State of the Nation: Romania

Date published: December 1 2016

With the November Tests now done and dusted for most teams, we look at the state of affairs in each of the competing nations. Next, Romania.

Three wins out of three for Romania marked an impressive return for Lynn Howells and his side, with victories coming over the USA, Canada and most convincingly against Uruguay last weekend.

Finishing last year's Rugby World Cup on a positive note with that narrow loss to Italy felt like the springboard for more success but in the Rugby Europe Championship there is still work to be done, given that Georgia clinched another title with that crushing 38-9 win in Tbilisi back in March.

That defeat sticks even more consider that it is the only match the Oaks have lost all year. Toppling Georgia in the Rugby Europe Championship is long overdue, with no single season title since 2010.

One of their stars from last year's RWC, number eight Mihai Macovei, has unhelpfully been sidelined since May after tearing his cruciate ligament, but Romania have ploughed on without him thanks to the rest of their senior players.

Catalin Fercu has enjoyed an outstanding November, with tries against the USA and Uruguay, making the former Saracens – now playing for partner club Timisoara Saracens – still Romania's best attacking option from full-back.

Howells will also have been pleased no doubt by the work of Stephen Shennan – with the New Zealand-born rugby league convert taking his tally to six tries in nine Tests against Uruguay with a double – and Ionut Dumitru as well.

In the long-run Romania's objective to add an expanded attacking game to their excellent set-piece, with the win over Canada being one of their most encouraging attacking performances for some time.

Producing more key players to back up Johan van Heerden and Florin Vlaicu is a vital next step, as is ending a painful run without a win over close rivals Georgia that stretches back to 2010.

Look out for a more in-depth feature on Romania later this week.

Read the rest of our State of the Nation pieces right here