Cyprus national rugby union team

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 Cyprus
Cyprus rugby.png
Union Cyprus Rugby Federation
Nickname(s) The Moufflons
Emblem(s) Mouflon
Ground(s) Pafiako Stadium, Paphos
President Cyprus Lavrentios Vasiliades
Coach(es) Wales Phil Llewellyn [1]
Captain(s) Tony Thoma
Most caps Tony Thoma (26)
Top scorer Marcus Holden (254)
Most tries George Agathocleous (19)
Team kit
First international
Cyprus Cyprus 39 – 3 Greece Greece
(24 March 2007)
Largest win
 Bulgaria 3 – 94 Cyprus Cyprus
(28 May 2012)
Largest defeat
Latvia Latvia 31 – 3 Cyprus Cyprus
(7 November 2015)

The Cyprus National Rugby Union Team known as "The Moufflons" is the representative side of Cyprus in rugby union. Their nickname is "The Moufflons" after a kind of horned sheep which is also the republic's national animal, the Cypriot mouflon (Ovis orientalis ophion). 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.[2]

History[edit]

The first international game of the Cyprus Rugby National Team took place on 24 March 2007 against Greece in Paphos. The Cypriot XV won the game by 39-3 in front of 2,500 fans.[3]

In October and November 2007, Cyprus beat Azerbaijan, Monaco and Slovakia to win the 2006–08 European Nations Cup Division 3D, which was a great achievement in their first year on the international scene. However, they lost the play-off game for promotion to Division 3C for the 2008–10 European Nations Cup on 6 September 2008 against Israel by a score of 23-14. This was Cyprus' only loss in international rugby for 6 years.

The following season, Cyprus had another attempt to be promoted as they played Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan and Monaco in a round-robin home-and-away basis. They managed to win every game scoring a total of 187 points and conceding only 17. They gained automatic promotion to Division 3B, although, for the following season, the divisions had changed numbers, so instead of moving to Division 3B, they were in fact in Division 2D.

The 2010–12 European Nations Cup saw Cyprus play in Division 2D (the lowest level of the second division) against Bulgaria, Finland, Greece and Luxembourg. They won all their games for the second consecutive year increasing their win success to 15 and making it two consecutive seasons and nearly four years unbeaten. They scored 4 or more tries in each of their games during the 2010–2012 season, including an emphatic 94–3 win over Bulgaria, and were promoted to Division 2C for 2012–2014.

Their 2012–14 European Nations Cup Division 2B campaign kicked off in style with a 54–20 win over Austria. They followed that win with consecutive home and away wins against Slovenia, Bulgaria and Hungary and also a home win over Austria. On 16 March 2013 ahead of their match against Bulgaria, Cyprus were aware of a potential world record of 18 games unbeaten which would overtake the official record of 17 games originally held by both New Zealand (between 1965 and 1969 and again between 2013 and 2014), South Africa (between 1997 and 1998) and Lithuania (between 2006 and 2010). They went on to win the match comfortably 79–10. A month later, Cyprus were informed that they would not be eligible to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and were disqualified by the International Rugby Board due to 'not meeting the necessary membership criteria'.

Cyprus are now playing in Division 2B for the 2014–16 European Nations Cup, where they are grouped with Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra and Hungary. They have currently played two games as of 15 November 2014. They won against Andorra 30–10 after trailing 10–0, which extended their world record to 24. They then lost 20-39 to Latvia in Riga on 15 November 2014. This was their first loss since losing to Israel in 2008, their second loss in all and also their biggest loss to date. Cyprus sit third in the table.

Motto[edit]

The Cyprus Rugby Federation has adopted as its motto the famous Spartan phrase:

Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς, translating as "either with this or upon this", an idiom that effectively means victory or death. The origin of the motto is ancient Sparta and "this" refers to the shield. Spartans killed in battle were carried home on the shield, while those returning alive and victorious from battle would still have it. A soldier fleeing the battle would have to drop the shield.

Kit[edit]

Home

2013/14

Away

2013/14

Records[edit]

  • World record for most consecutive international rugby union wins (24), which was ended by a 39-20 loss to Latvia on 15 November 2014.[3][4]
  • World Record for most consecutive international rugby union wins by greater than a converted try (14).
  • World Record for most consecutive international rugby union wins by scoring 4 or more tries (11).
  • Won 11 away games in a row.
  • Won their last 17 home games.
  • Won 10 consecutive games by 30+ points, which was ended by a 16-15 victory over Hungary.
  • World Record for largest win in début match (39–3 v Greece in March 2007).
  • Scored 1239 points and only conceded 296.
  • 26 of their 28 wins were won by more than a converted try.
  • Scored a try in every game they have played (30).

