Romania’s national rugby team will be facing this coming Sunday the Georgian team in Tbilisi. The fixture counts as the last match on the 2018 Rugby Europe International Championship. Of the 28-strong pool of regulars, most of the national rugby squad’s players, namely 8, come from champion team Timişoara Saracens. Only 4 others play abroad. Three of them are signed up by French teams: Mihăiţă Lazăr plays for Castres, Adrian Motoc for Racing 92 and Răzvan Ilişescu plays for Blagnac. Another Romanian, Alexandru Ţăruş, is signed up by Sale Sharks in England.
This past Saturday, in a match on the Buzau stadium, Romania trounced Belgium, 62-12. After the game, the entire technical staff of “The Oaks” handed in their resignations, head coach Lynn Howells included. The Welsh manager Lynn Howells took responsibility for the national team’s failing to meet their set objective, namely the straight qualification to the 2019 edition of the World Cup in Japan.
Romania sustained two defeats in the 2017 – 2018 edition of the Rugby Europe International Championship. In 2017, in a fixture hosted by the German locality of Offenbach, Romania was outclassed by Germany, 38-41. In Madrid in February 2018, Romania was defeated by the Spanish national team, 10-22. The latter defeat practically denied Romania any possibility to secure a straight qualification to the World Cup.
According to the Romanian Rugby Federation, since February 2012, when the Welsh Lynn Howells became manager of the national team, The Oaks have played 70 matches, of which they won 48, succeeded a draw and sustained 21 defeats. Romania won the European title once, won four titles in the World Rugby Nations Cup and participated in the World Rugby Cup in England, in 2015, where “The Oaks” secured a 17-15 win against Canada, a match in which the Romanians provided the most vigorous comeback in the history of the competition.
We should also note that a record number of fans, namely 89, 267 viewed Romania’s match against Ireland, a fixture the Romanian team lost. In the table as-it-stands, Romania is 17th placed according to international rankings. In 2017, Romania was ranked 15th according to the same classification.