The aforementioned “verge” turned into an actuality during the weekend when the Cyprus national rugby team set a new world record for successive Test wins when they beat Bulgaria 79-10. The Moufflons, nicknamed after the wild sheep found in the Cypriot mountains, have been unbeaten for over four years. They have beaten the record in Test history jointly held by New Zealand (1965-69) and South Africa (1997-98).
ESPN report that Cyprus’ sharp rise through the lower European Divisions has come as a shock to a nation who only played its first international match just six years ago. The growth of the sport on the island has been aided greatly by the sizeable population of Cypriots with British, South African and Australian heritage who established a foundation for rugby players to enjoy the sport they had grown up playing in their places of birth.
The next challenge for the Cyprus XV will be to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They need to win six knockout matches and if they are successful, their reward will be a place in the ‘group of death’ with England, Wales and Australia.
Good luck boys!