Romania national rugby union team

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Romania
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Stejarii (The Oaks)
Emblem An oak leaf
Union Federaţia Română de Rugby
Head coach Lynn Howells
Captain Mihai Macovei
Most caps Florin Vlaicu (100)
Top scorer Florin Vlaicu (794)
Top try scorer Cătălin Fercu (31)
Home stadium Arcul de Triumf Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current 16 (as of 29 February 2016)
Highest 13 (2006)
Lowest 19 (2011)
First international
Romania 0–21 United States
(Stade Pershing, Paris, France; 1 July 1919) All-military sides
Biggest win
Bulgaria 0–100 Romania
(Burgas, Bulgaria; 21 September 1976)
Biggest defeat
England 134–0 Romania
(London, England; 17 November 2001)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1987)
Best result Pool stage, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015

The Romania national rugby union team (Romanian: Echipa națională de rugby a României), nicknamed The Oaks (Stejarii), is the representative side of Romania in rugby union. Long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations, they have participated in all seven Rugby World Cups, and currently compete in the first division of the European Nations Cup, where most recently in the 2014–16 competition they finished second. Rugby union in Romania is administered by the Romanian Rugby Federation. The team plays in yellow and blue strips.

France first played rugby against Romania in 1924 when they tried to establish a rival to the Five Nations championship. Although not regarded as a top-tier team in more recent times, their history includes wins against four (France, Italy, Scotland, Wales) of the Six Nations Championship teams.[1]

Romania have played in every Rugby World Cup as of 2015, with their best result being a win during the pool stages. However, the likes of Georgia have challenged Romania for top spot below the Six Nations, and Georgia, along with Portugal have both won the European Nations Cup (or Six Nations B).

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Romania versus France at the Inter-Allied Games of 1919

The game itself was introduced by students returning with rugby balls from their studies in Paris to form clubs such as Stadiul Roman from 1913 onwards. Seventeen other teams would be formed in the capital, Bucharest.

Romania's first international was played against the USA in 1919. France first officially played rugby union against Romania in May 1924 when they tried to establish a rival to the Five Nations Championship (now the Six Nations). France were victorious by 59 points to 3.

Romania were one of three teams who entered the 1924 Olympics in Paris. France won 59–3, scoring 13 tries including four by the fine Stade Francais winger Adolphe Jaureguy. The USA then defeated Romania 39–0. Romania finishing third claimed the bronze medal. The Federaţia Română de Rugby was formed in 1931. In 1939 a team was formed in Braşov at an aircraft factory. This was the first team outside Bucharest.

Post-World War II[edit]

The communist regime used rugby union like it used other sports, as a propaganda tool during the Cold War with the West. Every international success was presented as a direct result of the righteousness of the communist rule and ideology. All the financial resources were directed toward the preparation of the national team to the detriment of domestic development. Top players were employed in the army or the police, whose sides CSA Steaua București and Dynamo practised six days a week in superb sporting centres. These infrastructures bred a talented national side.

A generation of French school trained coaches from late ’40s, and ’50s built a system and led the national team to success of the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s. In this era Romania began to compete more regularly against the major nations. Their first win over France came in 1960 in Bucharest, in a tour match won by 11-5. In 1974 Romania won against France 15 – 10 in Bucharest,[2] and the FIRA – Association of European Rugby championship.[3] In 1975 Romania went for an 8-game tour to New Zealand, concluding in Wellington with a 10-10 draw against the Junior All Blacks. Exposure to international rugby developed the country's game and they began to form their own distinctive style of play, built around giant, bruising packs. That Romania was emerging as a real force on the world stage became clear on their 1979 Romania rugby union tour of Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in 1979 in an unofficial, non-cap international. The Oaks led going into the dying minutes, when only a last-gasp drop goal from Gareth Davies gave a narrow 13–12 victory for Wales. The improvement continued in 1980, when Romania crushed the French in a record 15–0 win in Bucharest. A trip to Lansdowne Road in the 1980 Romania rugby union tour of Ireland then yielded a 13–13 draw against Ireland in another unofficial, non-cap match.

