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Russia national rugby league team

The Russia national rugby league team (also known as The Bears) represent Russia in international rugby league tournaments and other rugby league fixtures. The Bears, played their first fixtures against two British club sides: York Wasps and Fulham RLFC. In 2013, Russia became a full member of the Rugby League International Federation.

Russia
Badge of Russia team
Team information
NicknameThe Bears
Governing bodyRussian Rugby League
RegionEurope
Head coachDenis Korolev
CaptainSergey Konstantinov
Home stadiumNaro-Fominsk
RLIF ranking20th
Uniforms
First colours
Team results
First international
 France 26–6 USSR Soviet Union
(Villeurbanne, France; September 1991)
Biggest win
 Lebanon 0–80 Russia 
(Moscow, Russia; 28 September 2008)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 110–4 Russia 
(Hull, England; 4 November 2000)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first time in 2000)
Best resultGroup Stages, 2000

HistoryEdit

1990sEdit

The Russia Bears were formed in 1991 for a tour of two English teams, the York Wasps and Fulham RLFC.

The Bears played their first overseas match in 1991 against the French national team at the Stade Georges Lyvet, Villeurbanne on Sunday, 27 October 1991. The Bears were beaten 26-6 by France. Later that year, the Bears toured South Africa to play a three-match series against South Africa.

France continued to assist the game in the former Soviet Union by touring in 1993, winning 30-14 in Moscow against the Bears and 34-14 against Moldova.

1994 was the most important year to date for the Bears, marking their first international victory against the USA Tomahawks, in San Francisco. In 1995, Russia competed in the Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament but only won one game during the tournament, defeating the Americans 28-26.

Overseas teams would not return to Russia until 1998, when a youth tournament was held in Moscow. The Bears would have to wait until 2000 to play another international, when they played France in the lead-up to the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

2000sEdit

The 2000 RLWC provided the Bears with the opportunity to compete with the international heavyweights of rugby league: England and Australia. Also in their group was Fiji, who the Bears played first up in Barrow. Led by Sydney Roosters prop Ian Rubin, who was born in Odessa, Ukraine, the Bears were involved in a tight struggle and it was Fijian captain, winger Lote Tuquri, who proved to be the difference between the two sides, with Fiji winning 38-12. The next two games were against opponents who proved to be beyond the Russians, with two big defeats at the hands of the English national team and a record 110-4 defeat by the Australians.

In 2002, Russia hosted Moscow's first rugby league international. The match was shown in full on national television, and was the first rugby league international to be played on artificial turf. Their opponents, the USA Tomahawks, were outclassed by the Bears to the tune of 54-10, in front of a crowd bordering 30,000.

The Russian side went on a four-match tour of New Zealand's south island in 2004.[1]

In 2006, Russia were involved in Europe Round One, defeating Netherlands national rugby league team and Serbia national rugby league team to finish second and keep their World Cup dream alive. They then went through to Europe Round Two in Europe Pool Two with Ireland and Lebanon. Russia lost all 4 games against them and did not qualify on those grounds. Ireland qualified as group winners to go through to the 2008 World Cup, with the runner up Lebanon entering the Repecharge round.

In 2008, the Bears competed in the first-ever RLEF Euro Med Challenge, competing against Serbia and Lebanon. They won both games and emerged as victors of the competition.

2010sEdit

In 2010, after a year out of competition, the Bears competed in the Rugby League European Shield, topping the table after wins against Ukraine and Latvia.

In 2011 Russia were involved in the European qualifying group that featured Russia themselves, Italy, Serbia, and Lebanon. They lost both of their games against Italy and Lebanon ultimately ending their dreams for a second world cup tournament. On the flip side, Russia beat Serbia to finish third in the group, resulting in the Bears avoiding a winless qualifying campaign.

In 2012-2013, the Bears competed in the Rugby League European Shield winning five games out of six to take the shield.

