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The Germany national rugby union team (
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
: Deutsche Rugby-Union-Nationalmannschaft) represents
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
in men's international competitions. It currently plays at the second level of European rugby but is yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. The national team first played in 1927, with rugby union in Germany being administered by the German Rugby Federation (''Deutscher Rugby-Verband''). Germany competes in the Trophy Division, the second tier of the Rugby Europe International Championships, the senior men's rugby tournament for European nations below the Six Nations.Deutschland steigt ab / Finsterer tritt zurück
''
Rugby-Journal The German Rugby Federation (german: Deutscher Rugby-Verband or ''DRV'') is the governing body for rugby union in Germany. It organizes the German national team and the three league divisions: the Rugby-Bundesliga, the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga an ...
'', published: 20 March 2010. Retrieved: 20 March 2010
Germany's greatest achievement in men's rugby is arguably the silver medal won at the
1900 Olympic Games The 1900 Summer Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques d'été de 1900, link=no), today officially known as the Games of the II Olympiad () and also known as Paris 1900, were an international multi-sport event that took place in Paris, France, from 1 ...
. Germany's declared aim was originally to qualify for the
2015 Rugby World Cup The 2015 Rugby World Cup was the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament was hosted by England from 18 September to 31 October. Of the 20 countries competing in the World Cup in 2011, there was on ...
in England, but then lowered this ambition to the
2019 Rugby World Cup The 2019 Rugby World Cup was the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's rugby union teams. It was hosted in Japan from 20 September to 2 November in 12 venues all across the country. The opening match ...
in Japan,Der DRV-Arbeitsplan "Rugby auf dem Weg nach Olympia 2016"
totalrugby.de, author: Claus-Peter Bach, published: 19 October 2009. Retrieved: 27 March 2010
for which it also failed to qualify. The national side is ranked 30th in the world (as of 26 April 2021).


History


Beginnings

The German rugby union team's history began on 17 April 1927, when they played
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its metropolitan area e ...
in Paris, losing 5–30. The team established itself in their early years as number two in continental Europe, behind the French. They played 14 tests against their neighbour before the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing ...
, winning two of them. As an indication of the team's strength, they did not lose to any team but France until 1937, when
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
beat them 9–7. Because Germany never played any of the
Home nations Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on context. Politically it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom ( England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). In sport, if a sport is ...
, it is difficult to judge the true strength of the team from that era. With the outbreak of the war in 1939, rugby came to a halt and Germany only played one more game, against Italy, in 1940. Germany lost almost a complete first XV in the war, and thus came out of it as a much weaker side, never able to repeat its pre-war successes.


Post-Second World War

After an absence of 12 years, Germany, now considerably reduced in size and under the name of
Federal Republic of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common historical, social and cultural identity. The T ...
, played its first post-war international in 1952, beating Belgium 16–9. At the same time, in the Eastern part of the country, the
German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **G ...
, the German Democratic Republic national rugby union team was formed. The ''DRV'' continued to offer the East German ''DTSB'' to play a rugby friendly, but this was always declined by the East.Post SV Berlin Rugby – Archiv
Chronik 30 Jahre – History of Post SV Berlin Rugby. Retrieved: 11 April 2010
Until 1965, Germany played friendlies only as there was no European rugby competition it could take part in. The team also made an appearance at England's home ground,
Twickenham Stadium Twickenham Stadium () in Twickenham, south-west London, England, is a rugby union stadium owned by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), English rugby union governing body, which has its headquarters there. The England national rugby union team plays ...
, in 1956, losing 8–26 to Harlequin F.C. on 8 September of that year. From 1965, it became part of the second tier of
FIRA Firá ( el, Φηρά, pronounced ) is the modern capital of the Greek Aegean island of Santorini (Thera). A traditional settlement,http://www.visitgreece.gr Greek National Tourism Organisation "Firá" derives its name from an alternative pron ...
rugby, effectively the third tier of European rugby, the Five nations tournament being outside the FIRA structure. In 1975, it played its first international against a non-European nation, beating Morocco in
Hannover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,932 (2021) inhabitants make it the 13th-largest city in Germany as well as the fourth-largest city in Northern German ...
. The team's greatest success in the second half of the 20th century was promotion to the A group of FIRA rugby in 1981. From 1981 to 1983, Germany played ten games at this level, but won just one and were relegated back to the B level. After this, the team dropped briefly to the C level in 1985 but promptly returned to the second tier.


