Sunday, March 28, 2010

TEST RUGBY RESULTS: Saturday 27 March

Romania 48, Spain 3 in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Cyprus 15, Bosnia Herzegovina 0 in Paphos (ENC 3D)

Romania proved too strong for Spain. The Romanians blew away my theory that they would be tired and non motivated. The Romanians are certainly one of the form teams in European rugby. They have remained undefeated during the second round of ENC 1 and look a good prospect to sweep all before them in the repecharge playoffs for the final Rugby World Cup Finals berth.

Cyprus will play in ENC 3C for 2010-12. They defeated Bosnia Herzegovina today to earn promotion. The disappointed Bosnians will remain in 3D.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


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

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Venue: Stadionul Arcul de Triumf

The Spain-Romania test match is a catch up game that was postponed from February 6 due to a snow covered pitch. Nothing is hinging on this game. Romania only need the point for turning up to move past Portugal and take the vital third place in ENC 1. Romania will then wait 'till May for the result of the Ukraine-Lithuania match, the Playoff for 1st ENC 2A v Best-of-The-rest. Contrary to what I wrote on Friday's post, Romania will play the winner of that match to decide who will play the other repechage team (Asia 2 v Uruguay) later in the year.

Romania's biggest hurdle will be motivation. Having already qualified for the repechages they could be caught off guard by a Spanish side seeking to win two in a row.

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 7th, Spain 11th

Prediction: Romania, struggling, by 8 points.



15 Pedro Martin (Aviron Bayonnais, France)
14 Benjamín Pardo (Vrac Quesos Entrepinares)
13 Juan Cano (CRC Madrid)
12 Javier Canosa (CRC Madrid)
11 Ignacio Martín (Parma R.C., Italy)
10 Manuel Mazo (CR Ciencias)
9 Hernán Quirelli (CR La Vila)
8 Matthew Cook (C.R. La Vila)
7 Federico Negrillo (Bera Bera R.T)
6 Rafael Camacho (CR Ciencias)
5 Jesús Recuerda (CR Ciencias)
4 Leandro Fernandez.-Aramburu, Capt. (CR Ciencias)
3 Jesús Moreno (Bourdeaux Begles, France)
2 José Mª.Bohorquez (CR Ciencias)
1 Anthony Pradalie (Perigueux, France)
16 Marco Pinto (ASM Clermont Auvergne, France)
17 David Gurgenadze (CRC Madrid)
18 César Bernasconi (CRC Madrid)
19 Carlos Souto (CR El Salvador)
20 Sale Ibarra (CR El Salvador)
21 Iván Criado (CR El Salvador)
22 Ignacio Gutiérrez (Vrac Quesos Entrepinares)
Head Coach: Geoff Glynn

Adapted from


15. Florin Vlaicu (Steaua Bucuresti)
14. Catalin Fercu (CSU Arad)
13. Ionut Dimofte (Baia Mare)
12. Robert Dascalu (Steaua Bucuresti)
11. Stefan Ciuntu (Baia Mare)
10. Iulian Dumitras (Albi, France)
9. Lucian Sarbu (Somillau, France)
8. Daniel Carpo (Farul Constanta)
7. Mihai Macovei (Baia Mare)
6. Viorel Lucaci (Steaua Bucuresti)
5. Cristian Petre (AS Beziers, France)
4. Sorin Socol, Capt. (FC Oloronais, France)
3. Dragos Dima (FC Oloronais, France)
2. Bogdan Zebega (Steaua Bucuresti)
1. Cezar Popescu (Saint Medard en Jalles, France)
16. Andrei Radoi (Baia Mare)
17. Mihaita Lazar (Saint Etienne, France)
18. Valentin Ursache (Baia Mare)
19. Cosmin Ratiu (Dinamo Bucuresti)
20. Valentin Ivan (Dinamo Bucuresti)
21. Danut Dumbrava (Steaua Bucuresti)
22. Csaba Gal (Baia Mare)
Head Coach: Serge Lairle

Adapted from

TEST RUGBY SHOWDOWN: Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina

Bosnia Herzegovina v Cyprus in Paphos (ENC 3D)

Referee: Psaromatis (Greece)

Venue: Paphiako Stadium

Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina will play for the ENC 3D title to determine who will be promoted to ENC 3C for 2010-12. Bosnia Herzegovina were relegated from 3C at the end of the 2008-10 ENC series and will be determined to regain their place. They firstly have to overcome a Cyprus team new to international rugby. Cyprus won the away encounter 8-6, in Zenica back in March 2009, and thus have a 2 point, 1 try advantage over their opponents. That has been the only encounter between these two teams.

