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The Serbia national rugby league team represents Serbia in the sport of rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 2003. Serbian Rugby League was reborn on November 10, 2001 after 40 years of non existence due to the Yugoslav Communist dictatorship banning the game in the mid 1960s because they favored Rugby Union which Croatia was playing at the time. Rugby League was first played in Serbia in 1953.

Serbia
Badge of Serbia team
Team information
NicknameWhite Eagles (Beli orlovi)
Governing bodySerbian Rugby League
RegionEurope
Head coachBrett Davidson
CaptainDalibor Vukanović
Most capsZoran Pešić (28)
Home stadiumMakiš Stadium, Belgrade
RLIF ranking17th
Uniforms
First colours
Team results
First international
 Lebanon 102–0 Serbia 
(19 October 2003)
Biggest win
 Germany 6–90 Serbia 
(22 April 2011)
Biggest defeat
 France 120–0 Serbia 
(22 October 2003)

Contents

HistoryEdit

1950s–1960sEdit

Rugby League was first played in Serbia in 1953 when it was introduced by Dragan Marsicevic, secretary of the Yugoslav Sport Association.[citation needed] Two French teams toured later that year, and in 1954 the clubs Partizan and Radnički were formed. These clubs played their first match on April 26, 1954. In 1961 a Yugoslav Rugby League team played its only game against a French Select XIII team in Banja Luka. The French team won 13-0. The sport died out soon afterwards not due to the communist regime banning the sport.[citation needed]

2000sEdit

The rebirth of Serbian Rugby league Federation was on November 10, 2001 with the new federation been formed. There is now an eight team domestic competition between Dorcol Spiders, Morava Cheetahs, Red Star Belgrade, Belgrade University, Radnički Nova Pazova, Tsar Lazar, Soko, Stari Grad, and Niš.

Serbia has participated in the Mediterranean Cup competition in 2003 and 2004. Serbia won the 2006 and 2007 Slavic Cup after beating Czech Republic 36-28 in Prague and 56-16 in Belgrade, respectively.

2008 World Cup QualifyingEdit

See also 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying

Serbia failed to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, losing to Holland, Russia and Georgia in 2006, to be eliminated from the qualification process. Serbia won the 2007 and 2010 European Shield tournaments, by beating both Germany and Czech Republic on both occasions. Serbia took part in then European 2nd tier competition Euro Med Challenge in 2008. After being defeated 4-30 by Russia in Novi Sad and 14-20 by Lebanon in Bhamdoun, Serbs finished third. Serbia was a participant in the 2009 European Cup, having been drawn in a group alongside Wales and Ireland.

2013 World Cup QualifyingEdit

Serbia participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers in October 2011. They played games against Italy, Lebanon and Russia, but were defeated in all three matches and so were ultimately unsuccessful in qualification for the tournament.

2014 Balkans CupEdit

Serbia participated in the inaugural Balkans Cup tournament held in their own country. Serbia finished second in the tournament after a defeat to Greece who had a full squad of Australian born players in the final.[1]

2017 World Cup qualifyingEdit

Serbia participated in the qualification for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The first stage of qualifying involved having to finish in the top three in their 2014–15 European Shield competition. During their qualification, Serbia created history after beating Russia for their first ever time on their eighth time of asking.[2]

The final qualification tournament will consist of six teams: the top three teams from the European B tournament, the winners of the European C tournament and seeded nations Wales and Ireland. The tournament will feature two groups of three teams playing in a single round-robin format. The winners of each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the runners-up faced each other in a play-off match on 5 November 2016 to determine the final spot. A seeded draw took place to determine the groups on 5 November 2015. Serbia were placed in Group A. They took on Wales on October 15, 2016, in Llanelli Wales and Italy in Belgrade on 22 October for a place in the 2017 World Cup.[3] In the lead up to the World Cup qualifiers, Serbia played Spain in Valencia and ran out 64-4 winners a dominant display in the first ever meeting between these two nations.[4] In the first World Cup qualifier against a Wales side full of Super League and Championship players, Serbia lost, 50–0, proving that there is still a long way to go but that there was some slight improvement from last time the two nations meet in 2009 when Serbia lost 88-8.[5] In the second and final game of World Cup qualifying Serbia needed victory over Italy to send them through to a one-game playoff against Russia but lost the game at the Maksis Stadium in Belgrade, 14–62, which was a result against an Italian team with many NRL and English Super League players who were Australians of Italian heritage.[6] On November 10, 2016, 15 years was celebrated since the re-forming of Serbian Rugby League a milestone occasion.[7]