German reunification

With the
German reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process of re-establishing Germany as a united and fully sovereign state, which took place between 2 May 1989 and 15 March 1991. The day of 3 October 1990 when the Ge ...
, in 1991, the German Democratic Republic national rugby union team was dissolved and became part of the Federal Republic's team. In 1994, Horst Kemmling, Germany's long-standing captain, ended his international career, having played a record number of 50 games for Germany from 1976 onwards. With the reorganisation of the European Nations Cup (ENC) in 2000, Germany became part of the second division.


Centenary and Barbarians tour

In 2000 the German Rugby Federation celebrated its centenary. Centenary celebrations included a banquet in the Heidelberg Castle and the hosting of the European leg of the
Rugby World Cup Sevens Rugby World Cup Sevens (RWCS) is the quadrennial world championship of rugby sevens, a variant of rugby union. Organised by World Rugby, it currently consists of men's and women's tournaments, and is the highest level of competition in the sport ...
in
Heidelberg Heidelberg (; Palatine German: ') is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. As of the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, of which roughly a quarter consisted of students. ...
, in which the German team came close to upsetting Ireland, who had Gordon D'Arcy in their line-up. The tournament was won by the Welsh team, which featured Andy Marinos and Arwel Thomas. The highlight of the Centenary season was the Centenary Match against the famous
Barbarians A barbarian (or savage) is someone who is perceived to be either uncivilized or primitive. The designation is usually applied as a generalization based on a popular stereotype; barbarians can be members of any nation judged by some to be less ...
. The Barbarians included a host of internationals including Scott Hastings, Peter Stringer, Shaun Longstaff, Jeff Probyn, Frankie Sheahan, Russell Earnshaw, Shaun Connor, John Langford and Derwyn Jones and won 47-19 against a determined German team. Germany remained in the second division of the European Nations Cup until 2008, when it achieved promotion to the top level, facing Europe's number 7 to 11 teams in 2009 and 2010. Its declared aim at this level was to avoid relegation; qualification for the
2011 Rugby World Cup The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the seventh Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected New Zealand as the host country in preference to Japan and South ...
was not really expected from the team. With over 8,000 spectators, Germany's home game against the Netherlands in
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,932 (2021) inhabitants make it the 13th-largest city in Germany as well as the fourth-largest city in Northern Germany ...
, at the Rudolf-Kalweit-Stadion in April 2007, achieved the best crowd figures for a rugby match in Germany since the pre-Second World War days. Germany was unbeaten at home from 12 November 2000, when it lost to Ukraine, until 8 November 2008, when it lost to a Welsh selection.


ENC 2008–10

In March 2009, coach Mark Kuhlmann stepped down after three and a half years in office, while the other two coaches Rudolf Finsterer and Bruno Stolorz, remained in the job. Stolorz was seconded to the German team by the Fédération française de rugby to improve Germany's performance in the sport. After five losses in the European Nations Cup in 2009, Germany achieved a win in a friendly against
Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ( abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a city and special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta ...
late in the year. Germany also managed a 15–12 victory over
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
but, as the German team had only one regular player in its side, captain Kehoma Brenner, the team was referred to as ''Germany A''. Mustafa Güngör became Germany's new captain on 8 December 2009, after the retirement of the previous captain Jens Schmidt, and played his first game in this role four days later, against Hong Kong. Germany fielded eight uncapped players in this game. A planned game against the British Forces in Germany in January 2010 had to be called off twice because of bad weather. Despite disappointing results on the field and the distinct possibility of Germany being relegated, the sport made some progress in the country in 2009–10. With the admittance of sevens rugby to the Olympic Games, rugby in Germany is now eligible for federal grants. Additionally, the ''
Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ''Bundeswehr'' is divided into a military part (armed forces or ''Streitkräfte'') and a civil part, the military part con ...
'', the German army, has agreed to admit eight to ten players per year to its sports program, making those players effectively professionals. In October 2009, the ''DRV'' decided to set its aim at playing two friendlies every year in November at home and two in January abroad. It also plans to organise a 10-day tour in Europe every year from 2013.German champagne on ice
IRB website – Report after the Netherlands game (2008). Retrieved: 10 January 2009
After disappointing results against Georgia, Portugal and Romania in spring 2010, the team's performance improved against Russia. In its final ENC game against Spain, where a victory by eleven points was needed, Germany played their best game in the campaign yet but nevertheless lost and was relegated. As a consequence, coach Rudolf Finsterer resigned after ten years of service. He was replaced by Torsten Schippe in July 2010, with South African Jakobus Potgieter as Schippes assistant.


