Russia national rugby league team

Russia National Rugby League Team

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Russia national rugby league team

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The Russia national rugby league team (also known as The Bears) represent Russia in international rugby league tournaments 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 Wasps and Fulham F.C.

The Bears played their first overseas match in 1991 against the French national team at the Stade Georges Lyvet, Villeurbanne on Sunday 27 October 1991. The Bears were beaten 26-6 by France. Later that year the Bears toured South Africa and 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 Moscow against 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 Tournament but 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...
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