|Union||Israel Rugby Union|
|Switzerland 9 - 9 Israel|
|Luxembourg 3 - 62 Israel|
|Netherlands 56 - 0 Israel|
The Israel national rugby union team (Template:Lang-he) represents Israel at a national level in international rugby union competitions. The team is governed by the Israel Rugby Union, which oversees all rugby union in Israel. In October 2007 they were ranked 93rd out of 95 IRB members.
The sport was brought to the country by British soldiers during the Mandate era, but petered out after the British left. A wave of immigration from English speaking countries since 1967 has seen renewed interest in the sport, particularly in areas with large English-speaking populations such as Ra'anana and Jerusalem.
A national league was set up in 1972, and the Israel Rugby Union formed in 1975. Israel's first international match was away to Switzerland on 25 May, 1981, and ended 9-9. The Union joined the International Rugby Board in 1988, and participated in the European section of the qualifying rounds for the 1991 Rugby World Cup. In a group with Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, Israel lost all three matches, but were by no means humiliated.
In the qualifying matches for the 1995 World Cup, Israel thrashed Hungary 67-8 in the preliminary round, before being knocked out in the Round 1 group stage, failing to score a point in two of their three games.
The qualifying matches for the 1999 Rugby World Cup followed the established pattern, with Israel being knocked out in the group stage, though they avoided finishing bottom of their five-team group by beating Austria. The same happened in the 2003 WC qualifiers, where they finished fourth in a six team group. In the 2007 WC qualifiers they did not even make it to the group stage, being thrashed 113-7 on aggregate (0-53, 60-7) by Lithuania.
Israel has also entered the Rugby World Cup Sevens
Since 2005 Israel has been a participant in the European women's 7's championship. On their first tournament the national team finished in a respectable 9 place (bowl winners), with wins over Malta and Austria. In the 2006 championship Israel won the 5th place (plate winners) with wins over Bosnia, Luxemburg, Hungary and finally Malta.
World Cup recordEdit
- 1987 - Did not enter
- 1991 - Did not qualify
- 1995 - Did not qualify
- 1999 - Did not qualify
- 2003 - Did not qualify
- 2007 - Did not qualify
Officialfr:Équipe d'Israël de rugby à XV