The sporting event of the autumn,the Rugby World Cup,represents an infernal task for Romanian national team,which is part of the most difficult group of the tournament. Rugby represents one of the games in which Romania managed to obtain pretty good results throughout the time and the only game in which Romania took part in all the editions of the World Cup so far.It’s true that a World Cup for rugby was created much later than for other sports.The first edition of the competition took place in 1987,so the battle for the world crown which beginsin a couple of days in New Zealand is only the seventh edition of Rugby’s supreme competition,but Romania can be proud with the fact that it took part in all the tournaments so far and it is ready again to compete for honor and glory. Historically,Romanian Rugby managed to obtain some good results,especially in the seventies and eighties,when wins against elite teams like France and Scotland were truly sensational results,and it was thought that Romania might have a chance to receive an invitation to take part in the prestigious Five Nations Tournament;unfortunately,that intention remained only a dream,and eventually Italy was invited to join the European powerhouses in what it’s now the Six Nations Championship. Anyway,the fact that Romania was one of the most important members of the second league of European Rugby allowed it to qualify for the six previous editions of the World Cup quite easily,and it first ever match brought Romania a success,21-20 vs Zimbabwe in Auckland in 1987,but then came two heavy defeats against France and Scotland;then,in 1991,came another success(17-15 vs Fiji) and two defeats against France and Canada.then there were three defeats in 1995 and a new solitary win in 1999(27-25 vs USA),while the 2003 edition finally brought us a comfortable win(37-7 vs Namibia),but also three defeat,including a disastrous 8-90 vs Australia!Finally,2007 brought us the satisfaction of another win,this time against Portugal(14-10),but also three
defeats,including the first World Cup match in Romania didn’t manage to score a single point,0-42 vs Scotland,and another painfully defeat against the mighty All Blacks from New Zealand(8-85). From the history of Romanian participation in the World Cup we can see that Romania has never managed to get past the group stage,which is in a ay logical between rugby’s a game in which the difference of value between a few super teams from Europe and the Southern Hemisphere and the rest of the world are still huge,even if progress is slowly made in many countries.Besides that,even if Romania is an important name in Rugby,the poor infrastructure and the lack of investment prevented this game from growing,although efforts are being made to increase the quality of the national competition and attract more spectators to this game whose rules are not always easy to understand. Anyway,after winning the play-off against Uruguay and obtaining the tickets for the seventh edition of the Rugby World Cup,Romania was really unlucky at the draw,being placed in Pool B,which is by far the strongest group,with England,Scotland,Argentina and Georgia. England is the only European team who won the trophy in 2003,Scotland is another major power and Argentina had a spectacular growth lately,causing sensation in 2007 when it finished in third place.In these conditions,Romania’s mission is almost impossible,and there is fear of a disastrous evolution;Georgia,Romania’s traditional opponent in the European Nations Cup,is the only team we can realistically measure our forces with. With few days remaining till the start of the World Cup,Romania seems to have a huge mountain to climb and demonstrate that it can be a tough opponent for the world’s best teams.I can only hope that they will exceed the expectations and wish them a lot of luck at the Rugby World Cup 2011!