Russian Rugby League tackle

The Association of Russian Rugby League clubs has received support and backing from former chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, who is chair of the nation’s Federation of National and Non-Olympic Sports (RUNNKS).

Corresponding with ARLC president, Alexander Kolikov, to confirm the competition’s acceptance within the body, Karpov wrote: ‘In 2020, RUNNKS had fruitful co-operation with the Association of Rugby League Clubs of Russia (the ARLC). For the near future we have scheduled a package of actions aimed at the development of Rugby League in Russia, including the establishment of the RUNNKS Rugby League Cup. I believe that under the management of Alexander Kolikov, the President of ARLC, and taking into account his professionalism and highest qualifications, the ARLC of Russia will occupy its rightful place in Russian sport.’

Kolikov commented: “I came to rugby league in 1963 after watching the film This Sporting Life and spent all of my playing career with the Spartak rugby club, where I later became coach. I deeply believe that the sport ideally fits to the Russian psyche.

“I have no doubt that proper management and sufficient financing will lead Russian clubs and the national team to becoming part of the elite of the European game. I am sure that our efforts and hard work will convince all here that rugby league has a true place. I know this will be tough but my team and I are ready, and we have already started overcoming those difficulties. Russian Rugby League is back to the brotherhood of the international arena and this is for a very long time.”