In the 1980s the country boasted more than 12,000 players in 110 clubs. Home nations sides began to award international caps for matches against Romania in 1981; Scotland were the first to do so when Romania visited them on their 1981 tour, Scotland winning the international by 12 points to 6.[4] Wales travelled to Bucharest in November 1983 and were totally overwhelmed, falling to a 24–6 defeat. Romania's first win over Scotland came in Bucharest in 1984 and their first away win against Five Nations opposition came in 1988 against Wales; 15–9 at Cardiff Arms Park.

Their national side beat Wales (twice – 1983: 24 – 6 in Romania, 1988: 15–9 in Wales), Scotland (the 1984 Grand Slam side 28 – 22 in Romania), France (twice 1980: 15 – 0 in Romania, 1982: 13 – 9 in Romania) and drew with Ireland (13–13, in 1980, at Dublin). In 1981, they lost to the All Blacks 14–6 but had two tries disallowed. Many felt it was wrong for the rugby union powers to fail to bring them into top-flight competition. There are even rumours that the Oaks were invited to join but refused because the championship took place during their winter break. Romania beat Zimbabwe 21–20 in their first ever Rugby World Cup match in 1987 but did not win any other games and failed to progress beyond the group stage.

After the collapse of Communism[edit]

However, with the deterioration of the domestic political and economic situation in the country in the 1990s, Romanian rugby union suffered; the two leading rugby union teams – Dinamo Bucharest and Steaua Bucharest, represented the police and the army respectively, so their state funding fell.[citation needed]

Post-revolution, Romanian rugby union was still alive and kicking. In 1990 they recorded their best win to date by beating France 12–6 on French soil for the first time. The following year they beat Scotland 18–12. At the 1991 World Cup they managed to beat Fiji 17–15 and as recently as the 1995 World Cup, Romania held the eventual winners South Africa to a highly respectable 21–8.

The professionalism that followed immediately upon the heels of that World Cup was the undoing of the sport in Romania. Approximately 200 Romanian players are thought to be playing in France and Italy. It wasn't just playing numbers that suffered, but a whole generation of potential referees and administrators was lost to the game. By 1994 Romania's rugby fortunes had declined sharply, when a Welsh team travelled to Bucharest for an uncapped international the visitors came away with a 16–9 win. In 1997 the Romanians toured Wales. They lost 36–21 to Wales A at Pontypridd and 70–21 in a test held in Wrexham. At the 1999 World Cup Romania could again only manage a single win 27–25 against the United States.[citation needed]

The new millennium[edit]

Romania versus Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2005.

In 2000, Romania won the first European Nations Cup by a large margin, recording victories in all four matches. By 2001, Romania had been caught by the likes of Georgia who defeated them to take the 2001 European Nations Cup, crowned with a decisive 31–20 win over Romania in Bucharest. The national side lost to England by 134–0 in 2001 and Dinamo Bucharest lost 151–0 to Saracens in the European Rugby Shield. Several French-based players refused to turn up for the England debacle simply because their clubs refused to pay them for the week. Players in that Romanian squad were getting £30 a day in expenses while England's top earners scooped £6,000 for their afternoon's work.

In January 2002, Bernard Charreyre was appointed coach of the national team both supplied by and paid by the French Rugby Federation (FFR). Under Charreyre (known by The Oaks as 'Little Napoleon'), the Oaks’ decline has been stopped and the team has started to slowly climb from the basement of international rugby union. With a change of format in the European Nations Cup, Romania started in 2002 trailing Georgia due to the inclusion of 2001 results. The Oaks managed to win all of the remaining five games, including a hard-fought 31–23 victory in Tbilisi to win the tournament. They qualified for the World Cup in 2003, where they beat Namibia and lost to Ireland (45–17), after an honourable display, and then to Australia (90–8) and Argentina (50–3). Charreyre was dismissed after the World Cup as the Romanian Federation was not satisfied by the World Cup performance and decided not to renew his contract. Three other French coaches followed: first, Phillipe Sauton, for a very short period, Robert Antonin as a temporary stand-in and then Daniel Santamans.

