In light of the up coming Rugby World in new Zealand 2011 in about a day or so, I decided to write up this article on the various teams that have qualified for the world cup.
In relation to this article which is intended to create the awareness and euphoria around the sport in my dear country Ghana. So in little details you will get to know the nicknames of the various teams that has qualified for this year’s big event in the sport.
Aside the world cup there are other competitions like that of the Tri-Nation tournaments which is contested among Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and that of the Six Nations. It’s a lovely physical sport that for a minute through out the game you can’t avoid to take your eyes off .
Well I start in no particular order here are the teams that has qualified for the world cup 2011 in New Zealand.
Undoubtedly South America’s top rugby nation. The Argentina national rugby team, nicknamed LOS PUMAS. The team, which plays in sky blue and white is currently the only International Rugby Board (IRB) tier one classed nation that has no regular competition, such as the Six Nations and the Tri Nations.
Double World cup winners Australia are always a team to watch. Commonly known as the WALLABIES the team compete annually with New Zealand and South Africa in the Tri-Nations Series, in which they also contest the Bledisloe Cup with New Zealand and the Mandela Challenge Plate with South Africa
The Canadian national side has competed in every world cup to date yet have only won one match each tournament with the exception of the 1991 tournament where they reached the quarter finals. They are known as the CANUCKS which is slang for Canadians and also sometimes referred to as the MARPLE LEAFS.
The Only home nation to have won the World cup and the team that everyone hates losing to. They compete annually in the Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won the championship on twenty-five occasions that includes twelve grand slams. England also competes for the Calcutta Cup. They have as their nickname THE RED AND WHITE though not commonly used.
An island nation who have enjoyed greater successes in the Sevens format but have also produced a number of All Black stars. There are approximately 80,000 registered players from a total population of around 950,000. Wondered what their nickname is, THE BATI.
France is a team that will always be unpredictable and can beat anyone on their day. France traditionally plays in white-trimmed blue shirts with blue shorts and red socks, and is commonly referred to as LES TRICOLORES. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship.
The Georgia national rugby union team represents the former Soviet Caucasian republic of Georgia in rugby union. The team’s nickname, THE LELOS, comes from lelo, an indigenous Georgian sport with strong similarities to rugby.
Ireland are currently enjoying what is arguably their best period in history. Ireland competes annually in the Six Nations Championship in which they also compete for the Triple Crown. They also provide players for the British and Irish Lions. And for their nickname, MEN IN GREEN.
Italy is always improving with 2007 being their best year yet in the Six Nations. The team is also known as the AZZURI (blues) and “THE GLADIATORS OF ROME“. Italy has been playing international rugby since the late 1920s.
Japan often known as “THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS” or more recently “BRAVE BLOSSOMS” are traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia and have both enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years.
Neighbours South Africa where many Namibians play their club game is one of Africa’s representatives at the 2011 World Cup. The Namibian rugby union team nicknamed the WELWITSHIAS. Although they are a tier-three nation in the International Rugby Board (IRB) tier system, the team has become regular participants at the Rugby World Cup since their first appearance in 1999.
The ALL BLACKS which is their nickname are rugby’s most successful rugby team. Rugby union is New Zealand’s national sport. The All Blacks compete annually with the Australian rugby team, the Wallabies, and the South African rugby team, the Springboks, in the Tri-Nations Series, in which they also contest the Bledisloe Cup with Australia. They also compete for the Freedom cup against South Africa in the Tri-Nations.
Romania almost joined the Five Nations and probably enjoyed their best period in the 1980’s. The Romania national rugby union team, nicknamed The OAKS (Stejarii). At their best, during the 1980s, the national side defeated Wales (twice), Scotland (the 1984 Grand Slam side) and France (twice). In 1981, they lost to the All Blacks 14-6 but had two tries disallowed.
Samoa is another island nation with great potential and have also provided a number of All Black stars. The national rugby union team of Samoa is called MANU SAMOA (the name of a famous Samoan chief some 10 generations ago). They perform a traditional Samoan challenge called the siva tau before each game.
THE SPRINGBOKS, Bokke or amaBokoboko are the South African national rugby union team. The Springboks (or Springbokke in Afrikaans), as they are commonly referred to, compete in the Tri Nations alongside the New Zealand All Blacks and Australia’s Wallabies. They are also the current world champions and go into this competition as the defending champions.
Scottish rugby dates back to 1871, where they beat England in the first international rugby union match at Raeburn Place Edinburgh, Scotland (on March 27, 1871). They annually take part in the Six Nations which includes the Calcutta Cup. They are known as THE BRAVEHEARTS.
The Tonga national rugby union team is nicknamed IKALE TAHI (Sea Eagles). Like their Polynesian neighbours, the Tongans start their matches with a war dance – the Kailao (aka the Sipi Tau).
United States of America
USA Rugby’s national team is nicknamed THE EAGLES. The United States have always been considered a rugby union minnow. When America wakes up to rugby they will blow everyone away. Imagine a few of their track stars on the wing and you get the idea.
The Welsh Rugby Union is also known as UNDEB RYGBI CYMRU. The Welsh are passionate about their rugby but the most important prize remains beating neighbours England.
The Russian Union Rugby team which is one of the teams qualified for the World Cup in New Zealand this year are know as the RUSSIAN BEARS which is evident in their logo.
Well I am sure that after this little information about the participating teams, your interest has at least been raised. Well if you happen to be in Ghana, you can get to watch most of the games if you have DSTV and I am sure you will enjoy the tournament. The reason is if you experienced the previous one that South Africa won, then this one should be more than a competitive one.