Tournament historyEdit

The following tournaments is a list of notable international competitions that Serbia has been competing in since their existence in 2003. A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Serbia.

World CupEdit

Official Men's Rankings as of July 2019
Rank Change* Team Pts%
1     Australia
2     England
3     New Zealand
4     Tonga
5     Fiji
6     France
7     Samoa
8     Scotland
9     Lebanon
10     Papua New Guinea
11     Wales
12     Ireland
13   1   Jamaica
14   1   Italy
15     United States
16   3   Greece
17   1   Malta
18   2   Norway
19   2   Serbia
20   2   Hungary
21     Canada
22     Philippines
23     Poland
24     Niue
25     Czech Republic
26     Netherlands
27     Solomon Islands
28   17   Cook Islands
29     Russia
30   2   Spain
31     Turkey
32   1   Vanuatu
33   1   Chile
34     Japan
35   5   Germany
36   1   South Africa
37   2   Ukraine
38   2   El Salvador
39   1   Hong Kong
40   2   Sweden
41     Colombia
42   3   Belgium
43     Argentina
44   2   Thailand
45   1   Brazil
46   1   Uruguay
47   2   Denmark
48   2   Bulgaria
*Change from December 2018
World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2008 Failed to Qualify
   2013 Failed to Qualify
   2017 Failed to Qualify
  2021 Future events
Total 0 Titles 0/14 0 0 0 0

European CupEdit

European Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
       2005 Failed to Qualify
       2009 Group Stage 5/6 2 0 2 0
     2010 Not Invited
   2012 Not Invited
      2014 Not Invited
     2015 Not Invited
Total 0 Titles 1/32 2 0 2 0

European ShieldEdit

European Shield record
Year Round Position GP W L D
    2006 Not Invited
    2007 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
    2008 Not Invited
    2009 Not Invited
    2010 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
    2011 Not Invited
     2012/13 Third Place 3/4 6 2 4 0
     2014/15 Champions 1/4 6 5 1 0
    2018 Third place 3/3 2 1 0 1
Total 3 Titles 4/8 16 11 5 0

Balkans CupEdit

Balkans Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2014 Second place 2/4 2 1 1 0
  2017 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
  2019 to be determined
Total 1 Titles 2/2 4 3 1 0

Current squadEdit

Squad selected for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifying stages;[8]