In the 2003–2004 European Nations Cup, Portugal were surprise 16–15 winners over Romania in Lisbon and installed themselves on the top of the 2003 table. In the second half of the competition, Romania seemed back on track (36–6 against Portugal in Constanţa), but went down 24–33 to Russia in Krasnodar following allegations of players having been doped. Then Portugal clinched their first title with a last-minute 19–18 win over Russia in Lisbon. In 2004, the Romanians scored a narrow 25–24 victory over Italy, their first victory to date over a Six Nations Championship side.

In 2005 Romania was given 'second tier' status by the IRB and replaced Russia in the Super Powers Cup. The USA beat a Romanian team stripped of their France-based players 23–16 in the third place play-off. The 2005–06 European Nations Cup also served as a qualifying group for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Romania triumphed despite finishing level on points with Georgia.

Romania qualified for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, finishing at the top of their pool during the Round 5 of the European qualifying tournaments. Romania won their first qualifying match on October 7, defeating Georgia in Bucharest 20–8. Their 43–20 win over Spain in Madrid on October 14 ensured that they qualified directly for the World Cup in 2007. In June 2007, Romania hosted the IRB Nations Cup in Bucuresti.[5] In the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals, Romania managed to win a bonus point in the 18–24 loss to Italy and to win a second game with Portugal by a narrow margin (14–10), but suffered heavy losses to Scotland (42–0) and New Zealand (85–8).

Romania national rugby union team after receiving the Pershing Trophy in 2016 at their home ground, Stadionul Arcul de Triumf after a test match against USA

On 21 March 2009, Romania lost 22–21 at home to Portugal, leaving them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the 2011 World Cup – qualification for which is determined by performances in the European Nations Cup in 2009 and 2010. Romania went unbeaten, with a draw at Russia, in the 2010 phase of the European Nations Cup. The Oaks' strong finish put them in third place and the final phase of the European qualification playoffs, in which they easily defeated Ukraine over two legs (94–10 on aggregate) for the European place in the Final Place Playoff for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Romania emerged as the last qualifier for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand by overcoming first Tunisia in a winner-takes-it-all game (56–13) and later Uruguay (60–33 on aggregate). Thus, the Oaks are one of only 12 teams to participate at all World Cups alongside New Zealand, Australia, England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Canada, and Japan.

In November 2016, Romania achieved home soil wins against the USA, Canada and Uruguay.[6]



Honours[edit]

Record[edit]

European competitions[edit]

Romania's only annual tournament is a competition involving Europe's tier 2 and tier 3 national teams. From 1936 through 1938, they competed in the FIRA Tournament against France, Germany and Italy. In 1965 till 1973 the FIRA Nations Cup was formed allowing other teams to be promoted or relegated from the competition. Romania won the competition once in 1969, being the only team to defeat France.

Pre– II WW Tournament (1936 – 1938)
Nation Games Points Table
points
Champs
played won drawn lost for against diff
 France 6 6 0 0 133 48 +85 3
 Germany 6 3 0 3 83 92 –9 0
 Italy 5 3 0 2 75 76 –1 0
 Romania 7 1 0 6 81 114 –33 0
 Belgium 2 1 0 1 20 48 –28 0
 Netherlands 2 0 0 2 8 62 –54 0
FIRA Nations Cup (1965 – 1973)
Nation Games Points Table
points
Champs
played won drawn lost for against diff
 France 26 25 0 1 824 198 +626 65 7
 Romania 26 17 1 8 528 222 +306 51 1
 Czechoslovakia 17 2 2 13 135 411 –267 16 0
 Morocco 9 2 0 7 65 332 –267 13 0
 Italy 13 4 1 8 86 227 –141 12 0
 West Germany 10 1 1 8 81 132 –51 6 0
 Spain 3 1 0 2 56 55 +1 5 0
 Poland 3 0 0 3 19 132 –113 3 0
 Portugal 3 0 0 3 23 108 –85 0 0

European Nations Cup (2000–present)[edit]

Winners[edit]