2010.03.27 Bosnia and Herzegovina v Cyprus1[1]
Bosnia Herzegovina team that will travel to Cyprus. Image thanks to

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Cyprus 38, Bosnia Herzegovina 39th

Prediction: A close game but Cyprus to prevail by 7 points

2009.03.21 Cyprus v Bosnia Herzegovina
Action from the first game, played in the snow and cold, in Zenica, March last year. Image thanks to



Cyprus Squad
George Agathocleous (Paphos Tigers)
Robert Brown (Moseley Colts, England)
Constantinos Constantinides (Chesham Rugby, England)
Fidias Efthymiou (Paphos Tigers)
Stephan Eleftheriou (Woodford RC, England)
Marcus Holden (Caldy, England)
Christo Kasabi (Saracens Amateurs, England)
Phillipos Kyriacou (Richmond, England)
Matthew Lowe (Paphos Tigers)
Daniel McFarlane (Paphos Tigers)
Lawrence Macrides Chingford RC, England)
Dimitri Maratheftis (Paphos Tigers)
Dino Markou (Solihull RC, England)
Marko Mladenovic (Limassol Crusaders)
Vladlimiri Muhaylon (Paphos Tigers)
Colm O'Cleirgh (Bective Rangers, Ireland)
Luke Steven Panayiotou Peters (North Shore RFC, New Zealand)
Alun Pugh (Paphos Tigers)
George Stylianou (Limassol Crusaders)
Christo Thoma (Paphos Tigers)
Tony Thoma, Capt (Paphos Tigers)
Daniel Thrasivoulou (Derby, England)
Burhan Torgut (Moseley Colts, England)
Andrew Spring (Limassol Crusaders)
Kyriacos Vatikiotis (Manchester, England)
Andreas Zacharia (Lincoln University, England)
Head Coach: Paul Shanks

Adapted from, being noted as the squad from v Monaco on.


Bosnia Herzegovina
Ajanović Semir, Ajkunić Jasmin, Bašić Adis, Bešo Latif, Durgut Dženan, Džanić Damir, Glavaš Sinan, Glavaš Selmir, Kapić Albin, Keserović Danijel, Mujić Amir, Mušinović Ermin, Pojskić Edin, Razić Damir, Selimbegović Nermin, Selimspahić Adis, Sinanović Aldijan, Subašić Sabahudin, Šepić Nermin, Šestić Kemal, Tufekčić Sedad, Turčinović Senad & Vidović Željko.
Head Coach: Safet Čerim

Friday, March 26, 2010


Spain v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Cyprus v Bosnia Herzegovina in Paphos (ENC 3D)

The Spain-Romania test match is a catch up game that was postponed from February 6 due to a snow covered pitch. Nothing is hinging on this game. Romania only need the point for turning up to move past Portugal and take the vital third place in ENC 1. Romania will then wait 'till May for the result of the Ukraine-Lithuania match, the Playoff for 1st ENC 2A v Best-of-The-rest. Romania will play the winner of that match to decide the third European team at the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals.

Perhaps Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina are not in the top European bracket of international rugby. No matter. They will play for the ENC 3D title to determine who will be promoted to ENC 3C for 2010-12. Bosnia Herzegovina were relegated from 3C at the end of the 2008-10 ENC series and will be determined to regain their place. They firstly have to overcome a Cyprus team new to international rugby. Cyprus won the away encounter 8-6 and thus have a 2 point, 1 try advantage over their opponents. Of the two matches this is the more interesting game.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

RUGBY TEST RESULTS: At A Glance, for Saturday 20 March

France 12, England 10 in Paris (6 Nations)
Scotland 23, Ireland 20 in Dublin (6 Nations)
Wales 33, Italy 10 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
Spain 21, Germany 17 in Heidelberg (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Georgia 36, Russia 8 in Trabzon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Romania 20, Portugal 9 in Lisbon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)

France hung on against a determined, fired up English side to take the Grand Slam. Just hours before Scotland upset Ireland and guaranteed the French the title. Wales defeated Italy 33-10 to end the 2010 Six Nations International Championship.

