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Portugal national rugby union team

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Portugal
[[Image:Portugal|125px]]
Union Federação Portuguesa de Rugby
Nickname(s) Os Lobos (The Wolves)
Coach Template:Country data Portugal Tomaz Morais
Captain Vasco Uva
Kit left arm Kit body Kit right arm
Kit shorts
Kit socks
 
Team colours
Kit left arm Kit body Kit right arm
Kit shorts
Kit socks
 
Change colours
First international
Template:Country data POR 5 - 6 Template:Ru-rt
(1935-04-13)
Largest win
Template:Country data POR 55 - 11 Template:Ru-rt
(1996-11-24)
Worst defeat
Flag of New Zealand New Zealand 108 - 13 Template:Ru-rt
(2007-09-15)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2007)
Best result No games won, one bonus point
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The Portugal national rugby union team, nicknamed "Os Lobos," Portuguese for "the wolves", is a third tier rugby union side representing Portugal. They first played in 1935 and now compete in the European Nations Cup. Rugby union in Portugal is administered by the Federação Portuguesa de Rugby. Portugal qualified for their first Rugby World Cup in 2007. Portugal was in Pool C along with the All Blacks (New Zealand), Italy, Romania and Scotland.

Portugal have experienced unprecedented success in recent years. They were surprise winners of the 2003-4 European Nations Cup and have continued to record impressive results, although they could only finish third in the 2005-6 event. The IRB Sevens World Series circuit has allowed the Portuguese players to demonstrate their competence to the wider rugby world. In 2006-7 Portugal will compete at every IRB sevens event for the first time. They have become an established power in the abbreviated form of the game.

HistoryEdit

EarlyEdit

Portugal played their first ever rugby international in April of 1935 against Spain. Portugal lost the game by one point, 5 to 6. They played Spain again the following year with Spain winning 16 to 9. Portugal had more regular competition from the mid-1960s, and won their first game in 1966, defeating Spain 9 to 3. Portugal played Italy for the first time in 1967, losing 6-3. They also had their first match against Romania soon after and lost by 40 points. They defeated Belgium in 1968, and also played Morocco for the first time. Portugal were the best side until Ireland beat them 132-0 in the Algarve (Portugal).

The first game of 1970s turned out to be a draw against the Netherlands. Portugal managed to draw with Italy (nil all) in 1972 and following that, defeated them 9-6 in 1973. After a number of mixed results throughout the early 1970s, Portugal won five matches in a row from 1979 through to 1981. They played Morocco, who won the encounter. After a 1983 draw against Spain, Portugal managed a seven game winning streak from 1984 to 1985, including wins over Belgium, Denmark, Morocco, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Zimbabwe. The first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987, though it was by invitation, thus there was no qualifying tournament.

1990sEdit

From 1989 to 1990, the 1991 World Cup qualifiers were held for the European nations. Portugal started in Round 2b in October of 1989. They defeated Czechoslovakia 15 to 13 in Ricant to advance to Round 2c. However here they were defeated by the Netherlands 32 to 3 and eliminated from qualifying. Portugal again participated in the 1995 World Cup qualifying competition for European teams, starting in Round 1. They were pooled in the West Group, and defeated Belgium and Switzerland, but lost to Spain, advancing into Round 2. Here Wales defeated them, and they lost to Spain.

Portugal began play in Pool 3 of Round B in the European qualifying competition for the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Portugal won all their group matches except for the one against Spain, but still finished second in the group, which took them into Pool 3 of Round C. All games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Portugal lost 85-11 to Scotland, and 21-17 to Spain. Both nations went through to the World Cup and Portugal went into repechage. Here Portugal lost a home and away series to Uruguay.

2000sEdit

In 2002 Portugal began playing for a place in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Pool A of Round 3 of the European qualifying tournament. They were grouped with Spain and Poland. Each nation only won one game, though on for and against Portugal finished second to Spain. Portugal were knocked out of competition. In 2003-04 Portugal won the European Nations Cup, losing only one match to win their first championship. In 2004 Professor Tomaz Morais, coach of the Portuguese national team at both sevens and fifteen aside, was nominated for the IRB's coach of the year award. This was a remarkable achievement for a coach from a third tier rugby nation. Morais has been credited with much of Portugal's progress in recent years.

In 2006 it was announced that Portugal would receive a grant from the IRB to help develop their rugby to Tier 2 standard. Few details have been released thus far regarding how the money will be spent but it is hoped it will ensure that Portuguese rugby will be able to move onto the next level. In 2006 the inaugural IRB Nations Cup was hosted in Lisbon. The tournament featured Portugal, Russia, Argentina A and Italy A. It is anticipated that this will become an annual event and another medium through which the Portuguese team can develop their skills.

2007 World Cup qualifyingEdit

Portugal began their qualification campaign for the 2007 Rugby World Cup (hosted by France) in 2004, as part of the European Nations Cup Division 1 2004-06 tournament. They won their first match, defeating Ukraine 6-36 away. They then went onto defeat Georgia 18 to 14 in Lisbon in their second match, and then won their third match against the Czech Republic, and went onto defeated Russia as well, but then lost to Romania. Portugal then drew with Russia 19-all, and then lost to Georgia. After a loss to Romania and a win against the Czech Republic, Portugal finished third overall in the standings, and qualified for Round 5.

Round 5 was played in October of 2006 as a three match series between Italy, Russia and Portugal. Both Portugal and Russia lost heavily in their matches against Italy, who easily qualified for the finals. Second place came down to the final match of the round in Lisbon. Portugal won the match 26 to 23 to make it to Round 6. Round 6 was a home and away series against the Round 5 Pool B winners, Georgia. Portugal lost the first match, but drew 11-all in the second meeting. Georgia went through to the finals, and Portugal entered the repechage round where they defeated Morocco 26-20 on aggregate. The team then faced Uruguay for the last position in the finals.

The first leg of the two-match Repechage series was played in Lisbon. Portugal won 12 points to 5, taking a seven point lead into the final game in Montevideo. Portugal lost 18 points to 12, however, on aggregate, they won by just a single point, 24 to 23, sending them to their first ever World Cup. They will be playing in Pool C, alongside favourites the All Blacks, Italy, Romania and Scotland. Having qualified for their first World Cup, several players were subsequently arrested in the ensuing celebrations as a result of an altercation with local police. No charges were laid and the players involved were allowed to leave Uruguay.

2007 Rugby World CupEdit

In the 2007 Rugby world cup, Portugal were anticipated to be crushed by their fellow nations. Nevertheless, Portugal played competitively, highlights include preventing Italy getting a bonus point as compared to losing by over 70 points before the tournament, scoring a try against the All Blacks and coming within a try of beating Romania before losing 14-10. The Portugal team were celebrated for their commitment and passion, and for being the only amateur team to make it to the World Cup.

RecordEdit

European Nations CupEdit

Year(s)GPWDL+/-PtsPos
2000410365-9754th
2001510477-16575th
2001-0210307170-295165th
2003-0410901245-180281st
2004-061061320233rd

World CupEdit

Year(s)Result
1987No qualifying tournament held.
1991 to 2003Did not qualify.
2007Qualified.

Current squadEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:International rugby union

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