Ukraine Rugby League
Ukraine Rugby League

By Phil Caplan, Date: 22/11/12

The first full Ukrainian Rugby League Championship has been completed with Legion XIII of Kharkov being crowned champions.


They finished the season ahead of Donbass Tigers from Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk’s Atlant and the Krivoy Rog Rhinos.

All eighteen games were completed and the UFRL has declared itself very satisfied with, “the development of the sport and the professionalism of the Championship management.”

Legion, the eastern-most club who pioneered the birth of rugby league in the country, won all of its nine games, second-placed Donbas triumphing in six encounters. The Rhinos won three matches while newcomers Atlant have yet to taste victory.

In another major landmark, the four-team under-14 and five-team under-16 championships were also completed, in the 9-a-side format, with the cities of Krasnoarmeysk and Odessa expanding the geographical footprint.

Donbass Tigers won both competitions but in the younger age group they edged the Rhinos by just a point.

The Ukrainian season also included the third running of the Artur Martyrosyan A.V. Memorial Cup, with Legion defeating Russian visitors Nara in the final. Significantly, this was the first time a local side had won the cup, with Russia’s Vereya and a British BARLA selection the previous holders.

Currently, the UFRL is organising the first Ukrainian Cup, a competition that is being used to extend the sport’s boundaries further and will include Simferopol based in the Crimean peninsula, over 400km from the nearest rugby league outpost of Krivoy Rog.