ENC 2010–12

Germany suffered a defeat in its opening game of the 2010–2012 European Nations Cup First Division B, losing to Poland 17–22 after leading 17–9 at half time. The defeat was seen as unnecessary by the President of the German Rugby Federation, Claus-Peter Bach, but he also considered Poland's victory as deserved. Germany went into the match with a new coach and assistant, a new captain, Alexander Widiker and five uncapped players.DRV XV: Unnötige Auftaktniederlage gegen Polen
''
Rugby-Journal The German Rugby Federation (german: Deutscher Rugby-Verband or ''DRV'') is the governing body for rugby union in Germany. It organizes the German national team and the three league divisions: the Rugby-Bundesliga, the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga an ...
'', published: 21 November 2010. Retrieved: 21 November 2010
Germany finally achieved its first win in the ENC since 26 April 2008, when it beat the Netherlands in Amsterdam on 27 November 2010. Its last victory in the European competition had come at the same place against the same opposition, just over 31-month earlier.DRV XV: Verdienter Sieg in Amsterdam
''
Rugby-Journal The German Rugby Federation (german: Deutscher Rugby-Verband or ''DRV'') is the governing body for rugby union in Germany. It organizes the German national team and the three league divisions: the Rugby-Bundesliga, the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga an ...
'', published: 28 November 2010. Retrieved: 28 November 2010
After a disappointing first half of the campaign, where Germany only won one of its five games, the team improved and won three in the second half, consequently finishing fourth overall out of six teams. With the final game against Moldova, Germany's captain Alexander Widiker played his 50th game for his country, thereby equaling Horst Kemmling's record.


ENC 2012–14

Germany again competed in the European Nations Cup First Division B in 2012–2014, once more facing Poland, Moldova and the Czech Republic. Additionally, it also competed against Ukraine, relegated from the A group, and Sweden, promoted from the Second Division. Germany's first match was on 27 October when it played Ukraine at home. Before that the team played an unofficial warm up match against the New Zealand Ambassador's XV on 13 October 2012, a team that featured former All Black Keith Lowen in its ranks, and ended in a 22–20 victory for Germany. Germany won its opening match against Ukraine 46–28, a game in which captain Alexander Widiker became the country's record international rugby union player with 51 games. After a loss to Poland, Germany finished 2012 with a win over Moldova. The German team lost a warm up match to a Welsh student selection in February 2013 before winning its first competitive match in 2013, against Czech Republic, 27-8. Germany finished the first phase of the campaign with a 73-17 victory over Sweden. Germany's coach Torsten Schippe resigned from his post in April 2013, citing work commitments as the reason, despite achieving good results with his team. Schippe was replaced by his assistant Kobus Potgieter as coach of the German team. Germany started the autumn of 2013 with two wins in friendlies against the B team of the Czech Republic and the New Zealand Ambassador's XV, the later with former All Black captain Taine Randell in its ranks. It then won its away match against Ukraine before winning at home against Poland, thereby taking back the lead in its division. Germany lost its last game of 2013, 15–30 to Moldova, but won comfortably 76–12 against the Czech Republic in April 2014. This game was to be the 58th and last for German captain and record international Alexander Widiker as he retired from international rugby after that. Germany's last game of the 2012–14 campaign was against Sweden on 26 April where a bonus point win would guarantee the side the championship, promotion and an advancement in the Rugby World Cup qualifying. Germany won the game 45–20 to advance to a play-off game against the Netherlands in the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Europe qualification, which they won 17-7. They played Russia for a chance to qualify for the
Repechage Repechage (; french: repêchage, "fishing out, rescuing") is a practice in series competitions that allows participants who failed to meet qualifying standards by a small margin to continue to the next round. A well known example is the wild car ...
and lead 20–17 up to the 77th minute but eventually lost 20–31 and were knocked out of the qualifying.