Year First Division Lower Division Champions
Winner Second Third Relegated Division 2 Division 3
2000  Romania  Georgia  Morocco  Russia  Czech Republic
2001  Georgia  Romania  Russia  Poland Not played [7]
2001–2002  Romania  Georgia  Russia  Netherlands  Czech Republic[8]  Slovenia
2003–2004  Portugal  Romania  Georgia  Spain  Ukraine  Moldova
2004–2006  Romania  Georgia  Portugal  Ukraine  Spain  Latvia
2006–2008  Georgia  Russia  Romania  Czech Republic  Germany  Sweden
2008–2010  Georgia  Russia  Portugal  Germany [9]  Ukraine  Lithuania
2010  Romania  Georgia  Russia
2011  Georgia  Romania  Portugal  Ukraine [10]  Sweden  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2012  Georgia  Spain  Romania
2013  Georgia  Romania  Russia  Belgium [11]  Netherlands  Turkey
2014  Georgia  Romania  Russia
2015  Georgia  Romania  Spain  Portugal  Belgium TBD
2016  Georgia  Romania  Russia
2017  Romania  Georgia  Spain TBD TBD TBD

All-time table[edit]

Pld W D L PF PA PD AVPPG Pts Champs
 Georgia 90 73 4 13 2746 1082 + 1664 30.51 287 9
 Romania 90 66 2 22 2699 1142 + 1557 29.98 261 5
 Russia 84 47 3 34 2190 1788 + 402 26.07 186 0
 Portugal 85 35 3 47 1605 1865 - 260 18.88 152 1
 Spain 80 25 4 51 1575 2020 − 445 19.69 145 0
 Czech Republic 29 6 0 23 362 1075 − 713 12.48 40 0
 Germany 25 3 1 21 341 1064 − 723 13.64 26 0
 Netherlands 15 1 0 14 278 652 − 374 18.53 17 0
 Ukraine 20 1 0 19 201 998 − 797 10.05 15 0
 Morocco 5 3 0 2 94 69 + 25 18.80 11 0
 Belgium 15 0 1 14 204 412 − 208 13.6 8 0

Rivalries[edit]

Romania and Georgia have enjoyed a rivalry between the two most successful teams in the European Nations Cup. The winner of the rivalry takes home the Antim Cup.

World Cup[edit]

Romania has competed in every Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987. Their best finish was with one win in 1987, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015. They lost all pool matches in 1995 and 2011. So far Romania has not hosted any World Cup games, but it may put in bids for future tournaments.

Overall[edit]

Top 30 rankings as of 17 July 2017[12]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 94.78
2 Steady  England 90.14
3 Steady  Ireland 85.39
4 Steady  Australia 84.63
5 Steady  South Africa 84.16
6 Steady  Scotland 82.47
7 Steady  Wales 81.73
8 Steady  France 79.63
9 Steady  Argentina 79.50
10 Steady  Fiji 79.48
11 Steady  Japan 73.79
12 Steady  Georgia 73.41
13 Steady  Tonga 71.72
14 Steady  Italy 71.00
15 Increase1  Romania 70.27
16 Decrease1  Samoa 69.67
17 Steady  United States 65.84
18 Steady  Uruguay 63.15
19 Steady  Spain 63.15
20 Steady  Russia 63.13
21 Steady  Namibia 60.27
22 Steady  Germany 59.78
23 Steady  Canada 59.47
24 Steady  Hong Kong 58.66
25 Steady  Portugal 57.26
26 Steady  Kenya 57.17
27 Steady  Belgium 56.94
28 Steady  Chile 54.76
29 Steady  Brazil 54.50
30 Steady   Switzerland 53.63
*Change from the previous week
Romania's historical rankings
Romania IRB World Rankings.png
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 20 February 2017[12]

