- Russia national rugby league team
Infobox rugby league nation
Name = Russia
Badge_size = 100px
Nickname = The Bears
Russian Rugby League Federation
Coach = flagicon|Russia
Captain = flagicon|Russia
Most caps =
Top scorer =
Home Stadium =
RLIF Rank = 13th
First game = flagicon|France France 26 - 6 USSR flagicon|USSR (
Villeurbanne, France; September 1991)
Largest win = rl|Ireland 6 - 64 Russia flagicon|Russia (
Dublin, Ireland; 16 May 2004)
Largest loss = flagicon|Australia Australia 110 - 4 Russia flagicon|Russia (Hull,
England; 4 November 2000)
World cup apps = 1
World cup first = 2000
World cup best = Round 1, 2000 The Russia national rugby league team (also known as The Bears) represent
Russiain and other rugby league fixtures. The Bears, played their first fixtures against two British club sides: York and Fulham. In 2004, Russia became a full member of the Rugby League International Federation.
The Russia Bears were formed in 1991 for the tour of two English teams, the
York Waspsand Fulham F.C.
The Bears played their first overseas match in 1991 against the French national team at the Stade Georges Lyvet,
Villeurbanneon Sunday 27 October 1991. The Bears were beaten 26-6 by France. Later that year the Bears toured South Africaand 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
Moscowagainst 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 Tournamentbut 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 had to wait 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 Roostersprop Ian Rubin, who was born in Odessa, Ukraine, the Bears were involved in a tight struggle and it was Fiji Captain winger Lote Tuquriwho proved to be the difference between the two sides, Fiji winning 38-12. The next two games were beyond the Russians, with two big defeats at the hands of the English national team and a record 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 league international to be played on artificial turf in front of
American footballposts. Their opponents, the USA Tomahawks, were outclassed 54-10, in front of a crowd of 25,000.
In 2006 and 2007 The Bears participated in Qualifiers for the
2008 Rugby League World Cupin Australia.
In 2008 The Bears will compete in the first ever Euro Med Cup competing against Serbia and Lebanon. The Euro Med Cup is the 2nd tier competition for European Rugby League Teams, the top tier consists of England, France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
2008 World Cup Qualifying
In 2006 Russia were involved in Europe Round One, defeating
Netherlands national rugby league teamand Serbia national rugby league teamto 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.
Russia has participated in:
* Lebanon def. Russia 48-0 (
27 October 2007)
* Ireland def. Russia 58-18 (
20 October 2007)
* Lebanon def. Russia 22-8 (
28 October 2006)
* Ireland def. Russia 50-12(
22 October 2006)
* Russia def. Serbia 44-6 (
4 June 2006)
* Russia def. Netherlands 40-14 (
28 April 2006)
* France def. Russia 80-0 (
15 October 2005)
* England A def. Russia (
24 October 2004)
* France def. Russia 58-10 (
16 October 2004)
* Russia def. Ireland 64-6 (
16 May 2004)
* Russia def. USA 64-8 (
12 May 2004)
* England A def. Russia 102-0 (
2 November 2003)
* Wales def. Russia 74-4 (
26 October 2003)
* France def. Russia 29-12 (
9 May 2003)
* Russia def. USA 44-12 (
6 May 2003)
* Russia def. USA 54-10 (
13 September 2002)
* Australia def. Russia 110-4 (
4 November 2000)
* England def. Russia 76-4 (
1 November 2000)
* Fiji def. Russia 38-12 (
29 October 2000)
* France def. Russia 82-0 (
3 July 2000)
* Russia def. USA 28-26 (
20 October 1995)
* Cook Islands def. Russia 58-4 (
18 October 1995)
* Scotland def. Russia 34-9 (
16 October 1995)
* Russia def. USA 19-12 (1994)
* France def. Russia 30-14 (1993)
SOVIET UNION (USSR):
* France def. USSR 26-6 (1991)
* [http://www.hotkey.net.au/~pucci/archives/September.htm Bears vs USA article]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.