A dramatic chapter in rugby history is being written in the heart of Europe as Portugal and Spain get ready to play each other in the Rugby Europe Men's Championship 2024 semi-finals.

This match not only demonstrates the strength and will of two adjacent countries, but it also emphasises the growing competitiveness and standards of rugby in Europe.

Portugal's ascent to the semi-finals was nothing short of impressive, as they defeated Romania 49-24 in Bucharest to win Pool B. With this victory, they not only guaranteed themselves a spot in the semi-finals but also moved up to 15th place in the World Rugby Men's Rankings, overtaking Tonga.

Conversely, Spain put up a fierce fight to take second place in Pool A, paving the way for a much-awaited matchup with Portugal. Their efforts were part of a larger story that helped them hold onto their 19th-place status in the rankings, exhibiting tenacity and composure in a global setting.

The World Rugby Men's Rankings were significantly impacted by the qualifying round outcomes. In addition to Portugal's impressive ascent in the rankings, the Netherlands also made a noteworthy move up to 28th place with their first victory of the season over Germany.

This change highlights how international rugby is dynamic and how each match has the potential to cause profound changes in the world order. Romania stayed close below the 19th slot in the standings, while Spain maintained its position despite their losses.

The changing rugby scene in Europe are reflected in these moves, which are paving the way for an exciting semi-final matchup.


A passionate Irish journalist with a love for cycling, politics and of course Portugal especially their sausage rolls.

Rory Mc Ginn