IRB Nations Cup

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For the figure skating competition that has since been renamed, see Bofrost Cup on Ice.
IRB Nations Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 IRB Nations Cup
Sport Rugby union
Founded 2006
No. of teams 4
Country Ireland Emerging Ireland
Most recent champion(s) Ireland Emerging Ireland (2014)

The Nations Cup is a rugby union competition that was first held in 2006 at Estádio Universitário in Lisbon with Argentina A, Italy A, Portugal and Russia taking part. The tournament is part of the International Rugby Board's US $50 million Strategic Investment programme, which also includes the Pacific Nations Cup, the Pacific Rugby Cup and the Americas Rugby Championship (as well as the ARC's predecessor, the North America 4).


The Nations Cup is aimed at providing more competition for tier one A sides, as well as offering opportunities for second and third tier nations such as Portugal, Russia, Namibia, Uruguay, Georgia and Romania.[1] The Nations Cup is an important tournament for both Italy and Argentina; at the time of the inaugural competition in 2006, the two sides combined had only nine players that did not play in their respective domestic competitions. The inaugural tournament was won by Argentina A.

The Nations Cup was expanded in 2007, with six teams instead of four. Argentina A and Italy A returned, along with Namibia, Georgia, Romania and the Emerging Springboks. This was in part to allow Namibia, Georgia and Romania to warm up for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Originally scheduled to take place in the Tineretului Stadium, Bucharest, Romania,[2] in the event the matches took place at the city's Stadionul Arcul de Triumf.[3] The Emerging Springboks were crowned champions and the Tournament has remained at Arcul de Triumf since then.

In 2008 Argentina A, soon to be rechristened as Argentina Jaguars, left the tournament to play in the Churchill Cup, Namibia also withdrew. Uruguay and Russia took their places. The Emerging Springboks were crowned champions for the second time with a 100% record.

2009 saw the addition of Scotland A and France A to the tournament at the expense of the Emerging Springboks and Georgia, which both had other commitments that year. The Emerging Springboks played the British and Irish Lions during the Lions' tour of South Africa, while Georgia accepted an invitation to the Churchill Cup. Scotland A won that year's edition.

For the 2010 edition, Romania and defending champions Scotland A returned from 2009, as did Italy A. France A, Russia, and Uruguay instead played in the 2010 Churchill Cup. Their places were taken by Georgia, returning after a one-year absence, and Namibia and Argentina Jaguars, returning for the first time since 2007. Namibia emerged as winners.

The 2011 edition effectively served as a 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up for host Romania, defending Nations Cup champion Namibia, and Georgia. The Argentina Jaguars also returned from the 2010 edition. Portugal returned for the first time since the inaugural edition in 2006. South Africa made their first appearance since 2008 a successful one, with a team billed as the "South African Kings" — in reality, the Southern Kings, the country's planned future Super Rugby franchise — winning the event.

Southern Kings did not return to defend their title in 2012, nor did Namibia or Georgia return to take part. Instead, Italy A (missing for a year) and Russia and Uruguay (missing for two years) reappeared. For the first time in the competition's history, host nation Romania won. They went on to retain the title in 2013.

Emerging Ireland will make their first appearance in the competition in 2014, along with Uruguay, Russia, and host Romania. This edition is seen as important preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[4]


The teams that participated in the IRB Nations Cup and their finishing positions are as follows:

Team 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Argentina Argentina A / Jaguars (since 2008) 1st 2nd N/A N/A 4th 3rd 2nd 3rd N/A
Ireland Emerging Ireland N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1st
South Africa Emerging Springboks N/A 1st 1st N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 France A N/A N/A N/A 3rd N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Georgia N/A 3rd 2nd N/A 5th 2nd N/A N/A N/A
 Italy A 2nd 5th 4th 2nd 3rd N/A 3rd 2nd N/A
 Namibia N/A 6th N/A N/A 1st 4th N/A N/A N/A
 Portugal 4th N/A N/A N/A N/A 6th 6th N/A N/A
 Romania N/A 4th 3rd 4th 2nd 5th 1st 1st 2nd
 Russia 3rd N/A 6th 5th N/A N/A 5th 4th 4th
 Scotland A N/A N/A N/A 1st 6th N/A N/A N/A N/A
South Africa South African Kings N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1st N/A N/A N/A
 Uruguay N/A N/A 5th 6th N/A N/A 4th N/A 3rd



Year Winner Host
2006 Argentina Argentina A  Portugal
2007 South Africa Emerging Springboks  Romania
2008 South Africa Emerging Springboks
2009  Scotland A
2010  Namibia
2011 South Africa South African Kings
2012  Romania
2013  Romania
2014 Ireland Emerging Ireland

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See List of international rugby union teams#National teams - tier classification for more information on the Tiers.
  2. ^ IRB: original schedule Accessed: 15 June 2012
  3. ^ IRB Match Reports on games played at Arcul de Triumf on first, second and third days. Accessed: 15 June 2012
  4. ^ "Nations Cup central to RWC 2015 preparations". 1 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ This data is questionable as the 2006 Competition data is incomplete.
  6. ^ This data is questionable as the 2006 Competition data is incomplete.

External links[edit]