Romania target two wins at England 2015

(RUGBY WORLD CUP) Thursday 27 February 2014
Romania target two wins at England 2015
Georgia and Romania drew 9-9 in their European Nations Cup meeting in 2013

Romania head coach Lynn Howells is in agreement with his Georgia counterpart Milton Haig as to which pool he would prefer to play in at Rugby World Cup 2015, the one featuring world champions New Zealand.

The main reason behind the proud Welshman’s wish is that the Europe 1 qualifier will play New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on 2 October, although Howells regards the two possible pools for the Romanians as “much of a muchness”.

“As to which group [we go into] it is much of a muchness,” Howells told Total Rugby.

“Italy and the others in the [Europe 2] group are beatable but we would have to play very well to have to beat these teams. 

“I think for us it doesn’t really matter which group we go into, but for me personally it would be very good to play against New Zealand in the Millennium Stadium.”

Romania, like Georgia, secured their place at England 2015 after establishing an unassailable advantage over third-placed Russia in the European Nations Cup Division 1A standings which determine the Europe 1 and 2 qualifiers for the showpiece event.

“It’s been a long journey. It is not just qualifying this year, it has been over the last two years. It is a big occasion to go to the World Cup and to do it with still two games to go it is a big achievement.”

Two wins the target

The Oaks extended their ever-present record on the Rugby World Cup stage with a 32-6 victory over Spain in Cluj last weekend, and can now look forward to facing Belgium on 8 March before the showdown with Georgia in Tbilisi a week later.

Both sides are unbeaten in the European Nations Cup which spans two seasons, having drawn their encounter in Bucharest 9-9 last March, with Georgia topping the standings by virtue of their better point differential.

“It will be a good occasion [against Georgia] because in Tbilisi the stadium is always full and it is a big occasion. It is for the championship and to see who goes as Europe 1 to the World Cup, so it is a big occasion and both teams can relax a little now because they have qualified for the World Cup. 

“Our aim for the World Cup is to win two games. We have the ability to do this as long as we can start to play with consistency and for 80 minutes, to be able to surprise a lot of teams.

“We have done it in November where we won against Canada and Tonga. It shows we have the ability to go there and if we play to the best of our ability to win against these teams. 

“It is about winning two games and then it gives you the opportunity to prepare for the following World Cup the same as the Tier One nations.”