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Romania national XV at test level up until 24 June 2017.[13]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Argentina 9 1 8 0 11.11% 117 325 −208
Argentina Argentina XV 5 4 1 0 80.00% 113 74 +39
 Australia 3 0 3 0 0.00% 20 189 −169
 Belgium 6 6 0 0 100.00% 296 69 +227
 Brazil 1 1 0 0 100.00% 56 5 +51
 Bulgaria 2 2 0 0 100.00% 170 3 +167
 Canada 8 6 2 0 75.00% 138 142 −4
 Czech Republic 6 6 0 0 100.00% 307 53 +254
 Czechoslovakia 18 17 0 1 77.78% 349 105 +244
 East Germany 13 12 0 1 92.31% 393 69 +324
 England 5 0 5 0 0.00% 24 335 −311
 Fiji 3 1 2 0 33.33% 42 70 −28
 France 50 8 41 2 15.68% 473 1342 −869
 France A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 16 20 −4
 France XV 5 0 5 0 0.00% 30 153 −123
 Georgia 21 9 11 1 42.86% 356 392 −36
 Germany 10 5 5 0 50.00% 282 152 +130
 Ireland 9 0 9 0 0.00% 102 390 −288
 Ireland XV 1 0 0 1 0.00% 13 13 +0
Ireland Emerging Ireland 1 0 1 0 0.00% 10 31 −21
 Italy 42 16 23 3 38.10% 634 609 +25
 Italy A 4 2 2 0 50.00% 65 87 −22
 Emerging Italy 2 2 0 0 100.00% 43 26 +17
 Japan 6 1 5 0 16.67% 119 152 −33
 Japan XV 1 1 0 0 100.00% 30 25 +5
 Morocco 8 7 1 0 87.50% 342 56 +286
 Namibia 6 5 1 0 83.33% 158 66 +92
 Netherlands 7 7 0 0 100.00% 296 46 +250
 New Zealand 2 0 2 0 0.00% 14 99 −85
 New Zealand XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 30 60 −30
New Zealand Junior All Blacks 1 0 0 1 0.00% 10 10 +0
 Poland 16 14 2 0 87.50% 514 143 +371
 Portugal 23 20 3 0 87.00% 722 227 +495
 Russia 21 14 6 1 66.67% 520 294 +226
 Samoa 1 1 0 0 100.00% 32 24 +8
 Scotland 13 2 11 0 15.38% 192 475 −283
 Scotland A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 18 21 −3
 South Africa 1 0 1 0 0.00% 8 21 −13
South Africa Emerging Springboks 2 0 2 0 0.00% 20 86 −66
 Soviet Union 15 12 3 0 80.00% 251 153 +98
 Spain 35 33 2 0 94.29% 1031 341 +690
 Tonga 2 1 1 0 50.00% 35 39 −4
 Tunisia 5 4 1 0 80.00% 189 42 +147
 Ukraine 7 7 0 0 100.00% 400 43 +357
 United States 8 2 6 0 25.00% 99 199 −100
 Uruguay 8 7 0 1 87.50% 226 85 +141
 Wales 8 2 6 0 25.00% 96 342 −246
 Wales XV 1 0 1 0 0.0% 12 13 −1
 West Germany 9 8 1 0 88.89% 199 69 +130
 Zimbabwe 4 4 0 0 100.00% 123 84 +39
Total 436 250 174 12 57.34% 9706 7821 +1885

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

On 30 May, Lynn Howells announced a 28-man squad for Romania's June tests against Japan (10 June), Canada (17 June) and Brazil (24 June).[14]

