Romania Announces Squad for Clash Against South Africa at Stade de Bordeaux

Romania’s head coach, Eugen Apjok, has unveiled his squad for the upcoming showdown against South Africa at the Stade de Bordeaux, scheduled for Sunday, September 17th, with kick-off set at 15:00 SA time.

Tactical Adjustments for Romania

In preparation for this crucial match, Apjok has introduced three significant changes to his starting XV lineup.

Notably, the retained wingers, Nicholas Onutu and Tevita Manumua, will be switching positions, with Onutu now donning jersey number 11 and Manumua taking the number 14 spot.

Experience in Short Supply

Romania’s starting XV reveals a relatively inexperienced side, amassing a total of 323 caps, distributed with 195 in the forwards and 128 in the backs.

Among the players, tighthead prop Alexandru Gordas and the team’s number eight and captain, Cristian Chirica, boast the highest experience with 35 caps each.

Changes in the Forward Pack

In the forward pack, Marius Iftimiciuc will step into the second row, replacing Stefan Iancu, who will now occupy a place on the bench.

Additionally, Andre Gorin has earned his spot as the 24th Romania player in just a week to make his Rugby World Cup debut, securing the blindside position.

Shuffling in the Backline

The only other personnel change occurs at the center, where Taylor Gontineac takes the place of Fonovai Tangimana.

Notably, the absence of Romania’s oldest and most experienced player at RWC 2023, Florin Surugiu, has led to Gabriel Rupanu retaining his position at scrumhalf.

Rupanu’s quick try, timed at just two minutes and 11 seconds, marked a historic moment as Romania’s fastest-ever Rugby World Cup try.

Consistency in Key Positions

Hinckley Vaovasa remains alongside Rupanu at flyhalf following an impressive performance in only his second test start in this pivotal position, notably beating nine defenders, with only New Zealand’s Mark Telea surpassing this feat with 11.

Team Lineups


  • 15 Marius Simionescu
  • 14 Tevita Manumua
  • 13 Jason Tomane
  • 13 Jason Tomane
  • 12 Taylor Gontineac
  • 11 Nicholas Onutu
  • 10 Hinckley Vaovasa
  • 9 Gabriel Rupanu
  • 8 Cristian Chirica (captain)
  • 7 Vlad Neculau
  • 6 Andre Gorin
  • 5 Marius Iftimiciuc
  • 4 Adrian Motoc
  • 3 Alexandru Gordas
  • 2 Ovidiu Cojocaru
  • 1 Iulian Hartig


  • 16 Robert Irimescu
  • 17 Alexandru Savin
  • 18 Thomas Cretu
  • 19 Stefan Iancu
  • 20 Damian Stratila
  • 21 Cristi Boboc
  • 22 Alin Conache
  • 23 Gabriel Pop

South Africa:

  • 15 Willie le Roux
  • 14 Grant Williams
  • 13 Canan Moodie
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 11 Makazole Mapimpi
  • 10 Damian Willemse
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 8 Duane Vermeulen
  • 7 Kwagga Smith
  • 6 Marco van Staden
  • 5 Marvin Orie
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 3 Vincent Koch
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi (c)
  • 1 Ox Nche


  • 16 Deon Fourie
  • 17 Steven Kitshoff
  • 18 Trevor Nyakane
  • 19 RG Snyman
  • 20 Jasper Wiese
  • 21 Jaden Hendrikse
  • 22 Faf de Klerk
  • 23 Jesse Kriel

Romania’s Challenge Ahead

Romania’s squad announcement for their clash with South Africa reveals a team eager to make its mark in the Rugby World Cup.

The tactical adjustments and changes in key positions signal a proactive approach by coach Apjok.

However, the relative lack of experience in the starting XV is a challenge that the team must overcome.

The performance of Hinckley Vaovasa, who impressed in his previous outing, and the absence of Florin Surugiu will be closely watched factors in this crucial match.

Romania faces a formidable opponent in South Africa, and this contest promises to be an intriguing test of their abilities on the world stage.

Rugby enthusiasts will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this encounter.

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