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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 Les Lionceaux meaning "The Lion Cubs"
American Samoa Talavalu  
Andorra Els Isards  
Argentina Los Pumas (The 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 comes from the same family as kangaroos, but are smaller
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 Les Rouges Canucks is a slang term for Canadians. Their emblem is a Maple Leaf, so they are sometimes called the Maple Leafs too.
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  
Croatia Kockasti meaning The Chequereds
Cyprus The Moufflons  
Czechia 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
Eswatini Sizeze  
Fiji Bati (The Warriors) or Flying Fijians their emblem is a palm tree
France Le XV de France or Les Bleus (The Blues) "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 Borjgalosnebi / 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). Another nickname that is sometimes used is "Men of Borjgali"
Germany Schwarze Adler (Black Eagles)  
Greece I Ethniki which means "The National (team)"
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  
Kenya The Simbas Simba is the Swahili word for Lion
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  
Malaysia ? Someone told me their nickname is the Malaysian Cobra. This Cobras is a famous team from Malaysia, so I am not sure if that is also the national team nickname. The emblem is a Chinese hibiscus.
Mali Les Hippos  
Malta The Rams  
Mauritania Les Oryxs  
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 in Spanish
Papua New Guinea The Pukpuks Meaning 'crocodiles' in New Guinea Pidgin
Paraguay Los yacarés means the Alligators in Spanish
Peru Los Tumis a ceremonial knife
Philippines Volcanoes  
Poland Biało-czerwoni Biało-czerwoni means white-reds. Poland is also often called "Husaria" - the Hussars (were one of the main types of cavalery in Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth between the 16th and 18th centuries.)
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
Slovenia Encijani means The Gentians, because the crest of the Slovenia rugby union national team is a gentian, a blue flower
Solomon Islands Warriors  
South Africa Springboks The springbok is the name of an antelope found in south Africa. The word "Springbok" comes from the Afrikaans "spring" (jump) and "bok" (antelope). In the Afrikaans language, the Springboks are called Springbokke or Bokke for short.
Spain Los Leones (The Lions) Also sometimes written as XV del León (the 15 of the lion in Spanish). Named for the lion on the team emblem.
Sri Lanka The brave Elephants / Tuskers  
Switzerland Edelweiss  
Tanzania Twigas  
Trinidad and Tobago The Calypso Warriors  
Togo Eperviers meanig hawks
Tonga 'Ikale Tahi Sea Eagles
Türkiye 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  


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  
USA The Eagles Named for their emblem and national symbol (same as the men's team)
Zimbabwe Pangolins  

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