Russia national rugby league team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nickname The Bears
Governing body Russian Rugby League
Region Europe
Head coach Igor Ovchinnikov
Captain Eduard Ososkov
Home stadium Naro-Fominsk
RLIF ranking 15th
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.


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 bordering 30,000.

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 May 2015[2]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Increase  New Zealand 949.00
2 Decrease  Australia 941.00
3 Steady  England 485.00
4  Samoa 320.00
5  France 215.00
6  Fiji 196.00
7  Ireland 154.00
8  Scotland 123.00
9  Wales 122.00
10  United States 118.00
11  Papua New Guinea 113.00
12  Italy 79.00
13 Increase  Canada 49.00
14 Decrease  Serbia 47.00
15 Increase  Tonga 47.00
16 Decrease  Russia 45.00
17 Steady  Cook Islands 31.00
18 Decrease  Belgium 30.00
19  Germany 24.00
20 Increase  Lebanon 24.00
21 Decrease  Norway 22.00
22  Ukraine 21.00
23 Increase  Malta 20.00
24 Decrease  Greece 19.00
25 Steady  Netherlands 15.00
26 Increase  Spain 14.00
27 Decrease  Denmark 13.00
28 Increase  South Africa 12.00
29 Decrease  Jamaica 11.00
30 Decrease  Czech Republic 9.00
31  Sweden 7.00
32 Steady  Hungary 2.00
33 NEW  Niue 2.00
34 Decrease  Latvia 2.00
35 NEW  Philippines 2.00
36 Decrease  Morocco 0.00

2014 Squad[edit]

2014 Russia Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

  • (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 players that have played for Russia[edit]

Notable players of Russian Heritage[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


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



  • France def. USSR 26-6 (1991)

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]