Soviet Union national rugby union team

Soviet Union national rugby union team

The USSR national rugby union team was a sporting side that represented the Soviet Union in rugby union until the early 1990s.

History

Although there was the Soviet Cup and the Soviet Championship, rugby never became a major sport in the USSR. Union was the bigger of the two codes though - rugby league only really took off in the former Soviet Union after the collapse of Communism.

Rugby football was played in Russian Empire as early as 1908, however the first official match, played in Moscow, did not take place until 1923. Because of the Russian Revolution, some Soviet/Russian players emigrated and/or ended up playing for foreign sides, a notable example being Prince Alexander Obolensky (Александр Сергеевич Оболенский) who played for Oxford and England in the 1930s - he was the scorer of 2 tries on his England debut in their win over New Zealand in January 1936. His noble birth precluded him from playing in his home country and his family had fled the country when he was only a year old.

In 1934 the Moscow Championship was initiated, followed by the first Soviet Championship which took place in 1936.

In 1949, rugby union was forbidden throughout the USSR during the "fight against cosmopolitanism". Competition was resumed in 1957, and the Soviet Championship recommenced in 1966. In 1975, the Soviet national team played their first ever match. [ [http://www.russianrugby.ru/history.php?Id=RUS Rugby union in Russia and USSR] ru icon]

During the 70s and 80s, the Soviet team began to improve their performances, often coming second to France, or third to Romania in various European competitions, however they never managed to beat any major side.

The USSR did not participate in the 1987 Rugby World Cup, which was by invitation rather than qualification, despite successes against teams such as Italy and Romania in the years leading up to the inaugural Cup. The Soviet team also failed to qualify for the 1991 Rugby World Cup finals. The USSR successor, in 1992, was briefly the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Soviet rugby team visited Ireland and the USA for the first time in 1990 [http://www.clonmelrfc.com/history.html] [http://www.newyorkrugby.com/content/view/45/142/] .

The FIRA Trophy 1974-1997

uccessor teams

The rugby teams of the USSR's successor states have had varying success.

Initially, the former USSR competed under the Commonwealth of Independent States banner, but this itself terminated in 1992. It had played four matches.

The most successful "successor" rugby team has been Georgia, which competed in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and in the 2007. They had a respectable performance against Ireland and defeated Namibia 30-0. The Rugby World Cup, coincidentally, got going at around the point that the Soviet Union was disintegrating - no other ex-Soviet team other than Georgia has ever qualified, and the early World Cups were also smaller tournaments. The Georgia Rugby Union was founded in 1964, but did not compete as a national team during the Soviet Era.

As of 3 March, 2008, however, Russia's form had improved greatly, being placed at 17th position in the world rankings, ahead of Portugal, the USA, Japan, and coming one point behind Romania. [ [http://www.irb.com/rankings/news/newsid=2022476.html#russia+closing+their+rivals International Rugby Board - Russia closing in on their rivals ] ] All of these other teams have been in the World Cup.

ENC

The following successor teams are in the European Nations Cup:

* Armenia national rugby union team
* Azerbaijan national rugby union team
* Latvia national rugby union team
* Lithuania national rugby union team
* Moldova national rugby union team
* Russia national rugby union team
* Ukraine national rugby union team

Non-ENC

* Estonia national rugby union team
* Kazakhstan national rugby union team
* Kyrgyzstan national rugby union team
* Uzbekistan national rugby union team

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • France national rugby league team — Infobox rugby league nation Name = France Badge = France National RL Team.jpg Badge size = 100px Nickname = Les Tricolores or Les Chanteclairs Association = Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII Region = Europe Coach = flagicon|Australia John… …   Wikipedia

  • Russia national rugby league team — Infobox rugby league nation Name = Russia Badge size = 100px Nickname = The Bears Association = Russian Rugby League Federation Region = Europe Coach = flagicon|Russia Evgeniy Klebanov Captain = flagicon|Russia Roman Ovchinnikov Most caps = Top… …   Wikipedia

  • Georgia national rugby league team — Infobox rugby league nation Name = Georgia Badge = Badge size = 100px Nickname = 13 Georgians Association = Georgia Rugby League Region = Europe Coach = flagicon|Georgia David Kilassonia Captain = flagicon|Georgia Virso Kadadze Most caps = Top… …   Wikipedia

  • Moldova national rugby league team — The Moldova national rugby league team first competed into international competition in 1993. Moldova has not competed internationally since the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup. Rugby league is no longer played in Moldova and while there were… …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand national rugby union team — For the rugby league team, see New Zealand national rugby league team. For the rugby union sevens team, see New Zealand national rugby union team (sevens). For the women s team, see New Zealand women s national rugby union team. For the… …   Wikipedia

  • Cook Islands national rugby union team — Not to be confused with Cook Islands national rugby league team. Cook Islands Union Cook Islands Rugby Union Coach(es) Ramsey Tomokino …   Wikipedia

  • Sri Lanka national rugby union team — Sri Lanka Union Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union Nickname(s) The brave Elephants Tuskers[1] Coach(es) …   Wikipedia

  • Ivory Coast national rugby union team — Ivory Coast Union Fédération Ivoirienne de Rugby Nickname(s) Les Éléphants Coach(es) …   Wikipedia

  • Czech Republic national rugby union team — Czech Republic Union Česká Rugbyová Unie Coach(es) Martin Kafka Captain(s) Roman Šuster …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese Taipei national rugby union team — Chinese Taipei Nickname(s) Taiwan, Republic of China First international Chinese Taipei  0 62 Japan  …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”