Serbia national rugby league team
|Nickname||White Eagles (Beli orlovi)|
|Governing body||Serbian Rugby League|
|Head coach||Ljubomir Bukvic|
|Most caps||Zoran Pešić (28)|
|Home stadium||Makiš Stadium, Belgrade|
| Lebanon 102–0 Serbia
(19 October 2003)
| Germany 6–90 Serbia
(22 April 2011)
| France 120–0 Serbia
(22 October 2003)
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 10th 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Tournament History
- 3 2016 squad
- 4 Notable NRL players of Serbian heritage
- 5 Youth National Teams
- 6 All-time Results Record
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Rugby League was first played in Serbia in 1953 when it was introduced by Dragan Marsicevic, secretary of the Yugoslav Sport Association. 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 lack of popularity but due to the communist regime banning the sport a barbaric decision that would see the sport halted for the next 40 years. 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.
2008 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 Qualifying
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 Cup
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.
2017 World Cup Qualifying
Serbia 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. During their qualification, Serbia created history after beating Russia for their first ever time on their eighth time of asking.
The final qualification tournament will consist of 6 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 will face each other in a play-off match on 5 November 2016 to determine the final spot. A seeded draw will take place to determine the groups on 5 November 2015. Serbia are placed in Group A. They will take on Wales on October 15, 2016 in Llanelli Wales and Italy in Belgrade on 22 October for a place in the 2017 World Cup. 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. 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. 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 respectable result against an Italian team with many NRL and English Super League players who where Australians of Italian heritage. On November the 10th 2016 15 years was celebrated since the re-forming of Serbian Rugby League a great milestone occasion.
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
|Official Rankings as of November 2016|
|15||Papua New Guinea|
|World Cup record|
|2008||Failed to Qualify|
|2013||Failed to Qualify|
|2017||Failed to Qualify|
|Balkans Cup record|
|European Cup record|
|2005||Failed to Qualify|
|European Shield record|
22 players were selected to represent Serbia in their 2017 World Cup qualifying campaign:
David Andjelic (Blacktown St Patrick’s), Reece Grkinić (Cabramatta), Daniel Burke (Collegians), Jason Muranka (Dewsbury Rams), Dalibor Samardžić, Dalibor Vukanović, Stefan Nedeljković, Stevan Stevanović (Dorćol), Joshua Marjanović (Kawana Dolphins), Džavid Jašari, Vlado Kušić (Partizan), Pero Madžarević, Žarko Kovačević (Radnički Nova Pazova), Miloš Ćalić, Miloš Zogović, Vladislav Dedić, Vojislav Dedić (Red Star Belgrade), Chad Grant (St Clair Comets), Vladica Nikolić (Villeneuve XIII Leopards), James Mirceski (Western Suburbs Magpies), Jordan Grant (Wests Tigers), Ilija Radan (unaffiliated)
Notable NRL players of Serbian heritage
||This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (November 2014)|
Youth National Teams
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 Record
Below is table of the official representative rugby league matches played by Serbia at test level up until 5 February 2016:
- "Three Debutants in Serbia 22-man squad for Qualifiers". Rugby League European Federation. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.