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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Romania target Six Nations
Romania tried to get to grips with Austin Healey when they took on England in 2001
Romania want to get to grips with England on an annual basis
Romanian fly-half Ionut Tofan has predicted his side can become the latest addition to the Six Nations before the next World Cup.

Italy were brought into the then Five Nations in time for the 2000 competition.

But Tofan believes Romania will be competitive enough to match their top European rivals by 2007.

He told the BBC Sport website: "Romanian players wanted to be a part of it a long time ago but it just wasn't right for us at the time."

"But hopefully by the next World Cup we'll be ready to be the seventh nation. That's the dream."

Back in the 1980's when they were an admirable force in the global game, they beat Scotland, twice overcame Welsh and notched up three wins against France as well as running England and New Zealand close.

But a 134-0 defeat to England in 2001 left them some way down the pecking order as the "seventh nation".

It wouldn't matter if the Romanians went out with 30 players onto the field for each game
Ex-Wallaby wing David Campese

Tofan, however, believes new coach Bernard Charryere, and the fact that the majority of players ply their trade abroad, has helped the team's cause.

The influential playmaker added: "We still have to improve and then we will be able to be part of the Six Nations. It remains a distinct possibility."

Despite his optimism, his bid was knocked down by former Australian wing David Campese.

Campese said: "It wouldn't matter if the Romanians went out with 30 players onto the field for each game. They'd still fall short of their Six Nations opponents.

"Some people say they've started to turn the corner since then, but it's still not enough to be competitive against Europe's elite."

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