Georgia gave Russia a good hiding 36-8 in Trabzon, Turkey, spoiling the Russians' World Cup qualifying celebrations. Both Georgia and Russia automatically qualify for the finals. Romania virtually secured the vital third place in ENC 1 to play the winner of the Ukraine-Lithuania game coming up soon, to determine the Europe 3 place. They defeated Portugal 20-9.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TEST RUGBY THIS WEEKEND: 6 Nations, World Cup Qualifying

France v England in Paris (6 Nations)
Ireland v Scotland in Dublin (6 Nations)
Wales v Italy in Cardiff (6 Nations)
Germany v Spain in Heidelberg (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Georgia v Russia in Trabzon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Portugal v Romania in Lisbon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)

Briefly (I'll be committed elsewhere Friday-Saturday and may not be able to provide full previews-teams, data etc)
Only England stands in the way of the French marching to a Grand Slam. The Grand Slam is where one team defeats all other teams in this competition. France will win the competition even if England wins in Paris. It's just a question of the Grand Slam. England can only be described as plodders compared to the French, especially in the try scoring table. For France the winning of the championship title wont be the same unless they win the Grand Slam. For England only a convincing win will win over the England media and fans who have just about had enough of England's solid but pedestrian performances. What's happened to that English flare?

Ireland will want to finish a disappointing season with a win, and a good win. Scotland could do with an upset win to lift them off the bottom of the table. At the moment they have a firm grip on the Wooden Spoon.

Italy has nothing to lose in Cardiff. The Welsh are down after their big loss to Ireland last weekend. This will be Italy's chance to win two games in a row in a 6 Nations Championship, something they haven't done before. I feel sorry for Wales. This is the team, France apart, who has displayed real flare and initiative, even for only half of each match. They haven't been able to put that ability into points. Sadly results count not how the game is played. Goes well against my personal rugby ethos. It's better to lose with flare rather than just lose. Sadly our rugby is all about winning now, at all costs.

The big clash in the European Nations Cup is that between Georgia and Russia. Played at a neutral venue (Turkey) this game will be the one both have been waiting for. Both teams share top spot on the points table. Both teams have faulted recently. Russia was pinned down to a 21-21 draw with Romania a few weeks ago and then the Romanians upset an off-beat Georgian side last weekend. Georgia's 8 point win against Russia this time last year gives them a slight advantage. This means Russia must win by 9 or more points to take the table lead. As far as the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals are concerned the result matters not. Both teams have qualified. This is to decide the 2009-10 winner of the Cup. And of course pride.

Further down the ladder Germany is fighting for survival, a fight I fear they're most likely to lose. The scenarios has been outlined by FIRA-AER forum member 'Occams Stubble' at

'So the relegation situation is:
Germany loses, draws, or wins by 10 or fewer points - Germany relegated
Germany wins by 11, Spain scores more tries - Germany relegated
Germany wins by 11, equal tries, Romania fails to defeat Spain by at least 259* - Germany relegated
Germany wins by 11, scores more tries, Romania fails to defeat Spain - Germany relegated
Germany wins by 12 or more, Romania fails to defeat Spain - Germany relegated
Germany wins by 11, scores more tries, Romania defeats Spain - Spain relegated
Germany wins by 12, Romania defeats Spain - Spain relegated'

Spain performed well enough up 'till the game against Portugal. Spain won by 11 against Germany last year in Madrid and may well find the going tough against a German side that looks stronger than the one that faced Russia.

Romania now looks like the team that could gain the vital third place in this competition. Third place will give the Romanians a back-door chance of qualifying for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This is the first time the Romanians have had to fight for a place in the finals.

Portugal holds a one point aggregate advantage over the Romanians but recently the Romanians have come home with a charge. Firstly a 21-21 draw with Russia made us sit up and then last week they defeated Georgia 22-10. The Romanians also have a game in hand, against Spain, which one would expect them to win. Suddenly Portugal's chances of making the finals look slim.

So my pre match predictions are..

