Siberia, is traditionally the heartland of Russian rugby.
Rugby union in Georgia is a popular team sport. Rugby union is considered one of the most popular sports in Georgia.
Rugby union in Brazil is a minor but growing sport, with rugby union increasing in popularity at universities across Brazil.
Rugby union is a moderately popular team sport played in Romania with a tradition of more than 100 years. The Romanian men's national team are currently 19th in the World Rugby Rankings as of 31 October 2020.
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.
The USSR national rugby union team was a sporting side that represented the Soviet Union in rugby union until the early 1990s.
Rugby union in Azerbaijan is a growing sport. They are currently unranked in the International Rugby Board's world rankings, which ranks only the top ninety-five countries. The governing body for Azerbaijan is Azerbaycan Reqbi Federasiyasl.
Rugby union in Hungary is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Latvia is a minor but growing sport. During the pre-independence period, Latvia was not a centre for the game but nonetheless
Rugby union in Lithuania is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Ukraine is a minor but growing sport, with a history dating back over six decades.
Rugby union in Poland is a minor, but growing sport and currently, the Polish men`s national team are ranked 34th in the world as of 31 October 2020.
Rugby union in Kazakhstan is a fairly popular sport. As of May 2018, they are ranked 61st by World Rugby, and as of June 2009, they had 2335 registered players and twenty clubs.
Rugby union in Kyrgyzstan is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Uzbekistan is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in the Soviet Union was a moderately popular sport. It was most popular in the Georgian SSR; parts of the Russian SFSR such as Moscow and certain regions in Siberia like Krasnoyarsk; and Alma-Ata, the capital of the Kazakh SSR. Rugby enjoyed a more limited popularity in the Ukrainian SSR, Minsk in the Byelorussian SSR and parts of the RSFSR such as Leningrad and areas in Southern Russia, including Krasnodar. Rugby gained a significant following due to the vast size of the Soviet Union, but was never a major sport; despite many attempts to develop the sport, which Soviet citizens came to nickname the "leather melon" due to the shape of the ball. Still, an early championship in 1960 gives an idea of the sheer scale of Soviet rugby: one hundred teams from over thirty cities took part.
Rugby union in Turkmenistan is a minor but growing sport.
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