Rugby Union National Team Names

Many rugby teams from around the world have another name by which they are more well known. These are not always official names, and some national teams have more than one nickname.

I have tried to find the most commonly used nickname, and included others if known. As you can see, these nicknames are commonly derived from the color of their playing strip or country flag, or an animal associated with the country. If you have any corrections or additions, please let me know.

 

List of National Team Nicknames (men)

Team Nickname notes
Algeria Fennecs
American Samoa Talavalu
Andorra Els Isards
Argentina Los Pumas (Pumas) The Argentina team is called Los Pumas because of the animal depicted as the team's emblem. However, that animal is actually a jaguar (ayaguareté) and not a puma!
Australia Wallabies A wallaby is a small kangaroo
Austria Steinböcke a Ibex or alpine mountain goat
Barbados Bajans
Belgium Zwarte Duivels meaning Black Devils in Dutch. Also Diables Noirs (black devils in French)
Botswana The Vultures
Brazil Os Tupis Tupis are the main ethnic group of Brazilian indigenous people.
Brunei Leopards
Burundi Intawamba meaning lions
Burkina Faso Etalions
Cambodia Koupreys meaning Buffalos
Cameroon Indomitable Lions "Les Lions Indomptables"
Canada Canucks or Maple Leafs Canucks is a slang term for Canadians
Catalonia El XV de la ginesta
Cayman Islands Turtles
Chad Les Sao
Chile Los Cóndores The Condors
Colombia Tucanos
Congo (Democratic Republic) Leopards
Congo (Republic) Diables Rouges
Costa Rica Ticos

Côte D'Ivoire

Les Éléphants
Cyprus The Moufflons
Czech Republic Panthers
Denmark Danish Lions
El Salvador Los Torogoces Turquoise-browed Motmots
England Red and Whites The Red and Whites is not a commonly used name. It comes from the red and white playing strip. Also the Roses? A Fenchman notified me that in France the English team is called "Le 15 de la Rose" - literally: "The 15 of the Rose".
Ecuador Los Piqueros named after the bird
Fiji Bati (The Warriors) / Flying Fijians
France Le XV de France "Le XV de France" literally translates as "The 15 of France". France's team is also called les bleus (the blues) because of the color of their uniform, though "Les Bleus" is more of a generic name for all French national teams. Before their curent strip which is mostly blue, the French team played in blue shirts, white shorts, and red socks, the colors of the national flag, and were nicknamed "Les Tricolores". Also sometimes Le Coqs (the cockerels).
Georgia The Lelos The name comes from lelo, an indigenous Georgian sport with strong similarities to rugby. Lelo has been adopted as the Georgian word for "try". One standard cheer of Georgian rugby union fans is Lelo, Lelo, Sakartvelo (Try, Try, Georgia).
Guatemala Jaguares
Hong Kong Dragons
Indonesia White Rhinos
Iran Team Melli
Ireland - Ireland do not commonly use a nickname. If anything, they would be called the shamrocks (it's the team's emblem)
Italy Gli Azzurri  the same as their football (soccer) team and other Italian teams, a reference to their jersey color. Translates as "light blue or "azure".
Japan The Brave Blossoms Named after their emblem. The team was previously called the 'Cherry Blossoms'.
Kazakhstan  The Nomads
Lebanon Phoenix The Phoenix is said to be the official bird of Lebanon and is often used to describe the capital city, Beirut, which has been destroyed on 7 different occasions and been rebuilt.
Madagascar  Les Makis
Mali Les Hippos
Mauritania Les Oryxs
Malta The Rams
Mexico Serpientes meaning Snakes
Moldova Haiduci
Morocca Atlas Lions
Namibia Welwitschias The Welwitschias is a plant which is considered a living fossil and features on the country's coat of arms. (The team is aka Biltongboere).
Netherlands Oranje may also be The Impala's
New Zealand All Blacks black is the color of the New Zealand jersey
Niger Zebou
Nigeria Black Stallions
Niue Toa Niue
Pakistan The Greenshirts
Panama Diablos Rojos meaning Red Devils
Papua New Guinea The Pukpuks
Paraguay Los yacarés means the Alligators
Peru Los Tumis a ceremonial knife
Philippines Volcanoes
Poland Biało-czerwoni meaning white-reds
Portugal Os Lobos meaning The Wolves
Romania Oaks Named for their emblem.
Russia Bears
Rwanda Silverbacks
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Amazona Guildingii Name for the rare and graceful Vincentian Parrot.
Samoa (Western Samoa) Manu Samoa 'Manu Samoa' is the name of a famous Samoan chief/warrior some 10 generations ago.
Santa Lucia Zandolis
Scotland - Scotland do not commonly use a nickname, though sometimes they are called the thistle (it's their emblem)
Senegal Lions
Serbia Orlovi meaning eagles
Solomon Islands Warriors
South Africa Springboks Also called Boks, or more correctly the Sprinbokke, or Bokke
Spain El XV Del León Named for the lion on their emblem.
Sri Lanka The brave Elephants / Tuskers
Swaziland Sizeze
Switzerland Edelweiss
Tanzania Twigas
Trinidad and Tobago The Calypso Warriors
Togo Eperviers meanig hawks
Tonga 'Ikale Tahi Sea Eagles
Turkey Ay Yıldızlar meaning The Crescent Stars
Turks & Caicos Islands The Flamingos
Uganda The Rugby Cranes
Ukraine Cossacks
Uruguay Los Teros Named for their emblem.
USA The Eagles Named for their emblem and national symbol
Vanuatu Tuskers
Venezuela Orquideas
Virgin Islands Green Machine
Wales Dragons also 'ostrich feathers'?
Zimbabwe The Sables

Notes

Combined Teams

Team notes
The British and Irish Lions rugby union team made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
The African Leopards an African rugby union representative team, organized by the Confederation of African Rugby

List of National Team Nicknames (women)

Team Nickname notes
Australia Wallaroos
Brazil Amazonas
England Red Roses
Finland Furies
New Zealand Black Ferns
Papua New Guinea The Palais
Samoa Manusina Samoa
Romania Ghindele meaning the Acorns
Rwanda Blackbacks
Uganda Lady Cranes
Zimbabwe Pangolins

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