Note: Caps correct 24 June 2017

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

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Căpățână, EugenEugen Căpățână Hooker (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 31) 30 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Cojocaru, OvidiuOvidiu Cojocaru Hooker (1996-11-19) 19 November 1996 (age 20) 1 Romania Baia Mare
Rădoi, AndreiAndrei Rădoi Hooker (1987-02-07) 7 February 1987 (age 30) 64 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Turashvili, OtarOtar Turashvili Hooker (1986-07-14) 14 July 1986 (age 31) 35 France Colomiers
Badiu, IonelIonel Badiu Prop (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 27) 10 France Carcassonne
Gordaș, AlexAlex Gordaș Prop (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 (age 23) 11 Romania Steaua Bucureşti
Pristăviță, ConstantinConstantin Pristăviță Prop (1993-05-23) 23 May 1993 (age 24) 29 Romania Baia Mare
Țăruș, AlexandruAlexandru Țăruș Prop (1989-05-09) 9 May 1989 (age 28) 23 France Béziers
Ursache, AndreiAndrei Ursache Prop (1984-05-10) 10 May 1984 (age 33) 31 France Carcassonne
Antonescu, MariusMarius Antonescu Lock (1992-08-09) 9 August 1992 (age 24) 24 France Tarbes
Iurea, AndreiAndrei Iurea Lock (1996-12-01) 1 December 1996 (age 20) 1 Romania Baia Mare
Popârlan, ValentinValentin Popârlan Lock (1987-06-12) 12 June 1987 (age 30) 70 Romania Timișoara Saracens
van Heerden, JohannesJohannes van Heerden Lock (1986-12-09) 9 December 1986 (age 30) 24 Romania Baia Mare
Gorcioaia, AndreiAndrei Gorcioaia Flanker (1987-11-30) 30 November 1987 (age 29) 20 France Massy
Lucaci, ViorelViorel Lucaci Flanker (1986-08-29) 29 August 1986 (age 30) 64 Romania Steaua Bucureşti
Macovei, MihaiMihai Macovei Flanker (1986-10-29) 29 October 1986 (age 30) 75 France Colomiers
Nistor, VladVlad Nistor Number 8 (1994-03-26) 26 March 1994 (age 23) 22 France Albi
Bratu, TudorelTudorel Bratu Scrum-half (1991-04-23) 23 April 1991 (age 26) 8 Romania Dinamo București
Surugiu, FlorinFlorin Surugiu Scrum-half (1984-12-10) 10 December 1984 (age 32) 63 Romania Steaua Bucureşti
Samoa, LukeLuke Samoa Fly-half (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 (age 29) 5 Romania Baia Mare
Vlaicu, FlorinFlorin Vlaicu Fly-half (1986-07-26) 26 July 1986 (age 30) 104 Romania Steaua București
Faka'osilea, SioneSione Faka'osilea Centre (1987-10-13) 13 October 1987 (age 29) 6 Romania Baia Mare
Kinikinilau, PaulaPaula Kinikinilau Centre (1986-08-30) 30 August 1986 (age 30) 14 Romania CSM Bucureşti
Popa, FlorinFlorin Popa Centre (1996-03-27) 27 March 1996 (age 21) 3 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Umaga, JackJack Umaga Centre (1984-06-18) 18 June 1984 (age 33) 11 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Cobden, JackJack Cobden Wing (1989-04-26) 26 April 1989 (age 28) 3 Romania CSM Bucureşti
Dumitru, IonuțIonuț Dumitru Wing (1992-11-06) 6 November 1992 (age 24) 26 Romania Steaua Bucureşti
Fonovai, TangimanaTangimana Fonovai Wing (1989-10-25) 25 October 1989 (age 27) 6 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Simionescu, MariusMarius Simionescu Fullback (1997-09-05) 5 September 1997 (age 19) 2 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Strătilă, SabinSabin Strătilă Fullback (1995-03-27) 27 March 1995 (age 22) 4 Romania Steaua Bucureşti

Notable players[edit]

Romania's current top point scorer of all time Florin Vlaicu.

The 1924 Romania Olympic team are the only Romanian inductee to have been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. Nicolae Mărăscu captained the famously Hall of Fame side. The highest point of Mărăscu's career was at the 1924 tournament earning Romanaia the Bronze medal. He played as a centre and had five caps, without ever scoring, since his first match, in 1919, a 48–5 loss to France, in Paris, for the Inter-Allied Games, and his last, at 22 May 1927, in a 21–5 win over Czechoslovakia, in Bratislava.

Iulian Dumitraș was Romania's main man. Dumitraș was known to be one of the Oaks' most gifted playmakers, with an accurate kicking boot and a penchant for sparking attacks. Having made his test debut in 2002, he went on to start in every match a Rugby World Cup 2007 in France, bringing plenty of experience to the nation. The then standing 1.88m and weighing in a 110 kg, Dumitraș was a punishing runner when he chimes into the line on attack, which he looked to do often, and he provided a solid and dependable last obstacle in defence.

Sorin Socol is regarded by many good judges as the then best player in the current squad and was one of the rocks of the Romanian forward pack. He has captained the most matches to date for Romania, between 2003 and 2011. A total of 61 tests, 36 of them were as captain. He captained Romania for the first time on 30 October 2003 during the 2003 Rugby World Cup match against Namibia. He went on and featured in the 2007 World Cup squad and eventually retired from all international rugby after the 2011 tournament. Socol had one of Romania's highest winning percentage as a captain of 63.88.

