Moldova
Nickname(s)Haiducii (The Outlaws)
UnionMoldovan Rugby Federation
Head coachSergiu Motoc
CaptainAlexandru Mutean
Most capsAlexandru Mutean (69)
Top scorerAlexandru Mutean (500)
Top try scorerOleg Prepelița (27)
Home stadiumGelu Memorial Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current57 (as of 16 January 2023)
Highest25 (2014)
Lowest59 (2020)
First international
 Moldova 22–6  Lithuania
(Moldova; 10 October 1991)
Biggest win
 Moldova 58–8  Malta
(Moldova; 18 November 2000)
Biggest defeat
 Sweden 80–6  Moldova
(Sweden; 20 October 2018)
World Cup
Appearances0
Websitewww.rugby.md

The Moldova national rugby union team, nicknamed Haiducii, are a Rugby Europe national team that play in the Conference 2 North competition and are administered by the Moldovan Rugby Federation. They are yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup.

History

Main article: Rugby union in Moldova

Moldova played their first international on October 10, 1991 against Lithuania. Moldova won the match, 22 points to six. The next year they played against Bulgaria, which Moldova won, 42 points to three. Moldova played Hungary in 1995, which they won, by three points, 17 to 14.

They played Georgia, who defeated them 47 to five. They then played Ukraine and Latvia and Bulgaria soon after.

Moldova played twice in 1997, defeating Norway and losing to Croatia. They won a number of fixtures in 2000. They played the Netherlands the following year. The national rugby team was designated by the members of Moldova's Sports Press Association as the best Moldovan team in 2004. Following this, they played in qualifying tournaments for the 2007 Rugby World Cup European qualifiers. Moldova were grouped in Pool B of the second round, and they won two of their four matches, which saw them finish second in their pool behind Germany, and thus move onto round three and enter Pool A in round 3.

However, their road to the World Cup was ended when a respectful 2nd place above Poland, Netherlands and Andorra was not enough to proceed to round 4.

Popularity

The popularity of rugby in Moldova is growing rapidly, with well over 1,250 fans regularly turning up to their home matches in the European Nations Cup. Since 2004, the number of Moldovan rugby players has more than doubled, due to the national team's growing international reputation.

Notable players

Moldovan international Alexei Cotruţa was the top try-scorer in the Russian Professional Rugby League in 2006, scoring 16 tries in 14 matches for Moscow-area side VVA-Podmoskovye.

During March 2011, Vadim Cobîlaş signed for Aviva Premiership side, Sale Sharks. Shortly after, his younger brother Maxim Cobîlaş also signed for Aviva Premiership side, Sale Sharks making the two the first Moldovan players to sign for a professional English team. More recently, props Dmitri Arhip and Gheorghe Gajion have signed for two Welsh regional sides, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys.

On the 23rd of August 2018, Cristian Ojovan another prop made his debut for D2 side Aurillacois. After his impressive performances at Aurillacois, George Ojovan signed with Top 14 champions Clermont Auvergne during October 2019.

Current squad

This is Moldova`s current squad for the 2022-23 for Rugby Europe Conference 2 North.

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Alexandru Mutean Hooker (2004-02-02) 2 February 2004 (age 19) 69 Republic of Ireland Confey College
Marius Cardasim Hooker (2001-09-30) 30 September 2001 (age 22) 2 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Valeriu Belous Prop (2000-11-28) 28 November 2000 (age 23) 2 Moldova RC Ciorescu
Vlad Braniște Prop (1990-03-13) 13 March 1990 (age 33) 2 Moldova RC Sergus Soroca
Maxim Cobîlaș Prop (1986-08-12) 12 August 1986 (age 37) 42 Russia VVA-Podmoskovie
Alexandru Colev Prop (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 26) 10 Unattached
Ruslan Dorogan Prop (1993-10-04) 4 October 1993 (age 30) 5 Republic of Ireland Clonakilty RFC
Andrei Lungu Prop (1995-11-28) 28 November 1995 (age 28) 7 Malta Kavallieri RFC
Tudor Cojocaru Lock (2000-09-13) 13 September 2000 (age 23) 4 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Andrei Mahu Lock (1991-09-03) 3 September 1991 (age 32) 24 England London Irish
Andrei Romanov Lock (1984-12-10) 10 December 1984 (age 39) 46 Unattached
Dorin Boțan Flanker (1996-02-09) 9 February 1996 (age 27) 6 Unattached
Cristin Buzenco Flanker (1993-05-19) 19 May 1993 (age 30) 2 Moldova CSR Sporting
Petru Crețu Flanker (1995-08-20) 20 August 1995 (age 28) 3 Moldova LIMPS
Igor Orghianu Flanker (1991-10-31) 31 October 1991 (age 32) 6 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Sergiu Budaian Number 8 (1989-09-22) 22 September 1989 (age 34) 9 Moldova CR UTM
Grigore Pahom Scrum-half (1999-09-22) 22 September 1999 (age 24) 2 Italy Unione Rugbistica Anconitana
Vadim Preguza Scrum-half (1993-11-26) 26 November 1993 (age 30) 14 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Ion Puică Scrum-half (1987-02-21) 21 February 1987 (age 36) 3 Italy CUS Perugia Rugby
Dumitru Bețliu Fly-half (2000-02-25) 25 February 2000 (age 23) 1 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Mihai Golubenco (c) Fly-half (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 29) 20 Unattached
Alexandru Matveev Fly-half (1989-06-02) 2 June 1989 (age 34) 3 Moldova RC Sporting ASEM
Alexandru Bulgac Centre (1994-08-14) 14 August 1994 (age 29) 1 Unattached
Ion Bușilă Centre (1986-06-02) 2 June 1986 (age 37) 4 Moldova CSR Lupii Albi
Igor Mișin Centre (1989-10-29) 29 October 1989 (age 34) 9 Moldova CR UTM
Ion Dinu Wing (1989-12-27) 27 December 1989 (age 34) 2 Moldova RC Ciorescu
Mihail Boian Wing (1997-11-28) 28 November 1997 (age 26) 9 Unattached
Ion Constantin Wing (1997-01-13) 13 January 1997 (age 27) 8 Moldova RC Ciorescu
Adrian Adam Fullback (1995-05-31) 31 May 1995 (age 28) 9 Unattached
Sandu Gritenco Fullback (2001-11-28) 28 November 2001 (age 22) 1 Moldova RC Ciorescu
Alexei Isaac Fullback (2000-11-08) 8 November 2000 (age 23) 2 Moldova RC Ciorescu