Tuesday, 1 April 2014

IRB Nations Cup schedule for 2014 confirmed


The IRB have confirmed the schedule for the 9th edition IRB Nations Cup, which again will take place at the Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest.

The teams were already heavily rumoured but now are confirmed. Joining hosts Romania in the IRB Nations Cup will be Emerging Ireland, Uruguay and Russia. Emerging Ireland and Uruguay swap over after last year playing in the IRB Tbilisi Cup, with Argentina Jaguars and Emerging Italy expected to go to Georgia. Russia remain in the IRB Nations Cup as they are deemed unsuitable to travel to Georgia for such a low key small stadia tournament that may dilute their famous rivalry.

Both the IRB Nations Cup and the IRB Tbilisi Cup are development ones for all involved. None of the national sides are likely to be at full strength. What will be interesting is seeing how Russia and Uruguay approach their clash as both look probable to face each other for the final World Cup place later this year. What will be more important for them? Withholding their tactics and secret weapons or getting a psychological edge of a victory ahead of the crucial playoff matches.

Romania have won this tournament for the last two years, even under strength they will expect to beat similarly experimental Uruguay and Russian teams and they will be facing off for the title probably against Emerging Ireland in the final round.
The tournament will be the usual format, played over a week period at the Arcul de Triumf with a midweek game and double headers, which will give the coaches chances to test more players. It will be particularly interesting to assess the levels of the young players that Lynn Howells and Kingsley Jones trial as neither of their national sides had much too much youth considered good enough to be involved in their starting teams in the ENC.

IRB Nations Cup 2014 Fixtures:
13/06 – Ireland Emerging Ireland v Russia
13/06 – Romania v Uruguay
18/06 – Ireland Emerging Ireland v Uruguay
18/06 –  Romania v Russia
22/06 –  Russia v Uruguay
22/06 – Romania v Emerging Ireland Ireland

1 comment :

  1. I wish Russia would host their own tournament. At least it would be at a time they could play in their main rugby areas and therefore would likely actually get some decent support unlike playing in Sochi in Feb-March. I feel so sad for the Russian players and fans about their home games.