France by 14 v England and gains the Grand Slam.
Ireland by 14 v Scotland, and hands the Wooden Spoon to the Scots.
Wales by 28 v Italy, finally winning with all that flare.
Georgia by 3 v Russia to take the ENC title.
Romania by 12 v Portugal, moving into third place.
Spain by 22 v Germany, sending the Germans into ENC 2A for 2010-12.

If you want to join an excellent tipping competition, try

Monday, March 15, 2010


France 46, Italy 20 in Paris (6 Nations)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TEST RUGBY RESULTS: Saturday 13 March

Ireland 27, Wales 12 in Dublin (6 Nations)
England 15, Scotland 15 at Murrayfield (6 Nations;Calcutta Cup-Retained by England)
Romania 22, Georgia 10 in Bucharest(WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1; Antim Cup-Won by Romania)
Portugal 33, Spain 15 in Madrid (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Russia 48, Germany 11 in Sochi (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Greece 17, Luxembourg 9 in Athens (ENC 3C)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

6 NATIONS RUGBY: Wales in Ireland

Wales v Ireland in Dublin (6 Nations)

Venue: Croke Park

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

In recent years the clashes between these two nations has been dramatic. Last year Ireland scored a last minute try to win the game 17-15 and take the Grand Slam. The year before it was Wales' turn to win and take their Grand Slam. Although nothing hinges immediately on the result, both teams are still in with title chances.

Irelands' case looks the better of the two. Frail against the likes of France they bounced back to knock England away from any Grand Slam chance. The outcome may have been judged a little lucky for Ireland but win they did. They still have the brawn and some brains to take this game.

Wales' position is a little more complicated. They have less of a mathematical chance to win the Championship but they have been playing rugby that entertains. But only against Scotland have they won. Against both France and England Wales produced a mother of a comeback, dominating play and playing lovely rugby. But not winning rugby. Mores the pity. I like teams that can win in style.

Last Five Encounters
21.03.2009 Ireland 17-15 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
08.03.2008 Wales 16-12 in Dublin (6 Nations)
04.02.2007 Ireland 19-9 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
26.02.2006 Ireland 31-5 in Dublin (6 Nations)
19.03.2005 Wales 32-20 in Cardiff (6 Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings:
World Table-Ireland 3rd, Wales 10th
Europe Table-Ireland 1st, Wales 4th

Prediction: Wales will again produce a startling display of rugby-in the second half. This time I think they can win. Wales by 3 points.



15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Heaslip, 7 David Wallace , 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
16 Sean Cronin, 17 Anthony Buckley, 18 Leo Cullen, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Robert Kearney.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney


15 Lee Byrne, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 James Hook, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Martyn Williams (c), 6 Jonathan Thomas, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Paul James.
16 Huw Bennett, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Ian Gough, 19 Sam Warburton, 20 Dwayne Peel, 21 Andrew Bishop, 22 Tom Shanklin
Head Coach: Warren Gatland


England v Scotland at Murrayfield (6 Nations)

Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

One of the feature matches in the 6 Nations International rugby championship is the Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland. This always a ding-dong of a match with style far less important than winning. England has found winning at Murrayfield lately a difficult task whilst Scotland sharpen the knives and the wooden pikes as soon as the rose on white jersey appears over the border.

England have been...well...just a little boring and predictible. They have also been unlucky in their results which on paper has not been too bad. But the fans and the media are, as per usual, losing patience with their boys in white. It's probably too close the thre Rugby World Cup finals to change coach but Johnson's position remains uncomfortable.

Scotland have been up to their usual tricks. They lost to Italy two weeks ago, a painful loss indeed. But here we have another team that has lost out on paper and in luck. A few vital moments lost against all teams and you end up with a loss. Scotland appear on the right path and could well upset England if the later just plod along. It will be a most interesting match.

Last Five Encounters
21.03.2009 England 26-12 at Twickenham (6 Nations; Calcutta Cup)
08.03.2008 Scotland 15-9 at Murrayfield (6 Nations; Calcutta Cup)
07.02.2007 England 42-20 at Twickenham (6 Nations; Calcutta Cup)
25.02.2006 Scotland 18-12 at Murrayfield (6 Nations; Calcutta Cup)
19.03.2005 England 43-22 at Twickenham (6 Nations; Calcutta Cup)

England last defeated Scotland at Murrayfield in 2004. Of recent England has struggled to win at Murrayfield, whilst Scotland has struggled at Twickenham.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Scotland 7th, England 9th
Europe Table-England 2nd, Scotland 6th

Prediction: Scotland to pip the Poms. Scotland by 2 points.