Russia participated in the qualification for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The first stage of qualifying involved having to finish in the top 3 in their 2014–15 European Shield competition. Russia qualified for the 'final qualification tournament' after finishing the European Shield in second position. In the final round of qualification, Russia took on Spain at Fili Stadium in Moscow, and Ireland in Bray, in a bid to qualify for their second World Cup appearance.

PlayersEdit

For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see Russia national rugby league team players.

Current squadEdit

Squad selected for the 2021 World Cup qualifying fixtures;[2]

  • Nikolai Zagoskin
  • Iustin Petrushka
  • Kirill Bozhko
  • Sergei Muntian
  • Kirill Kosharin
  • Petr Botnarash
  • Ivan Troitskii
  • Igor Abramov
  • Vladislav Lesnikov
  • Denis Tiulenev
  • Dmitrii Leskov
  • Aleksandr Lysokon
  • Alexandr Naumov
  • Dmitry Bratko
  • Viacheslav Eremin
  • Viktor Ariutkin
  • Andrey Kuznetsov
  • Ilia Danilov
  • Pavel Mrachkovskii
  • Denis Chuprin
  • Igor Chupin
  • Boris Voloskov
  • Sergey Konstantinov
  • Sergei Zhigan
  • Anton Kuklin
  • Evgenii Orlov
  • Andrei Lavrushin
  • Andrei Perin
  • Nikita Kuznetsov
  • Dmitrii Tarasenkov
  • Aleskei Leonov
  • Egor Shustov
  • Ivan Kazantsev
  • Vsevolod Gusev

Tournament historyEdit

Russia has participated in:

RecordEdit

Below is table of the official representative rugby league matches played by Russia at test level up until 2012:

Team First Played Played Win Draw Loss Last Meeting
  Australia 2000 1 0 0 1 2000
  Cook Islands 1995 1 0 0 1 1995
  England 2000 3 0 0 3 2004
  France 1991 8 0 0 8 2005
  Fiji 2000 1 0 0 1 2000
  Germany 2012 1 1 0 0 2012
  Ireland 2004 3 1 0 2 2007
  Italy 2011 1 0 0 1 2011
  Latvia 2010 1 1 0 0 2010
  Lebanon 2006 3 1 0 2 2008
  Netherlands 2006 1 1 0 0 2006
  Ukraine 2010 2 2 0 0 2011
  United States 1994 5 5 0 0 2004
  Scotland 1995 1 0 0 1 1992
  Serbia 2006 2 2 0 0 2008
  South Africa 1992 2 2 0 0 1992
  Wales 2003 1 0 0 1 2003

Results and fixturesEdit

For all past match results, see the team's results page.
Official Men's Rankings as of November 2019
Rank Change* Team Pts%
1   2   New Zealand
2   1   Australia
3   1   England
4     Tonga
5     Fiji
6   4   Papua New Guinea
7     Samoa
8   2   France
9   1   Scotland
10   1   Lebanon
11   5   Greece
12     Ireland
13   1   Italy
14   3   Wales
15   4   Serbia
16   1   Malta
17   1   Norway
18   3   United States
19   4   Poland
20   7   Jamaica
21   1   Hungary
22   3   Czech Republic
23   5   Cook Islands
24   7   Turkey
25   1   Netherlands
26   4   Spain
27   6   Canada
28     Nigeria
29   2   Solomon Islands
30   10   Sweden
31   4   Germany
32   1   Chile
33     Ghana
34   16   Morocco
35   3   Vanuatu
36     South Africa
37   8   Russia
38     Cameroon
39   2   Ukraine
40   1   Colombia
41   4   Brazil
42     Belgium
43   4   Denmark
44   4   Bulgaria
45   4   Latvia
*Change from July 2019

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS):

SOVIET UNION (USSR):

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ AP (13 April 2004). "Russia lose to New Zealand side". Daily Times. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  2. ^ https://www.rugbyleagueplanet.com/2021-rlwc/russia-serbia-and-spain-name-squads-for-rlwc-qualifiers Russia Squad

External linksEdit