Home grounds[edit]

Until March 2010, Cyprus did not have a National Stadium, due to the poor recognition of the government they did not supply a stadium. Cyprus' first international was played in Paphos at Kiniras Sports ground. Then a further game at the same ground in the ENC 3D tournament against Slovakia. They then moved to the British Army base playing their games at Happy Valley in Episkopi. Now the national stadium has been recognised as Pafiako Stadium which is situated in the centre of Paphos. It holds a capacity of 10,000.

Ground Record Recent Win Team Recent Draw Recent Loss
Pafiako Stadium, Paphos 100% 2014  Andorra N/A N/A
Happy Valley, Episkopi 100% 2009  Slovakia N/A N/A
Kiniras Sports Ground, Paphos 100% 2007  Slovakia N/A N/A

Cyprus Sevens[edit]

International record[edit]

In over eight years of international competition, Cyprus have lost only three matches.

Cyprus are not a full member of the International Rugby Board, so none of their international matches count towards the IRB World Rankings.

Date Home Score Away Venue Competition
24 March 2007 Cyprus  39 – 3  Greece Paphos Friendly
(First International)
29 October 2007 Cyprus  29 – 0  Azerbaijan Paphos 2006-08 ENC 3D
31 October 2007 Cyprus  19 – 10  Monaco Nicosia 2006-08 ENC 3D
3 November 2007 Cyprus  38 – 8  Slovakia Paphos 2006-08 ENC 3D
6 September 2008 Israel  23 – 14  Cyprus Netanya 2006-08 ENC 3C/3D Play-off
29 November 2008 Azerbaijan  3 – 37  Cyprus Baku 2008-10 ENC 3D
6 December 2008 Cyprus  24 – 3  Monaco Episkopi 2008-10 ENC 3D
14 March 2009 Cyprus  33 – 7  Slovakia Episkopi 2008-10 ENC 3D
21 March 2009 Bosnia and Herzegovina  6 – 8  Cyprus Zenica 2008-10 ENC 3D
14 November 2009 Monaco  5 – 44  Cyprus Monaco 2008-10 ENC 3D
6 March 2010 Cyprus  59 – 0  Azerbaijan Paphos 2008-10 ENC 3D
27 March 2010 Cyprus  15 – 0  Bosnia and Herzegovina Paphos 2008-10 ENC 3D
20 November 2010 Greece  13 – 33  Cyprus Athens 2010-12 ENC 2D
12 March 2011 Cyprus  55 – 8  Bulgaria Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
26 March 2011 Cyprus  70 – 10  Finland Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
7 May 2011 Luxembourg  0 – 50  Cyprus Luxembourg 2010-12 ENC 2D
8 October 2011 Cyprus  48 – 7  Luxembourg Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
28 April 2012 Bulgaria  3 – 94  Cyprus Pernik 2010-12 ENC 2D
26 May 2012 Cyprus  72 – 5  Greece Paphos 2010-12 ENC 2D
9 June 2012 Finland  5 – 52  Cyprus Helsinki 2010-12 ENC 2D
17 November 2012 Austria  20 – 54  Cyprus Vienna 2012-14 ENC 2C
8 December 2012 Cyprus  49 – 8  Slovenia Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
16 March 2013 Cyprus  79 – 10  Bulgaria Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
20 April 2013 Hungary  15 – 16  Cyprus Esztergom 2012-14 ENC 2C
9 November 2013 Slovenia  3 – 34  Cyprus Ljubljana 2012-14 ENC 2C
30 November 2013 Cyprus  22 – 8  Austria Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
26 April 2014 Bulgaria  15 – 46  Cyprus Sofia 2012-14 ENC 2C
17 May 2014 Cyprus  46 – 13  Hungary Paphos 2012-14 ENC 2C
1 November 2014 Cyprus  30 – 10  Andorra Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
15 November 2014 Latvia  39 – 20  Cyprus Riga 2014-16 ENC 2B
28 March 2015 Hungary  15 – 17  Cyprus Szazhalombatta 2014-16 ENC 2B
2 May 2015 Cyprus  20 – 26  Lithuania Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
7 November 2015 Cyprus  3 – 31  Latvia Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
28 November 2015 Andorra  22 – 13  Cyprus Andorra la Vella 2014-16 ENC 2B
9 April 2016 Cyprus  15 – 3  Hungary Paphos 2014-16 ENC 2B
23 April 2016 Lithuania  47 – 15  Cyprus Vilnius 2014-16 ENC 2B
23 October 2016 Malta  31 – 3  Cyprus Paola 2016-17 Conference 1 South
12 November 2016 Cyprus  28 – 38  Israel Paphos 2016-17 Conference 1 South