15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nicholas De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Max Evans, 10 Daniel Parks, 9 Christopher Cusiter, Capt.8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Kellock, 4 James Hamilton, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
16 Scott Lawson, 17 Geoffrey Cross, 18 Nathan Hines, 19 Alan MacDonald, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Philip Godman, 22 Simon Danielli
Head Coach: Andy Robinson


15 Delon Armitage, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Daniel Care, 8 Nicholas Easter, 7 Joseph Worsley, 6 James Haskell, 5 Steven Borthwick, Capt. 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Timothy Payne.
16 Steve Thompson, 17 David Wilson, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Lewis Moody, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Ben Foden
Head Coach: Martin Johnson

TEST RUGBY: World Cup Qualifier Romania v Georgia

Georgia v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1;Antim Cup)

Venue: Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf.

Referee: J.T.McDowell (Ireland)

I do hope the weather is fine in Bucharest because this is a vital clash in this competition. Georgia has already qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals. Romania needs to win to stay in contention for the vital 3rd playoff position.

The Romanians will also be determined to change their fortunes against the Georgians who have overtaken them in the standings for European rugby. The symbol of rugby supremacy between these two nations is the Antim Cup, held presently by Georgia.

2010.03.13 Romania prepare v Georgia
Romanians prepare for their vital clash against Georgia. Image thanks to

Last Five Encounters
14.03.2009 Georgia 28-23 in Tblissi (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
09.02.2008 Georgia 22-7 in Tblissi (ENC 1)
03.02.2007 Georgia 20-17 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
07.10.2006 Romania 20-8 in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5, Pool B)
25.02.2006 Romania 35-10 in Bucharest (ENC 1)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Georgia 17th, Romania 20th
Europe Table-Georgia 7th, Romania 9th

Prediction: I expect a slugout of a match with Georgia just holding off the determined Romanians. Georgia by 5 points



15. Merab Kvirikashvili
14. Malkhaz Urjukashvili
13. David Kacharava
12. Tedore Zibzibadze
11.Irakli Mackhaneli
10. Lasha Malaguradze
9.Irakli Abuseridze, Capt.
8. Besarion Udesiani
7. Giorgi Chkhaidze
6. Grigori Labadze
5.Giorgi Nemsadze
4. Ilia Zedginidze
3. Anton Peikrishvili
2. Iuri Natriashvili
1.David Kinchagishvili
16.Jaba Bregvadze
17. Goderdzi Shvelidze
18. Levan Datunashvili
19. Lasha Tavartkiladze
20. Bidzina Samkharadze
21. Irakli Giorgadze
22.Aleksandre Todua

Head Coach: Tim Lane


15. Iulian Dumitras
14. Catalin Fercu
13. Ionut Dimofte
12. Robert Dascalu
11. Stefan Ciuntu
10. Dan Dumbrava
9. Sarbu Lucian
8. Daniel Carpo
7. Ovidiu Tonita
6. Stelian Burcea
5. Valentin Ursache
4. Sorin Socol, Capt.
3. Paulica Ion
2. Marius Tincu
1. Dragos Dima
16. Cezar Popescu
17. Mihaita Lazar
18. Cristian Petre
19. Mihai Macovei
20. Valentin Ivan
21. Csaba Gal
22. Florin Vlaicu
23. Bogdan Zebega

Head Coach: Serge Lairle

Friday, March 12, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Iberian Derby

Portugal v Spain in Madrid (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)

Venue: Estádio Universitário De Madrid


Spain and Portugal have always fought a tough game in this now annual rugby fixture. This year there is a lot riding on the game above the usual local pride. Portugal is within a whisker of Romania in gaining the 3rd spot in ENC 1. That 3rd place team will play either Ukraine or Lithuania for a chance to playoff for a place in the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals.

Last Five Encounters
15.03.2009 Portugal 24-19 in Lisbon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
10.05.2008 Spain 21-17 in Madrid (ENC 1)
03.02.2007 Portugal 21-18 in Lisbon (ENC 1)
21.03.2004 Portugal 35-19 in Ibiza (ENC 1)
22.03.2003 Portugal 40-38 in Lisbon (ENC 1)

Portugal has won on Spanish soil a number of times in recent years but not in Madrid. Portugal last won in the Spanish capital, 9-3 back in 1966.