Florin Vlaicu is Romania's top ever point scorer. Vlaicu plays made his international debut in 2006 as a substitute against Ukraine. He played for Romania in the IRB Nations Cup and in their 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifying before appearing for them in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He played two Tests at the World Cup as a substitute against both Scotland and the All Blacks. He also played at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Cristian Petre is Romania's most recognized player after dominating the lock position for eleven years. He is Romania's most capped player with a total of 92 matches and a career span that started in 2001 against England and ended in 2012 against Italy. Petre has featured in three Rugby World Cups, first in 2003, going on to feature in 2007 and his last being in 2011. Petre has scored a total of six tries and had winning percentage of 55.43.

Cătălin Fercu is generally regarded as one of Romania's true global superstar of rugby union. Fercu is one of Romania's top try scorers. He had quickly made appearances on the international stage at a very young age and played against France and Scotland in the Autumn internationals in 2006. He also scored a try against the French. Fercu helped guide Romania to the 2007 Rugby World Cup as he played in the qualifier matches including the vital games against Georgia and Spain and scored a try against Spain in the game that sealed their qualification to the Rugby World Cup. Fercu was a late withdrawal from their Rugby World Cup squad in 2011 because he was not prepared to fly all the way to New Zealand. The Romanian side arrived in Christchurch to prepare for their first game of the tournament against Scotland in Invercargill on 10 September without Fercu, who failed to get on the plane when it left Romania.

Another one of the Oaks greatest players are Romeo Gontineac, represented Romania in four Rugby World Cups from 1995 to 2007. The hard running centre, who became the national coach in 2010, was capped 75 times for the nation, scoring 13 tries and a drop goal. During his career he played professionally in Romania, South Africa and France.

Members of the 1924 Olympics team[edit]

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# Player Position Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Won Lost Draw %
1 Florin Vlaicu Fly-half 2006– 101 82 19 814 11 64 34 3 64.85
2 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005– 98 96 2 164 32 68 27 3 70.91
3 Valentin Calafeteanu Scrum-half 2004– 92 51 41 217 11 57 33 2 63.04
Cristian Petre Lock 2001–12 92 83 9 30 6 50 40 2 55.43
5 Csaba Gál Centre 2005–15 88 65 23 22 4 49 37 2 56.81
6 Romeo Gontineac Centre 1995–08 76 75 1 68 13 35 41 0 46.05
Adrian Lungu Centre 1980–95 76 75 1 12 3 40 36 0 52.63
Lucian Sîrbu Scrum-half 1996–11 76 62 14 45 9 40 34 2 53.94
9 Paulică Ion Prop 2003–15 74 52 22 5 1 36 36 2 50.00
10 Dănuț Dumbravă Fly-half 2002–15 73 57 16 389 3 47 25 1 65.06
Ovidiu Tonita Number 8 2000–16 73 67 6 75 15 38 33 2 53.42

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[15]

Most tries[edit]

# Player Position Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005– 98 96 2 164 32 0 1 0
2 Gabriel Brezoianu Centre 1996–2007 71 67 4 142 28 1 0 0
3 Ovidiu Tonita Number 8 2000–2016 73 67 6 75 15 0 0 0
Mihai Macovei Flanker 2006– 72 62 10 75 15 0 0 0
5 Petre Mitu Scrum-half 1996–2009 41 36 5 331 14 54 51 0
Cristian Sauan Wing 1999–2007 37 32 5 70 14 0 0 0
Marius Tincu Hooker 2002–2012 53 49 4 70 14 0 0 0
8 Ionut Dimofte Fly-half 2004–2013 65 55 10 95 13 3 8 0
Romeo Gontineac Centre 1995–2008 76 75 1 68 13 0 0 1
Gheorghe Solomie Wing 1992–2001 50 49 1 65 13 0 0 0
Ion Teodorescu Wing 2001–2007 39 34 5 65 13 0 0 0

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[16]

Most points[edit]

