Rugby in Cyprus

Information on the history of the sport on the island and details on the rugby clubs in Limassol, Nicosia and Paphos...

Rugby has been played on Cyprus by members of the British Armed forces since the 1950s. In 2003 a civilian team was formed in Paphos by a group of English and South African expatriates. In 2004, following the success of England in the Rugby World Cup (and over a few beers), Limassol Crusaders was born, followed shortly by Nicosia Barbarians. These teams all joined the British bases league to allow full competitive play.

Following hard work by some dedicated individuals, the Cyprus Rugby Federation was initiated and gained acceptance to the International Federation of Amateur Rugby in December 2006.

The Goals of Rugby in Cyprus

  • To promote rugby at every opportunity
  • To put Cyprus on the rugby world map
  • To bring visiting national and club rugby sides to Cyprus
  • To promote rugby within local schools

Many different forms of rugby exist ranging from touch rugby for the very junior sides, semi-contact for youth teams and full contact for senior players including the faster game of Rugby sevens. Rugby is a sport that can be played by both men and women, and is renowned for its social following.

Where to play

  • Limassol Crusaders RFC
    Established January 2004
    25 playing members (mostly British)
    18 eligible to play for a Cyprus XV
    75 social members
  • Paphos Tigers RFC
    Established May 2003 (the first independent rugby club in Cyprus)
    25 playing members (mostly South African Cypriots and British expatriates)
    19 eligible to play for a Cyprus XV
    120 social members
  • Nicosia Barbarians
    Established January 2004
    10 playing members (mostly British, with some players from the UN base)
    7 eligible to play for a Cyprus XV
    5 social members
Information provided by Andy Webster of Limassol Crusaders RFC