Overall[edit]

Against Played Won Lost Drawn Points
for
Points
against
 % Won
 Andorra 2 1 1 0 43 32 50%
 Austria 2 2 0 0 76 28 100%
 Azerbaijan 3 3 0 0 125 3 100%
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 2 0 0 23 6 100%
 Bulgaria 4 4 0 0 274 36 100%
 Finland 2 2 0 0 122 15 100%
 Greece 3 3 0 0 144 21 100%
 Hungary 4 4 0 0 94 46 100%
 Israel 2 0 2 0 42 61 0%
 Latvia 2 0 2 0 23 70 0%
 Lithuania 2 0 2 0 35 73 0%
 Luxembourg 2 2 0 0 98 7 100%
 Monaco 3 3 0 0 87 18 100%
 Slovakia 2 2 0 0 71 15 100%
 Malta 1 0 1 0 3 31 0%
 Slovenia 2 2 0 0 83 11 100%
Total 38 30 8 0 1343 473 78.94%

Coaches[edit]

Name Years Tests Won Drew Lost Win percentage
Niall Doherty 2007–2008 4 4 0 0 100%
Paul Shanks 2008–2014 24 23 0 1 96%
Phil Llewellyn 2014–2015 4 2 0 2 50%
Paul Shanks 2015–2015 1 0 0 1 0%
Alexander Zavallis 2015–2015 1 0 0 1 0%
Andrew Binikos 2016– 4 1 0 3 25%

Current squad[edit]

Head Coach: Cyprus Andrew Binikos

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

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Antonis Thoma (captain) Hooker (1977-04-01) 1 April 1977 (age 39) 21 Cyprus Paphos Tigers
Constantinos Constantinides Hooker (1987-01-16) 16 January 1987 (age 30) 8 Cyprus Limassol Crusaders
Christo Kasabi Prop (1985-08-06) 6 August 1985 (age 31) 20 England Enfield Ignatians
Kyriacos Vatikiotis Prop (1988-10-13) 13 October 1988 (age 28) 10 England Manchester
Alexander Ioannou Prop (1988-11-30) 30 November 1988 (age 28) 4 England Spalding RFC
Marko Mladenovic Flanker (1990-12-24) 24 December 1990 (age 26) 11 Scotland Falkirk RFC
Dan McFarlane Flanker (1989-01-25) 25 January 1989 (age 28) 13 Cyprus Limassol Crusaders
Chris Dicomidis Number 8 (1985-09-14) 14 September 1985 (age 31) 2 Wales Pontypridd RFC
Burhan Torgut Scrum-half (1990-11-27) 27 November 1990 (age 26) 8 Wales UWIC Rugby Club
Ryan Bennett Scrum-half (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 26) 8 England Charlton Park RFC
Alexander Zavallis-Roebuck Fly-half (1990-09-20) 20 September 1990 (age 26) 6 England Preston Grasshoppers
George Agathocleous Centre (1982-01-23) 23 January 1982 (age 35) 21 Cyprus Paphos Tigers
Reno Ioannides Centre (1984-02-17) 17 February 1984 (age 33) 8 France Montluçon Rugby
Samuel Emery Centre (1991-04-05) 5 April 1991 (age 25) 7 England CS Rugby 1863
Will Booth Centre (1990-12-28) 28 December 1990 (age 26) 1 Cyprus Limassol Crusaders
Andreas Zacharia Wing (1989-04-04) 4 April 1989 (age 27) 9 England University of Lincoln
Fidias Efthymiou Wing (1990-12-05) 5 December 1990 (age 26) 10 England Dings Crusaders RFC
Matt King Wing (1989-11-25) 25 November 1989 (age 27) 6 England Macclesfield RFC
Marcus Holden Fullback (1987-08-22) 22 August 1987 (age 29) 17 Netherlands Hilversum RC

Staff

Recent call ups[edit]

  • Jack Antoniou
  • Yiannis Loizia
  • Marios Zakakiotis
  • Steve Awah
  • Will Booth
  • Seyhen Fell

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cyprus appoint new head coach". Cyprus Rugby. 2014-08-16. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  2. ^ "Cyprus denied Rugby World Cup chance". ESPN Scrum. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Cyprus clock up record breaking win". ESPN scrum. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  4. ^ http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_92843

External links[edit]