Not much is expected from Romania at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Sadly the eastern Europeans have largely been left behind in the professional era. To their credit, the Romanians have been present at every World Cup to date although they have yet to progress beyond the pool stages. In England, The Oaks will be in Pool D alongside Ireland, France, Italy and Canada.
In the last decade Georgia has actually overtaken Romania as the top side in the region but there is still pride to play for. A cup is contested by the senior national teams of both countries when facing each other outside of the World Cup and qualifiers. Currently captained by Mihai Macovei and coached by Lynn Howells, the Romanians’ most capped player is Cristian Petre with 92 appearances. Florin Vlaicu leads the scoring charts with 554 points while Gabriel Brezoiamu and Catalin Fercu are joint-leading try scorers with 28 each.
They have won the European Nations Cup nine times and have been runners-up 14 times. They have defeated Georgia five times for the Antim Cup and have lifted the IRB/World Rugby Nations Cup twice – in 2012 and successfully defending it the following year. They are currently ranked 17th on the World Rugby charts but have never been higher than 13th.
The Oaks played their first international match against the USA in 1919. They lost the fixture 21-0. Their largest win came against Bulgaria in 1976 with the scoreboard at 100-0. Their heaviest defeat came against England in 2001 with the Roses inflicting a 134-0 scoreline. They will be hoping to repeat the former rather than the latter at this World Cup and add to their five World Cup victories.
At the World cup they will start against France on the 23rd of September.
Romania RWC 2015 squad:
Forwards: Paulica Ion, Mihaita Lazar, Andrei Ursache, Alexandru Tarus, Horatiu Pungea, Andrei Radoi, Otar Turashvili, Eugen Capatana, Valentin Popirlan, Johannes van Heerden, Marius Antonescu, Valentin Ursache, Mihai Macovei, Viorel Lucaci, Stelian Burcea, Ovidiu Tonita, Daniel Carpo.
Backs: Florin Surugiu, Valentin Calafeteanu, Tudorel Bratu, Danut Dumbrava, Michael Wiringi, Paula Kinikilau, Florin Vlaicu, Csaba Gal, Adrian Apostol, Ionut Botezatu, Florin Ionita, Madalin Lemnaru, Catalin Fercu, Sabin Stratila.