GWC Rugby Rankings.
Europe Table-Portugal 10th, Spain 11th.

Prediction: A real close one, Portugal by 2 points.



Portugal Squad
Eduardo Acosta (GD Direito)
António Aguilar (GD Direito)
Pedro Cabral (CD University Lisboa)
João Correia, Capt. (GD Direito)
Bernardo Duarte (Agronomia)
Francisco Fernandes (Tyrosse, France)
Gonçalo Foro (CD University Lisboa)
Joe Gardener (Agronomia)
Tiago Girão (CD University Lisboa)
João Junior (CD University Lisboa)
Pedro Leal (GD Direito)
David Mateus (Belenenses)
Diogo Mateus (Belenenses)
Francisco Mira (Agronomia)
Ivo Morais (Chateaurenard, France)
Frederico Oliveira (CD University Lisboa)
Salvador Palha (GD Direito)
David Penalva (Auch, France)
Duarte Cardoso Pinto (Agronomia)
José Pinto (GD Direito)
Miguel Portela (GD Direito)
Jorge Segurado (GD Direito)
Juan Severino (Agronomia)
Pedro Silva (Belenenses)
Rafael Simões (Belenenses)
Conrad Stickling (Cascais)
Gonçalo Uva (GD Direito)
Vasco Uva (GD Direito)
Head Coach: Tomaz Morais


Spain Squad
Martín Aceña (C.R. La Vila)
Javier Acevedo (Vrac Quesos Entrepinares)
Carlos Arenas (CR Ciencias)
César Bernasconi (CRC Madrid)
R.T.Bizkaia (Bera Bera R.T)
José Mª.Bohorquez (CR Ciencias)
Rafael Camacho (CR Ciencias)
Juan Cano (CRC Madrid)
Javier Canosa (CRC Madrid)
Mathieu Cidre (Carcassonaise, France)
James Cook (C.R. La Vila)
Leandro Fernandez.-Aramburu (CR Ciencias)
Gautier Gibouin (Bourdeaux Begles, France)
Mathieu Gratton (Graulhetois, France)
David Gurgenadze (CRC Madrid)
Sebastián Hattori (CR Ciencias)
Ignacio Martín (Parma R.C., Italy)
Pedro Martin (Aviron Bayonnais, France)
Manuel Mazo (CR Ciencias)
Igor Mirones (Bera Bera R.T)
Jaime Nava (Alcobenas)
Federico Negrillo (Bera Bera R.T)
Benjamín Pardo (Vrac Quesos Entrepinares)
Anthony Pradalie (Perigueux, France)
Jesús Recuerda (CR Ciencias)
Head Coach: Geoff Glynn

RUGBY TEST: Germany v Russia

Germany v Russia in Sochi (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)

Venue: Metreveli Stadium

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

Russia will certainly win this game. They drew their last game in Sochi, 21-21 with Romania, and celebrated their automatic entry into the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals. Germany will be no match for the Russians

The Russians have not called upon their France-based players. Coach Nerush will take the opportunity to play some fringe players who have not had regular playing time.

Germany just can't pull themselves out of the serious doldrums that has seen them lose all their games this season by wide margins. This is the end of the road of the dream they had when this competition began. It was to be a new dawn for German rugby. Not so. It may well be the end of their coach Rudolph Finsterer who brought the team into this level of international rugby. The opposition have just been too strong.

To compound Germany's problems the team will travel without regulars Pipa, Davies and Takaendesa, all injured. Kieron Davies, Michael Poppmeier, Marcus trick and Alexander Pipa are unavailable for personal reasons, whilst Bodo Sieber, the France professionals Tussac Damien and Robert Mohr were unable to get clearences from their foreign-based clubs, and finally Robert Elloway has exams. This will certainly be a new-look German side, an opportunity to blood new players for the future. But I fear they'll get a hammering.