# Player Position Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1 Florin Vlaicu Fly-half 2006– 102 82 19 814 11 140 158 4
2 Dănuţ Dumbravă Fly-half 2002–2015 73 57 16 389 3 73 74 2
3 Petre Mitu Scrum-half 1996–2009 41 36 5 331 14 54 51 0
4 Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 1997–2007 60 40 20 316 12 53 46 4
5 Valentin Calafeteanu Scrum-half 2004– 92 51 41 217 11 27 35 1
6 Neculai Nichitean Fly-half 1990–1997 28 25 3 201 0 18 45 10
7 Cătălin Fercu Fullback 2005– 98 96 2 165 32 0 1 0
8 Gabriel Brezoianu Centre 1996–2007 71 67 4 142 28 1 0 0
9 Gelu Ignat Fly-half 1986–1992 25 24 1 137 1 14 29 6
10 Dumitru Alexandru Fly-half 1974–1990 47 45 2 110 3 4 22 8

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[17]

Most points in a match[edit]

# Player Position Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1 Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 32 2 8 2 0  Spain Romania Iași 05/10/2002
2 Virgil Popisteanu Fly-half 27 0 12 1 0  Portugal Romania Bucharest 13/04/1996
Petre Mitu Scrum-half 27 1 2 6 0  Portugal Portugal Lisbon 04/02/2001
4 Ionel Rotaru Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Portugal Romania Bucharest 13/04/1996
5 Florin Vlaicu Fullback 24 1 8 0 1  Czech Republic Romania Bucharest 22/03/2008
Florin Vlaicu Centre 24 1 2 5 0  Russia Romania Bucharest 09/02/2013
7 Gelu Ignat Fly-half 22 0 5 4 0  Netherlands Italy Treviso 30/09/1990
Petre Mitu Scrum-half 22 1 4 3 0  Russia Romania Bârlad 18/03/2001
Ionuţ Tofan Fly-half 22 1 1 5 0  Russia Russia Krasnodar 24/03/2002
10 5 players on 21 points

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[18]

Most tries in a match[edit]

# Player Position Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1 Gheorgie Rascanu Flanker 20 5 0 0 0  Morocco Romania Bucharest 02/05/1972
Cornel Popescu Wing 20 5 0 0 0  Portugal Romania Bârlad 18/10/1986
Ionel Rotaru Wing 25 5 0 0 0  Portugal Romania Bucharest 13/04/1996
4 Petre Motrescu Wing 16 4 0 0 0  Italy Romania Bucharest 01/05/1977
Gheorghe Solomie Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Belgium Belgium Brussels 04/10/1997
Lucian Colceriu Wing 20 4 0 0 0  Poland Romania Bucharest 02/05/1998
7 8 players on 3 tries

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[19]

Most matches as captain[edit]

# Player Position Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1 Mihai Macovei Flanker 2012– 39 27 11 1 70.51 65 13 0 0 0
1 Sorin Socol Lock 2001–2011 36 22 12 2 63.88 25 5 0 0 0
3 Mircea Paraschiv Scrum-half 1980–1987 18 7 10 1 41.66 16 4 0 0 0
4 Stelian Burcea Flanker 2009–2016 15 11 4 0 73.33 5 1 0 0 0
5 Haralambie Dumitras Number 8 1989–1993 14 5 9 0 35.71 20 5 0 0 0
Romeo Gontineac Centre 1999–2003 14 4 10 0 28.57 10 2 0 0 0
7 Tiberiu Brînză Number 8 1994–1997 13 1 12 0 7.69 5 1 0 0 0
8 Marius Tincu Hooker 2007–2012 10 5 5 0 50.00 0 0 0 0 0
9 Costica Mersoiu Number 8 2007–2008 8 4 4 0 50.00 5 1 0 0 0
10 Alin Petrache Number 8 1999–2004 7 3 4 0 42.85 0 0 0 0 0

Last updated: Romania vs Georgia, March 19, 2017. Statistics include officially capped matches only.[20]

Notable clubs[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

Romania's Rugby Europe Championship matches, mid year tests and autumn internationals are currently televised by Dolce Sport.

Kit suppliers[edit]

Between 2007 and 2011, Romania's kit were supplied by O'Neills. KooGa took over from there and have remained Romania's kit suppliers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]