European Nations Cup (rugby union)

European Nations Cup (rugby union)

The European Nations Cup, ENC or sometimes noted as the Six Nations B is the European Championship for tier 2 and tier 3 rugby union nations. The Championship is split into 7 divisions with 5 or 6 teams in each. The divisions play on a two-year cycle with the teams playing each other both home and away.

At present, there is no promotion or relegation between the ENC and the Six Nations. The current champions are Georgia, who won the 2006/2008 First Division title.

Infobox Sports league
title =European Nations Cup
current_season =2008-2010 European Nations Cup First Division|2008-10 First Division, 2008-2010 European Nations Cup Second Division|2008-10 Second Division, 2008-2010 European Nations Cup Third Division|2008-10 Third Division
logo =
pixels =
caption =
sport =Rugby union
founded =2000
teams =See below
country =Europe
champion =ru|Georgia
most_champs =ru|France (25)

History

After the setup of the division system in 2000, Romania won the first such competition. The first season included Morocco. Russia replaced Morocco in 2001 with Georgia securing the title after a consistent performance, crowned with a decisive 31-20 win over Romania in Bucharest. As the competition format changed from one-year to two-years, the Netherlands wasn't relegated after this season. Romania started in 2002 trailing Georgia after 2001 results, but managed to win all of the remaining five games, including a hard-fought 31-23 victory in Tbilisi.

Portugal were surprise 16-15 winners over Romania in Lisbon and installed themselves on the top of the 2003 table. In the second half of the competition, Romania seemed back on track (36-6 against Portugal in Constanţa), but went down 24-33 to Russia in Krasnodar. Then Portugal clinched their first title with a last-minute 19-18 win over Russia in Lisbon. The Russia - Czech Republic game was rescheduled due to bad weather and was eventually cancelled. The 2004-06 championships was also serving as a qualifiying group for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Romania triumphed despite finishing level on points with Georgia, while Ukraine were relegated after losing all matches.

The 2006-2008 Championships saw the return of the Spanish to the top Division. The winners were Georgia, continuing to shine after their impressive display at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The Russians showed their continuing emergence with their highest ever finish in second, pushing Georgia all the way. The Czech Republic were the team to finish on the bottom of the pile with a whitewash of defeats, relegating them to Division 2A. The 2008-2010 Championships will be the most important yet as they will form the basis for European Qualification to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, for all nations involved. The Championships will also see the return of Germany to the top division since the remodeling of the Championships in 2000.

Current divisions (2008-2010)

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The thirties: the first three tournaments

The FIRA Trophy 1974-1997

*Includes the third placed finish by West Germany in 1952

ee also

* Antim Cup
* FIRA - Association of European Rugby
* Six Nations Championship

External links

* [http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/ FIRA-AER website]


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