Russia national rugby league team

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Russia
Nickname The Bears
Governing body Russian Association of Rugby League Clubs
Region Europe
Head coach Russia Eduard Ososkov
Captain Eduard Ososkov
Home stadium Naro-Fominsk
RLIF ranking 15th
Colours
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
Appearances 1 (first time in 2000)
Best result Group Stages, 2000

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 and Fulham. In 2013, Russia became a full member of the Rugby League International Federation.

For more Russian stats, news, team results and more visit Russia's RLEF Page.

History[edit]

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

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 managed to win 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 (RLWC).

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 of 25,000.

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

In 2006 and 2007, the Bears participated - without success - in qualifiers for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia.

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

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 participated in the Europe division of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers alongside Italy, Lebanon and Serbia.

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

Official Rankings as of July 2014[2]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  Australia 1,186.00
2  New Zealand 743.00
3  England 554.00
4  France 249.00
5  Fiji 196.00
6  Wales 176.00
7 Increase  Samoa 157.00
8 Decrease  Papua New Guinea 152.00
9 Increase  United States 137.00
10 Decrease  Ireland 125.00
11 Steady  Scotland 101.00
12  Italy 84.00
13  Tonga 54.00
14 Increase  Russia 53.00
15 Decrease  Cook Islands 48.00
16 Steady  Canada 43.00
17  Serbia 40.00
18  Germany 29.00
19  Norway 29.00
20 Increase  Ukraine 23.00
21 Decrease  Lebanon 23.00
22 Increase  Belgium 20.00
23 Decrease  Malta 19.00
24  Jamaica 16.00
25  Netherlands 14.00
26 Increase  Greece 10.00
27 Steady  Denmark 9.00
28 Increase New  Spain 9.00
29 Decrease  South Africa 7.00
30  Czech Republic 6.00
31  Latvia 2.00
32  Sweden 1.00
33  Hungary 1.00
34  Morocco 0.00


2014 Squad[edit]

2014 Russia Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 24 May 2014
Source(s): European Shield 2010


2008 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

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.

2013 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

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.

Notable Russian players[edit]

Competitions[edit]

Russia has participated in:

All Time record[edit]

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[edit]

Russian Bears 2000 RLWC Squad
Player Club
Viatcheslav Artachine Kazan Arrows
Robert Campbell Redcliffe
Rinat Chamsoutdinov Kazan Arrows
Craig Cygler Cairns Brothers
Matthew Donovan Western Tigers
Andrey Dumalkin Locomotiv Moscow
Aaron Findlay Canterbury Bulldogs
Igor Gavrilin Locomotiv Moscow
Roustem Garifoulline Kazan Arrows
Michael Giorgas Logan City
Robert Iliassov Kazan Arrows
Igor Jiltsov Locomotiv Moscow
Pavel Kalachkine Kazan Arrows
Kirillin Koulemine Moscow Magicians
Andrei Kuchumov Moscow Magicians
Alexandr Lysenkov Locomotiv Moscow
Mikhail Mitrofanov Kazan Arrows
Viktor Nechaev Locomotiv Moscow
Andre Olari Toulouse Spacers
Vadim Postnikov Locomotiv Moscow
Maxim Romanov Kazan Arrows
Ian Rubin (captain) Sydney Roosters
Joel Rullis Western Tigers
Petr Sokolov Locomtiv Moscow

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS):

SOVIET UNION (USSR):

  • France def. USSR 26-6 (1991)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AP (13 April 2004). "Russia lose to New Zealand side". Daily Times (Pakistan). Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  2. ^ RLIF; RLIF Rankings

External links[edit]