ENC 2014–16

Germany played two warm up matches in 2014. Germany played a match against the New Zealand Ambassadors XV which it won 21–19. Germany then lost to Namibia 58–20. Germany is competing in the European Nations Cup First Division 1A in 2014–16. It is facing Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Spain in this competition, the same opponents it faced at its last stint at this level when it lost all ten games and was relegated. Germany began its ENC campaign in February 2015 with an 8–64 loss against Georgia. It also lost the following four games against Russia, Portugal, Romania and Spain. Germany thereby ended the first half of the 2014–16 campaign in sixth and last place with just one point out of five games, a bonus point earned against Rumania. Germany played two friendlies against Brazil, on 28 November in Blumenau, and 4 December in
São Paulo São Paulo (, ; Portuguese for 'Saint Paul') is the most populous city in Brazil, and is the capital of the state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest Brazilian state, located in the country's Southeast Region. Listed by the GaWC ...
as warm-up matches for the upcoming European Nations Cup games. In the first-ever game against a South American opponent Germany won 29–12 and thereby climbed to 27th spot in the world ranking. After losing the first two games of the 2016 campaign Germany defeated Portugal 50–27 in Hanover in front of over 8,000 spectators. After losing to Romania Germany drew their final game of the campaign, against Spain, thereby finishing in fifth place, above Portugal, and avoiding relegation.


Europe International Championships 2016–17

Germany played in the 2016–17 Championship Division of the Europe International Championships.


Competitions

The performance of the German team since introduction of the European Nations Cup in 2000.


European Nations Cup / Europe International Championships


Rugby World Cup qualifying


Match results


Notable wins

The following table shows all German wins during the Rugby World Cup era (1987–present) against teams that have played in a Rugby World Cup. Source:


Record


Overall

Results listed includes games that was played as West Germany. See
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from its creation on 7 October 1949 until its dissolution on 3 October 1990. In these years the state ...
for results recorded by East Germany. Until the separation of Germany to East and West, Germany had a winning record of 51.35%, winning 19 matches in 37 games between 1900 and 1940. As West Germany, they recorded a 40% win rate, winning 62 matches in 155 games from 1952 and 1990. As a united Germany, from 1900 until present day, Germany has won 151 of their 333 representative matches. Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Germany national team at test level up until 7 January 2019.


Squad

The following players have been called-up to the squad for the 2021–22 Rugby Europe Trophy match against
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populou ...
. Head Coaches: Mark Kuhlmann * Caps updated: 14th November 2021, after game with
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populou ...


Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the squad within the last 12 months.


Rankings


Captains

The following players have captained Germany in the recent past:


Coaches

The following coaches have led Germany in the recent past:


Silver medal team 1900

The following players were part of the team that won the silver medal at the
1900 Summer Olympics The 1900 Summer Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques d'été de 1900, link=no), today officially known as the Games of the II Olympiad () and also known as Paris 1900, were an international multi-sport event that took place in Paris, France, from 1 ...
:Die Gründerjahre des deutschen Rugbysports
DRV website – Foundation years. Retrieved: 27 December 2008
* Albert Amrhein * Hugo Betting * Jacob Herrmann * Willy Hofmeister * Hermann Kreuzer * Arnold Landvoigt * Hans Latscha * Erich Ludwig * Richard Ludwig *
Fritz Müller Johann Friedrich Theodor Müller (31 March 1822 – 21 May 1897), better known as Fritz Müller, and also as Müller-Desterro, was a German biologist who emigrated to southern Brazil, where he lived in and near the German community of Blumenau, ...
* Eduard Poppe * Heinrich Reitz * August Schmierer * Adolf Stockhausen * Georg Wenderoth


References


External links


Deutscher Rugby-Verband
– Official Site
TotalRugby.de
German rugby website with news and results
rugbyweb.de
German rugby website with news and results
Official Rugby Europe website
{{DEFAULTSORT:Germany National Rugby Union Team European national rugby union teams Rugby union in Germany Teams in European Nations Cup (rugby union)