Russia Rugby League map


Information on this page was updated – 11/3/2014

Foundation Year – 1993

International Team – The Bears

Highest finish in World Cup – Lost all games and finished bottom of Group (2000)

Top level domestic competition – Russian Championship – 5 Russian teams and 1 Ukrainian team play in the top league from April to October.

History – Russia first started playing rugby league under the USSR in 1991 with the establishment of the Russian Championship. The competition has slowly grown over time and now has 6 teams.

In the first major step for the developing Russian Rugby League Federation, Russia participated in the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup. Grouped with the Cook Islands, Scotland and the United States. Russia only managed a narrow victory 28 – 26 against rivals the United States.

In 2000 Russia played in the Rugby League World Cup for the first time. They were grouped in the same pool as Australia, England and Fiji. In their first game Russia played another minnow nation Fiji. Even with Ian Rubin from the Sydney Roosters in the ranks the Lote Tuquri lead Fijian’s had to much pace for the Russian’s. Russia were defeated by Fiji 38 – 12. Russia went on to play England and Australia in the remaining pool matches. In both games the Russian’s were out of their depth. Australia racked up a record score of 110 – 4. Russia learned some valuable lessons during the World Cup. This was the first time Russia had played international teams at the highest level of the sport.

In 2002 over 30,000 fans turned out in Moscow to see Russia take on the United States. In a game that was televised across Russia, the Bears were too strong for the Tomahawks coming out convincing winners 54 – 10. The media interest surrounding the game was a big shot in the arm for rugby league in Russia.

In 2003 Russia’s rugby league growth was rewarded with teams invited to take part in the UK based Challenge Cup knockout competition. Teams from Russia have been taking part in the Challenge Cup competition ever since. One of Russia’s strongest Rugby League clubs Lokomotiv Moscow are regular participants in the Challenge Cup. To date no Russian team has made it past the 3rd round of the Challenge Cup.

In 2006 Russia started the journey to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In the first round of European qualifiers Russia were grouped with Georgia, Netherlands and Serbia. They went through undefeated advancing to the second round of European qualifiers. The second round proved much harder with Russia grouped with Lebanon and Ireland. Even with the coaching assistance of Tim Sheen’s Russia failed to win against stronger opponents. Russia had come close but failed to qualify for the 2008 World Cup.

In 2008 Russia were ranked 7th in European seedings by the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF).

Russia, Lebanon and Serbia took part in the Euro-Med Challenge in 2008. Russia took out the competition with convincing wins over Serbia 30 – 4 and Lebanon 80 – 0.

Russia were due to compete in the 2009 European Cup. Russia withdrew from the competition in September due to financial issues.

In early 2009 Russia were ranked 13th in World seedings by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).

In a big win for the continued growth and exposure of rugby league in Russia, NTV Plus Sport will broadcast Super League matches live for the first time in 2009.

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Russia we would love to hear from you. Please email us at: or join our international rugby league Forums at and let us all know what’s going on in your part of the world.


2015 Rugby League Results
May 16th Serbia 20 v Russia 15, Belgrade (Euro Championship B)

2014 Rugby League Results
Jul 26th Italy 22 v Russia 18, Gemona (European Championship B)
Jun 21st Russia 20 v Serbia 6, Naro Fominsk (European Championship B)
Jun 8th Russia 60 – England Lionhearts 16, Vereya
May 24th Russia 24 v Ukraine 18, Naro-Fominsk (European Championship B)

2013 Rugby League Results
Aug 10th Russia 30 v Germany 0 (European Shield) (Germany forfeit)
Jun 29th Italy 38 v Russia 18 (European Shield)
May 25th Serbia 10 v Russia 24 (European Shield)

2012 Rugby League Results
Sep 22nd Russia 21 – Serbia 20 (European Shield)
Sep 8th Russia 32 – Italy 18 (European Shield)
May 19th Germany 26 – Russia 32 (European Shield)

2011 Rugby League Results 
Oct 29th Serbia 28 – Russia 36 (World Cup Qualifiers Europe)
Oct 22nd Russia 0 – Lebanon 32 (World Cup Qualifiers Europe)
Oct 15th Italy 92 – Russia 6 (World Cup Qualifiers Europe)
Sep 10th 4 Ukraine – Russia 36 (Milan Kosanovic Cup)

2010 Rugby League Results 
Jul 31st Latvia 4 – Russia 54 (European Shield East)
Jun 27th Russia 52 – Ukraine 14 (European Shield East)

2008 Rugby League Results 
Sep 28th Russia 80 – Lebanon 0 (Euro Med Challenge)
Sep 20th Russia 30 – Serbia 4 (Euro Med Challenge)

2007 Rugby League Results 
Oct 27th Lebanon 48 – Russia 0 (World Cup Qualifier)
Oct 20th Ireland 58 – Russia 18 (World Cup Qualifier)

2006 Rugby League Results 
Oct 28th 2006 Lebanon 22 – Russia 8 (World Cup Qualifier)
Oct 22nd 2006 Ireland 50 – Russia 12 (World Cup Qualifier)
Russia 0 – Georgia 0 (Georgia forfeit World Cup Qualifier)
Jun 4th 2006 Russia 44 – Serbia 6 (World Cup Qualifier)
Apr 28th 2006 Russia 40 – Netherlands 14 (World Cup Qualifier)
Feb 4th Georgia 46 – Russia 19

2005 Rugby League Results
Oct 23rd Russia 48 – Georgia 14
France 80 – Russia 0

2004 Rugby League Results 
Oct16th France 58 – Russia 10
May 16th Russia 64 – Ireland 6
May 12th Russia 64 – United States 8

2003 Rugby League Results 
Oct26th Wales 74 – Russia 4
May9th France 29 – Russia 12
May 6th Russia 44 – United States 14

2002 Rugby League Results 
Sep 13th Russia 54 – United States 10

2000 Rugby League Results 
Nov 4th Australia 110 – Russia 4 (World Cup)
Nov 1st England 76 – Russia 4 (World Cup)
Oct 29th Fiji 38 – Russia 12 (World Cup)
Jul 3rd France 82 – Russia 0

1995 Rugby League Results 
Oct 20th Russia 28 – United States 26 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 18th Cook Islands 58 – Russia 4 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 16th Scotland 34 – Russia 9 (Emerging Nations World Cup)

1994 Rugby League Results 
Russia 19 – United States 12

1993 Rugby League Results 
France 30 – Russia 14

1992 Rugby League Results 
Russia 30 – South Africa 26
Russia 22 – South Africa 19
France 34 – Russia 8
France 38 – Russia 4

1991 Rugby League Results 
France 26 – Russia 6