Previous Encounters
02.05.2009 Russia 53-0 in Hanover (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
16.04.2000 Russia 89-6 in Moscow (FIRA B)
04.05.1994 Russia 67-5 in Bucharest (WCQ Europe)
25.10.1992 Russia 18-15 in Moscow (FIRA 1A)

Prior to 1992 Russia played against both East Germany (W 2) and West Germany (W 4, L1)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Russia 19th, Germany 25th
Europe Table-Russia 8th, Germany 12th

Prediction: Russia by 95



Russia Squad
Vasily Artemiev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Mikhail Babaev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Vladimir Botvinnikov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Artem Fatakhov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Victor Gresev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Gvosdovskiy (Krasny Yar)
Alexander Khrokin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Igor Kluchnikov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexey Korobeynikov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Vladislav Korshunov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Kirill Kushnarev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Yuriy Kushnarev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Andrey Kuzin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexey Makovetskiy (Krasny Yar)
Evgeny Matveev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Nikita Medkov (Slava Moscow)
Georgy Minadze (Imperia Penza)
Vladimir Ostroushko (Yug Krasnodar)
Alexey Panasenko (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Evgeny Pronenko (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Alexander Shakirov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Andrey Temnov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Alexey Travkin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Sergey Trishin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Voytov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Yanushkin (VVA-Podmoskovje)

Head Coach: Nikolay Nerush

Germany Squad
Kehoma Brenner (RG Heidelberg)
Anjo Buckman (Heidelberger RK)
Timothy Coly (RG Heidelberg)
Mustafa Güngör (RG Heidelberg)
Raphael Hackl (Berliner RC)
Alexander Hauck (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Lukas Hinds-Johnson (RK 03 Berlin)
Jamie Ben Houston (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Benjamin Krause (DSV 1878 Hannover)
Steffen Liebig (Heidelberger RK)
Alexander Metz (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Gilles Pagnon (RC Orléans, France)
Rafael Pyrasch (DSV 1878 Hannover)
Lukas Rosenthal (RK 03 Berlin)
Patrick Schliwa (Heidelberger RK)
Benjamin Simm (DSV 1878 Hannover)
Mark Sztyndera (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Clemens von Grumbkow (I Cavalieri Prato, Italy)
Rolf Wacha (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Christopher Weselek (RG Heidelberg)
Alex Widiker (RC Orléans, France)
Manuel Wilhelm (RG Heidelberg)

Head Coach: Rudolph Finsterer

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Luxembourg Travels to Greece

Luxembourg v Greece in Athens

Venue: Olympic Stadium

Referee: Csaba Priskin (Hungary)

Greece is in the leading group of three teams in this competition. Israel is the only team undefeated. Bulgaria leads the table with Greece one point behind. A win to Greece will take it to the top of the competition.

Greece will announce its team on Friday. Coach Olivier Magne (former French test player) will be without wing Fiotakis, captain for the game v Finland, due to injury. Number eight Phillipos Sotiriadis will captain the side.

Sotriadis will lead the Greek side. Image thanks to

Luxembourg is well off the pace but is not in danger of relegation. The wooden spoon belongs to Finland. The Duchy will field one new player, Christophe Balthazard.

Previous Encounter
25.04.2009 Greece 17-14 in Luxembourg (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3C)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Greece 34th, Luxembourg 36th

Prediction: Greece by 14 points


The squad of Luxembourg
Nicholas Abel
Christophe Balthazard (Debut)
Julien da Col
Alan Dunn
Chris Ellis
Bryan Fage
Nicholas Geoffreys
Alex Goodhew
Flavien Grimmer
Stuart kelly
William Lafaysse
Christian Lowe
Adam Marcus
Michael Minehan
Christophe Narcisse
Saman Rezapour
Nicolas Rivallan
Thibaud Sacaze
Nigel Sharplin
Timothée Siete
Adrien Timmermans
Philippe Vimond

Head Coach: Marty Davis

Greece Squad not yet available

For complete lists of all international rugby test matches by Greece, and by Luxembourg, go to

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Cyprus 59, Azerbaijan 0 in Paphos (ENC 3D)

A huge win for the hosts over a struggling Azerbaijan.


Last fixture for ENC 3D
Bosnia Herzegovina v Cyprus in Paphos

This is virtually the final for this division. Cyprus won the away encounter 8-6 so have a 2 point buffer going into this match. Bosnia Herzegovina needs to win by 3 or more points to gain promotion to ENC 3C for 2010-12. It's going to be a mighty clash on the 27th.

