Regional Association: Rugby Europe
Full Member Unions: 39
Associate Member Unions: 2
Rugby Europe is the name of European Rugby's regional association. Initially, FIRA (Fédération Internationale de Rugby Amateur) introduced the Nations Cup (1965) and Championship (1974), which later became known as the European Nations Cup, to provide international competition for European nations outside the Five Nations. The ENC included three divisions and virtually every nation in continental Europe.
FIRA’s membership had grown to more than 60 unions by 1995, including many outside of Europe like Morocco and Tunisia. By that point, FIRA had recognised the IRB has the game’s governing body and began to integrate itself with the organisation.
In 1999, the organisation added Association of European Rugby to its name, becoming known as FIRA-AER, to promote and manage the game across the continent. Fifteen years later, a second name change occurred, to Rugby Europe.
The largest of the World Rugby regional associations with more than three million players spreading from Finland to Israel and Portugal to Georgia.