Romania beat Emerging Italy to be crowned Nations Cup champions for the first time in 2012
- Romania continue to host popular tournament
- RWC 2015 hopefuls go head to head
- Valuable competition for Italy and Argentina A teams
Confirmation follows the announcement of the teams and format for the IRB Nations Cup 2013 in Romania, a tournament that has played a significant high performance role for participating nations and for the development of Rugby in the host nation.
With the IRB Tbilisi Cup set to debut in Georgia in June, an expanded IRB Pacific Nations Cup to feature Canada and USA, Samoa to participate in a quadrangular tournament in South Africa and an extensive programme of Tests and Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers, there will be a record number of fixtures for Tier Two nations in June.
The Nations Cup will feature the Romania and Russia national teams alongside the Argentina Jaguars and Emerging Italy in a round robin competition that will be played across three match days - June 8, 12 and 16 - at the Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest.
With Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifying well and truly underway, the IRB Nations Cup will provide an opportunity for Romania and Russia to gain a psychological edge before the final push in European qualifying next year.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby is growing all over the world and the IRB is committed to delivering a more competitive, further reaching international Game in order that more teams can challenge for the top honours in the future."
"Thanks to the commercial success of Rugby World Cup we are able to provide an expanded competition platform for our Unions in 2013. The IRB Nations Cup has grown to be a popular and important annual event in Romania and the 2013 edition promises to be exceptionally competitive."
IRB Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan added: "We are committed to assisting our Tier Two Unions close the gap with Tier One through a programme of strategic investment, high performance support and appropriate competition structures. The IRB Nations Cup plays a significant role in that objective."
"Rugby World Cup 2011 and last year's November Tests proved that the gap is closing and we are committed to working with our Unions to ensure that we deliver a programme of fixtures that meets their high performance needs and provides them with the perfect preparation platform for RWC 2015 qualifying and subsequently the ability to perform well at our showcase event."
Romanian Rugby Union President Alin Petrache added: “It is an honour for Romania to host once again this very important tournament. For Romania and participating Unions, during the years, this was a great opportunity for high class matches. The tournament is growing each year and we hope to offer a great experience for both teams and fans and continue our legacy."
IRB Nations Cup 2013 Fixtures (all times are local)
Saturday, June 8
18:00 – Romania v Russia
20:00 – Argentina Jaguars v Emerging Italy
Wednesday, June 12
18:00 – Romania v Argentina Jaguars
20:00 – Russia v Emerging Italy
Sunday, June 16
19:00 – Argentina Jaguars v Russia
21:00 – Romania v Emerging Italy