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One of the more unusual aspects of international rugby is the fact that some nations use nicknames for their fifteens. Many are well known to the American rugby community, and emerge often in media reports like All Blacks and Springboks from New Zealand and South Africa. The Eagles are the name for the USA, but the Canadians use no nickname.


England mostly employs the nation’s title but the nickname Red Roses has started to appear. The moniker comes from the House of Lancaster, victors in the 15th-century War of the Roses against the House of York, the losing, White Rose faction. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are without true nicknames. The red Welsh jersey features the three feathers of the Prince of Wales. Scotland’s uniform depicts the thistle, which appeared in the first Test Match against England in 1871. Ireland RFU is the only sport that combines both Ireland and Northern Ireland into one squad, with a four-county flag serving as the official one for rugby Tests matches. 

The French and the Italians both employ blue as their nicknames, with the French as Les Bleus and the Italians as Gli Azzurri. The French jersey shows a rooster.

Spain = Los Leones (Lions)

Portugal = Os Lobos (Wolves)

Russia = The Bears

Romania = The Oaks

Belgium = The Black Devils

Netherland = Oranje

Georgia = The Lelos (Lelos is a local game)

South America

Argentina = Los Pumas

Uruguay = Los Teros (a native bird)

Brazil = Tupis (a native people)

Chile = Los Còndores

Colombia = Los Toucanes

Mexico = Los Serpientes


Japan = Brave Blossoms

Hong Kong = Dragons

Cook Islands = Kukis

Fiji = Bati, Flying Fijians

Tonga = Ikale Tahi, Sea Eagles

Samoa = Manua Samoa

Philippines = Los Volcanoes

New Zealand = All Blacks

Australia = Wallabies


South Africa = Springboks

Uganda = The Rugby Cranes

Namibia = Weltitschias (native plant)

Kenya = The Simbas

Zimbabwe = The Sables


A few nations actively employ nicknames: USA Eagles, England as Red Roses, New Zealand are the Black Ferns, and Australia use Wallaroos.