Day of The Nightingale & Rugby in Ukraine


Day of The Nightingale & Rugby in Ukraine

As a brand that has rugby in its DNA, SAMURAI continuously works to champion rugby around the world, expanding the breadth of the spotlight to include not only those at an elite level but also those who may not always get the headlines. Through our new ‘Rugby Communities Series’, we set out to highlight the individuals and clubs that work tirelessly to bring positive sentiment and impact to their communities using rugby. Through this, we hope to amplify their voices, depict their stories and offer a further understanding of how the sport can be a vessel for change.

In the first edition of Rugby Communities, we explore the tenacity from the rugby players of Ukraine. Since the start of the invasion in February 2022, many have lost their lives, including that of former rugby captain and rugby union president, Oleksi Tsibk, who tragically died defending his country. Teams decimated by the destruction of war refuse to yield. Instead, they have come together again for the sport they love and find ways to survive the tough days ahead.

“Rugby is not just a sport, it is a philosophy, and sport in general helps bring people together in difficult times.” - Serhii Monastyrov, Former Ukraine Rugby International 

The Cossacks, Ukraine’s national rugby union team, have played internationally since their establishment in 1991. The team show no intention of stopping as they continue to compete in the Rugby Europe Men's Trophy for the 2023-24 season. The men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams also saw amazing success in the summer of 2023, clinching the Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series overall titles. The women’s team was triumphantly crowned with a perfect 40 points having not lost a single match in the entire series.   


Ukraine Women's Rugby Team


With the teams set to go from strength to strength despite the hardship, the admiration for the rugby community of Ukraine has been felt across the world. Fundraisers like Solovey Spirit have been established to help support the players and their families during this time and many members of the global rugby community have publicly shown their support and offered condolences, including World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont. 

“As soon as you become part of this game you can’t separate yourself from it ever. Rugby gives us an inspiration and strength, it is part of the recovery from this terrible reality. It helps to our mental wellbeing, gives us the reason to live and work and fulfils many vital purposes.”  - Iryna Arkhytska, Secretary General of the Ukrainian Rugby Union

A national symbol of Ukraine, the nightingale is deeply embedded in Ukrainian culture and folklore as an image of family and a harbinger of spring. In honour of the country’s token of hope, the Day of the Nightingale commemorates the two year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. A day of memorial, yet also a time to celebrate the enduring spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people.

For further information on The Day of The Nightingale, read more here.

Solovey Spirit on Instagram


Image Credits: Ukranian Rugby