Romania's national rugby team will again take part in the World Cup. The Oaks managed to qualify directly to the world event after Spain was disqualified last week for using an ineligible player in two preliminary games of Rugby Europe Championship. Originally, Spain had ranked 2nd in the aggregate standings of the two continental competitions, which ensured its direct qualification to the World Cup. Romania, which at the time was ranked 3rd and was due to play playoff matches to reach the World Cup in France, thus replaced Spain, while Portugal will now play in the playoffs, after previously ranking 4th in Rugby Europe Championship.
This will be Romania's ninth participation in the World Cup, which has now reached its 10th edition. Romania failed to qualify only once before, in 2019, also for using an ineligible player, Sione Faka'osilea, who had previously played for Tonga. During its participation in the eight editions of the World Cup, Romania didn't manage to advance past the group phase. In six editions, Romania won one match. In 1987, it defeated Zimbabwe, in 1991 it defeated Fiji, in 1999 the United States, then, four years later, it defeated Namibia. In 2007, Romania defeated Portugal and in 2015 it won against Canada.
At the World Cup in France in 2023, Romania has been drawn in a group alongside South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and a team from the Asia/Pacific area, most likely Tonga. Matches will be played in September. On September 9, the Oaks will first play Ireland in Bordeaux. Then, on September 17, Romania will take on the defending world champions, South Africa. Romania will play Scotland on September 30 in Lille, a city that will also host Romania's final match at the World Cup, scheduled for October 8 against the team from the Asia/Pacific area. (VP)