Video of some of the game, thanks to 'DD' at

Score ammended to 59-0 from 58-0 as first posted. GWC 09.03.2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010


CAR (The Confederation of Africa Rugby) is the controlling body of African rugby. It operates under the IRB umbrella

2006.07.01 ivorycoastv Uganda_04
Action in the Ivory Coast v Uganda match, 2004.

Tournaments schedule for 2010

Africa Cup, Round 1
Pool A: To be held in Tunis, Tunisia 15-19 June
Teams-Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast

Pool B: Venue and dates TBC
Teams-Kenya, Uganda, Cameroun, Zambia

Pool C: To be held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, June 27-July 4
Teams-Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Namibia, Botswana

Finals: Venue and date TBC-Will be in November
Teams-Pool winners and best runner up

2009 Ivory Coast v Senegal
Ivory Coast in action against Senegal, May 2007. Ivory Coast won 12-10. Image thanks to

CAR Trophy
North Pool: Venue Niamey, Niger 17-27 July
Teams-Niger, Mali, Burkino Faso, Benin, Niger, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Congo

Central Pool: Venue-Burundi; Dates TBC
Teams-Burundi, Rwanda, Congo DR

South Pool: Venue Arush, Tanzania, 14-19 June
Teams-Tanzania, Reunion, Mauritius, Swaziland

CAR Development Trophy

North Pool: Venue and dates TBC
Teams-Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Egypt

Egypt at Dubai 7's
Egypt at the Dubai 7's, 2007. Image thanks to

Central Pool: Venue-Gabon; Dates TBC
Teams-Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad

The tournament reflects the three tiers of African rugby. The first tier being the Africa Cup. Last year the Africa Cup also billed as qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals. Namibia qualified.

The second tier is the CAR Trophy. In this tier it's surprising to see two teams who are yet to play international rugby; Congo and Congo DR. I would have thought they would be in the development phase. I'm also surprised to see Burundi and Rwanda in this league. Their standard would be somewhat below that of Tanzania.

The Third tier plays for the Development Trophy. Only Mauritania and Chad have previous test experience. But with this and the second tier, teams pull out regularly. Africa is a huge continent. Travel is a nightmare, costly and simply prohibitive for many developing nations. But Africa is also where we have seen the most development and progress in the last 10 years.

2009 Niger 'haka' at Lome
The Niger team performs their 'haka' before a game at the CAR Development Trophy, held in Tsevie, Togo. Image thanks to

TEST RUGBY RESULTS; 26-27 February

Ireland 20, England 16 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
Italy 16, Scotland 12 in Rome (6 Nations)
Russia 21, Romania 21 in Sochi (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Portugal 69, Germany 0 in Heusenstamm (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Georgia 17, Spain 9 in Tblissi (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1)
Greece 31, Finland 10 in Patras (ENC 3C)

France 26, Wales 20 in Cardiff (6 Nations)

Ireland struck back following their Paris disaster two weeks earlier to defeat England at Twickenham. This result keeps alive Ireland's hope of retaining the 6 Nations Trophy. It also eliminates England as a contender.

France will need to fall dramatically for them not to take the title. They had to withstand a typical Welsh comeback to remain undefeated. The Grand Slam looks to be within their grasp.

Italy finally won a 6 Nations game. Again it was Scotland who suffered at the hands of the Azzuri in Rome. Woeful Scotland looks like being a wooden spoon holder this season.


6 Nations Next Round

Ireland v Wales in Dublin
England v Scotland at Murrayfield
France v Italy in Paris

Russia and Romania fought out a dramatic 21-21 all draw in Bucharest. The quality of play was not high but the thrilling finish was dramatic. The result means Russia automatically qualifies for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals. This will be Russia's first time at a Rugby World Cup finals tournament. Romania looks a likely repecharge contender.

Georgia maintained its lead in the European Nations Cup with a close 17-9 win against Spain. Spain would have to be one of the most improved European teams this season.


World Cup Qualifying Round 5, ENC 1 Next Round

Romania v Georgia in Bucharest
Spain v Portugal in Madrid
Russia v Germany in Sochi

Greece continued its winning way in ENC 3C with a comfortable 31-10 win over visitors Finland. Bulgaria leads the competition but Greece has a game in hand.


ENC 3C Next Games

Greece v Luxembourg in Greece (venue TBC)