The «Fédération Internationale de Rugby Amateur» is born in 1934 and was established after France was banned from the Five Nations Tournament by the Home Unions. France turned to Germany then to Italy and Romania as partners and created another organisation comprising the three nations mentioned above as well as Belgium, Catalonia, Spain, Holland, Portugal and Czechoslovakia.

The role of this regional organisation is to develop and manage European rugby through all its components, in collaboration with and with the help of the IRB, within a global frame of regional areas.


In 1990s the FIRA recognised the IRB as the governing body of rugby union worldwide and after negotiations with the IRB, it agreed to integrate itself within the organisation. In 1999 it changed its name to "FIRA – Association of European Rugby" (FIRA–AER), to promote and rule over rugby union in the European area and to run the junior world championship. FIRA-AER organised both the under-19 and under-21 world championships until IRB folded them into the competitions now known as the World Rugby Under 20 Championship and World Rugby Under 20 Trophy in 2008. Read more about history...


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Why did FIRA become FIRA-AER ?

Having become a competitor to the IRB through the joining of nations from all over the world, FIRA passed an agreement with the IRB in 1994 according to which it was entitled to continental leadership among the European nations. Thus the name AER (Association Européenne de Rugby) was added to its title.

What is FIRA-AER’s position within the IRB ?

FIRA-AER has a permanent representative at the Council of the IRB, takes part in all the decision taking and is entitled to vote, in the same way as the founding nations and the other regional bodies.

Who are the development officers of FIRA-AER ?

The development officers are Douglas Langley (who took over from Pierre Villepreux who took over from Robert Antonin after the restructuring following the General Assembly of Biarritz in 1999) and Michel Arpaillange. Each nation will be given a full time development officer trained through "stages" taking place in France.

What are the prerogatives of the FIRA-AER development officers ?

The FIRA-AER development officers – who answer to the IRB for administration matters but are placed under the authority of the President of FIRA-AER – aim at promoting, developing and supervising all forms of rugby in the European zone (training, technique, sport and education matters) for all levels of male and female players.


11/07/2011 - 31/07/2011 Seven's - Victory of Serbia in Division B