  • Danilo Delic
  • Nebojsa Zivanovic
  • Zoran Pesic
  • Daniel Burke
  • Jason Muranka
  • Aleksa Radic
  • Andrej Mora
  • Dalibor Vukanovic
  • Milan Avramovic
  • Milos Aleksic
  • Nikola Pesterac
  • Radovan Stanic
  • Sergej Devetak
  • Stefan Djordjevic
  • Stefan Vukanovic
  • Stevan Stevanovic
  • Veljko Stalevic
  • Vlada Stanic
  • Vuk Miladinovic
  • Brandon Janjic
  • Djordje Stosic
  • Filip Stosic
  • Stefan Jovanovic
  • Daniel Marjanovic
  • Jordan Grant
  • Aleksandar Pavlovic
  • Ilija Radan
  • Dario Abidinovic
  • Denis Bajrami
  • Dragan Jankovic
  • Dzavid Jasari
  • Mihajlo Stojiljkovic
  • Milan Ilic
  • Nikola Srbljanin
  • Pero Madzarevic
  • Petar Kovac
  • Ronaldo Bitici
  • Toplica Ristic
  • Vladimir Milutinovic
  • Vlado Kusic
  • Zane Bijorac
  • Aleksandar Ilic
  • Dusan Kocic
  • Lazar Zivkovic
  • Marko Milenkovic
  • Mihajlo Jovic
  • Velibor Ristic
  • Atanas Trimceski
  • Darko Stosic
  • Djordje Gak
  • Ilija Tintor
  • Marko Jakovljevic
  • Vuk Tomic
  • Aleksandar Djordjevic
  • Danilo Kosanovic
  • Ilija Krstic
  • Milos Calic
  • Milos Zogovic
  • Nikola Djuric
  • Petar Milanovic
  • Predrag Keglic
  • Rajko Trifunovic
  • Slobodan Milenkovic
  • Stefan Nedeljkovic
  • Stefan Nikolic
  • Vladislav Dedic
  • Vojislav Dedic
  • Vuk Strbac
  • David Andjelic
  • Veljko Stankovic
  • Vladica Nikolic
  • Jonathan Kress
  • James Mirceski

Youth national teamsEdit

Serbian youth national teams permanently compete in European cups from 2006. Their first appearance was in France during Under 19s European Nations Cup. They finished 6th after dying minutes defeat by Scotland Under 19s.

In 2007, Serbia hosted Under 16s European Nations Cup. Win over Russia Under 16s in group stage secured match for the 3rd place, but Serbia Under 16s eventually lost 20-22 by Euro Celts Under 16s and finished 4th.

In 2008 Serbia attended Under 18s European Nations Cup in Czech Republic. Ireland Under 18s beat Serbia Under 18s in preliminaries and send them to European Nation Shield semifinals, where they beat Euro Celts Under 18s and qualify for the Shield final. In the most indecisive game of the tournament, Serbs finally lost to Scots after golden point extra time (second extra time) and won 6th place.

In 2009, Serbia hosted Under 16s European Championships for the second time. Serbia Under 16s failed to win a game in the European Shield part of the competition. The both, Euro Celts Under 16s (composed of Irish, Russian, Welsh, Czech, Serbian and French players) and Scotland Under 16s defeated Serbia Under 16s on their home soil and Serbs finished 6th.

All-time results recordEdit

Below is table of the official representative rugby league matches played by Serbia at test level up until 5 February 2016:

