Romania head coach Eugen Apjok has named his 33-man squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
The squad features a blend of experience and youth, with Mihai Macovei and Florin Surugiu both selected for their 100th caps. There are also first call-ups for Tangimana Fonovai, Taylor Gontineac, and Hinckley Vaovasa.
Cristi Chirica will captain the side, with Ovidiu Cojocaru and Mihai Macovei named vice-captains.
The squad is as follows:
- Alexandru Savin (CSA Steaua)
- Gheorghe Gajion (Stade Montois)
- Thomas Cretu (Stade Français)
- Alexandru Gordaș (CS Dinamo)
- Costel Burțilă (RC Hyères Carqueiranne La Crau)
- Iulian Harțig (RC Bassin d’Arcachon)
- Ovidiu Cojocaru (CS Dinamo)
- Robert Irimescu (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Florin Bărdașu (CSA Steaua)
- Adrian Motoc (Biarritz Olympique)
- Marius Iftimiciuc (US Carcassonne)
- Ștefan Iancu (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Cristi Chirica (captain – CS Dinamo)
- Mihai Macovei (RC Bassin d’Arcachon)
- Vlad Neculau (SCM USV Timișoara)
- Dragoș Ser (CSA Steaua)
- Cristi Boboc (CSA Steaua)
- Florian Roșu (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Damian Strătilă (CSA Steaua)
- Gabriel Rupanu (SCM USV Timișoara)
- Florin Surugiu (CSA Steaua)
- Alin Conache (SCM USV Timișoara)
- Gabriel Pop (CS Dinamo)
- Mihai Mureșan (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Tudor Boldor (CS Dinamo)
- Nicolas Onuțu (CS Vienne)
- Marius Simionescu (SCM USV Timișoara)
- Tangimana Fonovai (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Taylor Gontineac (Rouen Normandie)
- Jason Tomane (CSM Știința Baia Mare)
- Tevita Manumua (CS Dinamo)
- Hinckley Vaovasa (CS Dinamo)
- Paul Popoaia (CS Dinamo)
Romania are drawn in Pool B alongside South Africa, Scotland, Ireland and Tonga.
They will begin their campaign against Ireland in Bordeaux on September 9, 2023.
Apjok said: “We are excited to announce our squad for the Rugby World Cup. It is a talented group of players who have worked hard to earn their selection.
“We have a challenging pool but we are confident in our ability to compete and win. We are looking forward to the tournament and giving it our best.”
Romania are making their ninth appearance at the Rugby World Cup. They have never won the tournament, but they have reached the quarterfinals on three occasions.
They will be hoping to make a strong impression in France and improve on their previous performances. The squad features a number of experienced players who will be key to Romania’s chances, including Chirica, Macovei, Surugiu, and Gajion. There are also a number of exciting young players in the squad, such as Gontineac, Onuțu, and Simionescu.
Romania will be hoping to cause a few upsets at the World Cup and make their mark on the tournament. They have a tough pool to navigate, but they have the talent and experience to do so.