European Trips to Romania

There are three interesting trips for us in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season – with a visit to Bucharest in Romania sticking out like a sore thumb.

Our double-header in December is against the Bucharest Wolves at the Arcul de Triumf.

I am pleased to see sides like that making their way into European competition.

We have a duty to try and spread the game and the so-called minnows of northern hemisphere rugby will never get a chance to improve unless they face better opposition on a regular basis.

Of course, and with no disrespect, we should be looking at playing back-to-back game against a side that has won just eight games in eight years in the competition as a chance to pick up 10 points.

But it will be an interesting experience for most of the lads going to a ground with a capacity of just 4,000.

There will be few of the luxuries of Sixways, that’s for sure.

I remember going to play in Romania when I was at Saracens. We beat Dinamo Bucuresti 127-0 and ran in 23 tries in the process.

It snowed, it was absolutely freezing, there was a handful of people watching and there were no changing rooms. We got changed in a Portakabin.

It was a pretty brutal place to go.

They were not very good either but they were big, hard men, as you would expect from the Eastern Bloc.

If they can keep on improving as a side and nation, and I thought they did well against England at the World Cup, they will be a handful, certainly at home.

Our narrow defeat by Stade Francais at Sixways was gutting to start the tournament, especially after having raced out to a 14-0 lead.

It just means that we will have to go to Paris on the last round of matches and get a result.


Read more from Andy Goode.

More about the Amlin Challenge Cup at the official site.

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