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Win % For Aga Diff
  Spain 2 2 0 0 100% 86 24 +62
  Czech Republic 4 4 0 0 100% 204 54 +150
  France 3 0 0 3 0% 12 206 -194
  Georgia 2 0 0 2 0% 22 89 -67
  Greece 2 0 0 2 0% 48 94 -46
  Germany 6 5 0 1 83.3% 284 71 +213
  Hungary 1 1 0 0 100% 50 0 +50
  Ireland 1 0 0 1 0% 0 82 -82
  Italy 6 3 0 3 50% 130 166 -36
  Morocco 2 0 1 1 0% 24 78 -54
  Netherlands 2 0 0 2 0% 36 54 -18
  Philippines 1 0 0 1 0% 12 18 -6
  Russia 9 1 0 8 12.5% 122 250 -128
  Ukraine 3 3 0 0 100% 114 22 +92
  Wales 1 0 0 1 0% 8 88 -80
Total 43 17 1 24 38% 1,137 1,260 -123
Test # Date Opponent F A Venue City Crowd Tour/Competition
43 20 October
2018
  Spain 24 20 Belgrade Serbia
42 13 October
2018
  Russia 18 36 Moscow Russia
41 10 October
2016
  Wales 50 0 Wales Wales
40 24 September
2016
  Spain 64 4 Quatre Carreres Valencia
39 5 February
2016
  Philippines 12 18 New Era Stadium Cabramatta
38 12 September
2015
  Ukraine 64 4 Avanhard Stadium Uzhhorod 2014/15 European Championship B
37 20 June
2015
  Italy 21 14 Stadio comunale di Tegilo Veneto Gemona del Friuli
36 22 May
2015
  France 8 68 Stade Gilbert Brutus Perpignan
35 16 May
2015
  Russia 20 15 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014/15 European Championship B
34 19 October
2014
  Greece 50 22 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014 Balkans Cup
33 17 October
2014
  Hungary 50 0 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
32 10 September
2014
  Italy 45 6 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014/15 European Championship B
31 21 June
2014
  Russia 6 20 Nara Stadium Naro-Fominsk
30 17 May
2014
  Ukraine 40 14 Železničar Stadium Niš 750
29 14 September
2013
  Italy 20 32 Stadio Augusteo Este 2012-13 European Shield
28 25 May
2013
  Russia 10 24 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
27 18 May
2013
  Germany 46 10 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
26 22 September
2012
  Russia 20 21 Nara Stadium Naro-Fominsk
25 6 September
2012
  Italy 24 18 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 600
24 12 May
2012
  Germany 24 25 Fritz-Grunebaum Sportpark Heidelberg
23 29 October
2011
  Russia 28 36 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2013 World Cup Qualifiers - Europe
22 23 October
2011
  Italy 6 52 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
21 16 October
2011
  Lebanon 4 96 Olympic Stadium Tripoli
20 30 September
2011
  Ukraine 10 4 Ada Ciganlija Stadium Belgrade Milan Kosanovic Cup
19 22 April
2011
  Germany 90 6 TuS Hochspeyer Kaiserslautern
18 17 July
2010
  Germany 40 14 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 300 2010 European Shield – West
17 17 July
2010
  Czech Republic 56 4 RK Petrovice Prague 100
16 8 November
2009
  Italy 14 42 Llynfi Road Maesteg 2009 European Cup
15 25 October
2009
  Wales 8 88 FK Smederevo Stadium Smederevo 93
14 18 October
2009
  Ireland 0 82 Spollanstown Tullamore 295
13 5 October
2008
  Lebanon 14 20 Municipal Stadium Beirut 1,000 2008 Euro-Med Challenge
12 20 September
2008
  Russia 4 30 FK Kabel Novi Sad 500
11 18 August
2007
  Czech Republic 56 16 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 650 2007 European Shield
10 7 July
2007
  Germany 38 6 Fritz-Grunebaum Sportpark Heidelberg 264
9 12 August
2006
  Czech Republic 34 26 Ragbyove hřiště v Edenu Prague 2006 Slavic Cup
8 17 June
2006
  Netherlands 26 38 Rotterdamse RC Beekweg Rotterdam 250 2008 World Cup Qualifying – Europe
7 4 June
2006
  Russia 6 44 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 500
6 13 May
2006
  Georgia 10 45 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 500
5 24 July
2005
  Georgia 12 44 Dinamo Stadium Tbilisi 8,000 2005 European Nations Qualifiers
4 18 June
2006
  Netherlands 10 26 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade
3 25 October
2003
  Morocco 4 58 Olympic Stadium Tripoli 2003 Mediterranean Cup
2 22 October
2003
  France 0 120 Municipal Stadium Beirut
1 19 October
2003
  Lebanon 0 102 Olympic Stadium Tripoli

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "RLEF." www.RLEF.eu.com. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  2. ^ "RLEF." www.RLEF.eu.com. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Wales to take on Serbia in Llanelli". WalesRugbyLeague.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. ^ "RLEF." www.RLEF.eu.com. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Wales overcome Serbia in World Cup Qualifier - Total Rugby League". TotalRL.com. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. ^ "RLEF." www.RLEF.eu.com. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  7. ^ "15 година Рагби 13 федерације Србије - www.ragbiliga.rs". RagbiLiga.rs. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. ^ https://www.rugbyleagueplanet.com/2021-rlwc/russia-serbia-and-spain-name-squads-for-rlwc-qualifiers Serbia Squad

External linksEdit