Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rugby Test: Sweden v Latvia

Sweden v Latvia in Vanesborg (WCQ Europe R 3; ENC 2B)

Venue: Gymnasieplanen, Vänersborg, Sweden
Kick-off: 14.00 local time
Referee: M.Michalik (Poland)

Neither team has played a competition game yet this season. This game, and the Croatia v Malta match are the first ones in the ENC 2B competition this season.

Sweden gained promotion from ENC 3A at the end of last season. This will be their first game at this new level. Sweden won its way into this level in 2000-01 but soon dropped away with poor form including the 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifiers of 2004-05. Entering ENC 3A in 2005-06 Sweden began to climb again eventually winning its way into the Second Division of Europe.

Latvia came second in this division behind Poland after the 2007-08 season. Latvia's form has been very much up and down over the last few seasons. After being promoted from ENC 3A in 2005-06 they have not been able to proceed losing twice heavily to eventual winners Poland.

Previous Encounters
22.10.2005 Latvia 18-5 in Riga (ENC 3A)
23.10.2004 Sweden 20-18 in Valmeria (WCQ Europe R2, Pool C)
06.10.2001 Sweden 37-12 in Stockholm (FIRA/WCQ Europe R2, Pool B)
09.06.2001 Sweden 17-10 in Stockholm (WCQ Europe R1, FIRA Pool 2)
17.10.1998 Latvia 18-13 in Riga (FIRA Pool A)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-Latvia 19th, Sweden 22nd

Prediction: Sweden by 2 points.


Sweden Squad
Thomas Arvidsson (Fredriksberg RK, Denmark)
Tobias Borg (Linköping RK)
Andreas Bruhn (Göteborg RF)
Fredrik Casselhag (Hammarby IF Rugby)
Niklas Ekdahl (Göteborg RF)
Linus Hector (Vänersborg RK)
Richard Johansson (Hammarby IF Rugby)
Timothy Johansson (Enköping RK)
Shane Kakau (Spartacus RFC)
Alan Letele (Göteborg RF)
Eirik Lundqvist, Capt. (Enköping RK)
Magnus MacDonald (London Scottish, England)
Paul Matthews (Göteborg RF)
Robert Nave (Enköping RK)
Richard Okpu (Stockholm Exiles RFC)
Andreas Persson (Pingvin RC)
John Pettersson (Enköping RK)
Viktor Pettersson (Enköping RK)
Denis Tärnblom (Enköping RK)
Michael Tatu (Vänersborg RK)
Alexander Taylor (Nuneaton RFC, England)
Mathias Thorhard (Hammarby IF Rugby)
Erik Trogen (Enköping RK)
Olof Wadell (Enköping RK)
Head Coach: Kanogo Njuru
Douglas Lidberg (Göteborg RF) Home reserve
Eshan Fadaker (Göteborg RF) Home reserve

For a complete list of all Sweden's international rugby results go to

Latvia Squad
Sergejs Avdejes (SK Ovals)
Daniels Bakirovs (SK Ovals)
Sandis Barks *
Dmitrijs Bondarenko
Leno Bramanis (RK Miesnieki)
Maris Ceksters (RK 1964)
Guntis Cirsa (RC 1964)
Edgars Cirulius (RK Miesnieki)
Kristaps Jakuss *
Ruslans Kotlevs (LMT RC EŽI)
Marcis Kreicbergs (RK Miesnieki)
Mareks Larionovs (LMT RC EŽI)
Edgars Lobanovs (LMT RC EŽI)
Andrejs Melnikovs (RK 1964)
Antons Oseledko (SK Ovals)
Reinis Pepa (LMT RC EŽI)
Arvis Pilenieks *
Valters Rankis (RK Miesnieki)
Viktors Silvoniks (RK Miesnieki)
Vilmars Sokolovs (Capt) (RK Miesnieki)
Vjaceslavs Tisko (SK Ovals)
Kaspars Zarinovs *
Uldins Zeltins *
Head coach: Vladimirs Nikonovs
* Possible new caps
No sign of Russian-based players.

For a complete list of all Latvia's international rugby results go to

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