Rugby union in Moldova
|Rugby union in Moldova|
|Governing body||Moldovan Rugby Federation|
|First played||Mid 20th century|
|Registered players||2,500 |
Rugby union in Moldova is a popular sport. The governing body in Moldova is the Moldovan Rugby Federation (Federatia de Rugby din Moldovei).
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.
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.
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