Saturday, February 6, 2010


Spain v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Venue: Stadium Arcul de Triumf

At the halfway stage of this competition it looks like Spain and Germany will battle to avoid relegation. Their clash on the 20th of March could well be the decider. Spain will want to take advantage of a poor Romanian season so far and win this match, thus moving a little away from the relegation zone.

Romania has continued with its old policy of including France-based players when selecting the national side. Many old hands are back in business. Romania struggled in June during the IRB Nations Cup, even with many of its France-based players selected. Their 19-24 defeat by Italy 'A' was a close game but their 6-33 loss to the same team in November was of particular concern. Teams from ENC 1 would gauge their development by the results of matches against any Italian team. This is due to Italy's place in the 6 Nations-usually at the bottom of the table.

This slide in form by Romania has not lifted the spirit of Bucharesti fans, especially as they need to fire since losing their top ENC spot to Russia and Georgia during Round 1. In fact at this stage, Romania are is gross danger of losing their place at a Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1987. A good win on Saturday is vital.

Spain has continued to struggle below the top teams in this competition, Georgia, Russia and Romania. In the first round they could only defeat Germany. I note that more Spanish players are plying their trade with French clubs. Like Romania and Georgia, this may have to be the pathway for Spanish progress.

If Spain is going to have a chance to bump the Romanians this will be it. Spain will want to cash in on poor recent Romanian form. It will be tough.

Snow is forecast for this game on Saturday. Heavy falls during the week prompted all available hands to shift the snow including the Romania Rugby president, Alin Petrache

2010.02.00 Snow in Bucharest
Heavy snow fell in Bucharest during the week. Image thanks to

Last Five Encounters
07.02.2009 Romania 19-10 in Madrid (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
23.02.2008 Romania 17-11 in Madrid (ENC 1)
10.03.2007 Romania 50-14 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
14.10.2006 Romania 43-20 in Madrid (WCQ Europe R5, Pool B)
06.03.2004 Romania 50-10 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
Spain last defeated Romania in 1992. In Madrid they won 6-0.

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Romania 10th, Spain 11th

Prediction: A tough uncompromising clash. It will be close but Romania to win by 7 points.



Romania Squad

Cezar Popescu (Saint Medard en Jalles, France)
Dragos Dima (FC Oloronais, France)
Silviu Florea (US Montauban, France)
Paulica Ion (London Irish, England)
Mihai Lazar (Saint Etienne Caserugby, France)
Marius Tincu (Perpignan, France)
Andrei Radoi (CSM Baia Mare)
Socol Sorin (FC Oloronais, France)
Augustin Petrichei (UR Marmande Castaeljaloux, France)
Cristian Petre (AS Beziers, France)
Valentin Ursache (CSM Baia Mare)
Stelian Burcea (CSU Arad)
Daniel Carpo (RCJ Constanta Farul)
Mihai Macovei (CSM Baia Mare)
Ovidiu Tonita (Perpignan, France)
Alexandru Manta (Lyon, France)
Sergiu Ursache (Casino di Venezia, Italy)

Lucian Sirbu (Somillau, France)
Valentin Calafeteanu (CSU Arad)
Iulian Dumitras (Albi, France)
Daniel Dumbrava (CSA Steaua Bucuresti)
Ionut Dimofte (CSM Baia Mare)
Csaba Gal (CSM Baia Mare)
Robert Dascalu (CSA Steaua Bucuresti)
Constantin Gheara (RCJ Constanta Farul)
Ionel Cazan (CSA Steaua Bucuresti)
Catalin Fercu (CSU Arad)
Stefan Ciuntu (CSM Baia Mare)
Catalin Nicolae (RCJ Constanta Farul)
Florin Vlaicu (CSA Steaua Bucuresti)
Ionut Botezatu (CSM Baia Mare)
Head Coach:


Spain Squad

Martin Aceña (CR La Vila)
José-Maria Bohorquez (Ciencias Sevilla)
Rafael Camacho (Ciencias Sevilla)
Mathieu Cidre (US Carcassonne, France)
Matthew Cook (CR La Vila)
Damien Elgohyen (St Jean de Luz Olympique, France)
Leandro Fernandez-Aramburu (Ciencias Sevilla)
David Gurgenadze (CRC Madrid)
Jesus Moreno (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, France)
Alejandro Onega (CRC Madrid)
Marco Pinto (ASM Clermont Espoirs, France)
Jesus Recuerda (Ciencias Sevilla)
Sergio Souto (Cetransa El Salvador)
Julien Tourtoulou (US Colomiers, France)

Pablo Feijoo (CRC Madrid)
Mathieu Lopez (Stade Montois, France)
Cesar Sempere (Montpellier HRC, France)
Mathieu Gratton (SC Graulhet, France)
Martin Heredia (Costa del Sol RC)
Benjamin Pardo (Valladolid RAC)
Jaime Nava (Alcombendas Rugby)
Javier Canosa (CRC Madrid)
Pedro Martin (Aviron Bayonnais Espoirs, France)
Ignacio Martin (Overmarch Parma, Italy)
Head Coach:

For a complete list of all international test rugby results for Romania and Spain, go to

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