Rugby Premier League
Professional Rugby League (Russian: Профессиональная регбийная лига) is the premier rugby union competition in Russia. The Professional League was re-formed in 2005 after the previous Superleague. The Superleague, in turn, was active from 1992 to 2004 and succeeded the Soviet Championship.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 Russian Professional Rugby League season
|Owner(s)||Russian Rugby Union|
|No. of teams||8|
|Enisei-STM (9th title)|
|Most titles||VVA Saracens 17 titles)|
|TV partner(s)||Live streams on rrpl.ru|
|International cup(s)||European Rugby Challenge Cup |
European Rugby Continental Shield
In the 2014-2015 season, Russia was represented by Enisei-STM in the Challenge Cup after defeating Romanian outfit CSM Baia Mare 63-32 on aggregate, with great success, being the only team from the newly found European Rugby Continental Shield to defeat two teams from Tier One nations, Brive and Newcastle Falcons respectively. But that did not stop there, for the 2015-2016 season of Challenge Cup Enisei-STM qualified into the competition by passing Rovigo quite comfortably 70-5 on aggregate, only for them to then defeat Worcester Warriors and Newport Gwent Dragons 19-12 and 38-18 respectively. Eventually Enisei-STM earned their right to play once more due to their qualification in the Challenge Cup while rivals Krasny Yar won the league and also participated in the European Rugby Continental Shield, where they defeated a fierce Timișoara Saracens 39-35 on aggregate in the play-offs after their success in their qualifying pool. This performance would make it a full Russian final between the two teams of Krasnoyarsk on the 13th of May 2017 at Murrayfield Complex in Edinburgh. The final score was 36-8 to the Enisei-STM side who then lost all their games this time receiving close shaves against Newport Gwent Dragons 21-28 at home and to Bordeaux with the score 36-27 away . Unfortunately for the one of the Russian sides, they 2018-2019 season in Europe was going to end per-maturely as Krasny Yar drawed with Enisei-STM in the play-offs and lost 74-38 on aggregate and the victors also defeated Heidelberger RK on the 12th of May 2018 at Campos Deportivos de Fadura, Biscay 24-20. The German side later got disqualified from the Challenge Cup and got replaced by Timișoara Saracens. The 2018-2019 season in the Challenge Cup was not quite as expected for Enisei-STM as they lost yet again all their matches yet by a big difference in the score. Enisei-STM have once more qualified for the European competition after barely defeating Timișoara Saracens 58-52 on aggregate and lost 20-18 away in a match where they were 18-0 up.
Each club plays each opponent twice; four points are awarded for a win, two for a draw, and no points are given for a defeat. A similar points system is used by most of the club competitions. The top four clubs proceed to the play-offs (first introduced in 2006). not needed
The founding of the league coincided with a period of rapid change for Russian rugby, and the format has differed nearly every season since 2005 a year after the Russian Superleague was re-formed.
In 2007, Yug-Krasnodar were admitted to the competition, increasing the league's size to eight teams. For 2008 several lower division clubs were admitted, with a total of 14 teams split into three conferences based on geography. Many of elevated clubs were semiprofessional or even amateur in nature, which lead a lack of competitive balance. The average attendance that season was 4285.
2010 saw another change of format. Gone was the East-West divide, culminating in the formation of a 'Super Group'. VVA Monino, Krasny Yar, Yenisey-STM, Slava Moscow, RC Novokuznetsk and Imperia-Dynamo are joined by Fili Moscow and Spartak GM in a straight home-and-away league format. The Rugby Union of Russia were reluctant to make any changes in 2011, a World Cup year.
League Honour BoardEdit
|Team||Number of Titles|
|RC AIA Kutaisi||3|
|RC Aviator Kiev||1|
|RC Lokomotiv Moscow||1|