List of international rugby union teams
The following is a list of international rugby union teams:
- 1 Multinational teams
- 2 National teams - tier classification
- 3 National teams - band classification
- 4 Defunct national sides
- 5 Women's rugby
- 6 Notes and references
- The British and Irish Lions, perhaps the most famous multi-national rugby team.
- Established in 1950, East Africa has conducted seven tours between 1954 and 1982 and has played against incoming international, representative and club touring sides including twice against the British Lions; perhaps the only example of representative (as opposed to invitational) multinational teams playing against each other. They have also played against the Barbarians.
- The South American Jaguars were a combination team who played South Africa during the early 1980s.
- The African Leopards are a development side drawn from across Africa, they have played representational rugby union against South African students.
- The Arabian Gulf rugby union team combined various teams from the Arabian peninsula and competed in World Cup qualification. The Arabian Gulf Rugby Union has now been dismantled and responsibility for the game devolved to each of the member nations, although the team may be revived in the future.
- There is also a West Indies side, which first toured when the Caribbean Rugby Union sent a team (managed by Gavin Clark) to tour England in 1976. Their last tour was also to England in October and November 2000.
- The Commonwealth of Independent States also played during the early 1990s.
- World XV sides have also been fielded eight times between 1977 and 2008.
- The Barbarian Football Club is probably the most famous invitation side. It has spawned New Zealand Barbarians, South African Barbarians, and French Barbarians.
- Scorpions RFC are an East African equivalent (founded in 1959) existing and playing under a similar ethos to the Barbarians.
Other invitational sides past and present include:
- President's Overseas XV, selected for the hundredth anniversary of the RFU
- Overseas Unions rugby union team
- Rest of the World XV
- Four Home Unions XV
- Rest of Europe XV
- In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami a Northern hemisphere side took on a Southern hemisphere side in the IRB Rugby Aid Match:
National teams - tier classification
The sport's international governing body, the International Rugby Board, organises its member unions into three tiers. All Tier 1 and 2 nations have competed in the Rugby World Cup (RWC). Tier 3 nations with RWC experience are shown in bold.
|Northern Hemisphere countries||Southern Hemisphere countries|
- The Northern Hemisphere countries participate in the Six Nations Championship.
- The Southern Hemisphere countries participate in the The Rugby Championship.
The remaining unions are all classified in "Tier 3". Tier 3 with RWC experience:
Tier 3 with no RWC experience:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Chinese Taipei
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
National teams - band classification
Starting in 2008, in addition to the existing tier system, the IRB introduced a four-band system of classification in which unions and, by extension, teams are classified based on "their development status and record on the international stage". The new structure is:
All countries previously in Tiers 1 and 2.
These are countries earmarked for increased developmental funding and include
Again, the IRB did not release a list of unions in this category, but named several as being in this band:
This is the location for all remaining unions.
Several of these sides are French dependencies.
Defunct national sides
Various national sides have ceased to exist for political reasons. In the case of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, there is more than one successor team. In the case of Catalonia, the Spanish Civil War and Franco's crackdown put an end to it, and in the case of East and West Germany, reunification led to their amalgamation into a single German side.
- Arabian Gulf* - dissolved by the end of 2010 and replaced by separate unions and national teams
- East Africa* - a combination of Kenya, Tanzania/Tanganyika and Uganda. It has not played for about a decade but the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) still exists and there have been recent talks to resurrect the team
- East Germany
- Soviet Union
- Wallis and Futuna - has not played since 1971 and so moribund
- West Germany
* For more information on these teams see above.
Australia · Austria · Barbados · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Brazil · Canada · Catalonia · Cayman Islands · China · Czech Republic · Denmark · England · Fiji · Finland · France · Germany · Great Britain · Guyana · Hong Kong · Ireland · Italy · Jamaica · Japan · Kenya · Kazakhstan · Kyrgyzstan · Luxembourg · Netherlands · New Zealand · Norway · Philippines · Portugal · Romania · Russia · Rwanda · Saint Vincent and the Grenadines · Samoa · Scotland · Serbia · Singapore · South Africa · Spain · Sweden · Thailand · Tonga · Trinidad and Tobago · Turkey · Uganda · USSR · United States · Uzbekistan · Wales · Zambia · Zimbabwe
Notes and references