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Rugby League World Issue 402

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RENEWED OPTIMISM WITHIN RUSSIAN RUGBY LEAGUE

RLEF media release

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#1 Honor James

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

As rugby league stands on the threshold of a big World Cup year, members of the Russian RL leadership have expressed a single unity of purpose and cautious
optimism.

The Association of Rugby League Clubs (ARLK), which assumed control of the sport in 2010, held their AGM in Vereya, south of Moscow and President Edgard Taturyan
reported on a year of discernible progress, "Our annual conference demonstrated that in the new ARLK structure we have switched from crisis management to creative work."

The year saw an increase in the overall activity in Russia with six new senior teams playing the sport and a 78% increase in the total number of 13-a-side matches
played.

Youth activity centred around parts of the capital, the Vereya-Naro-Fominsk area to the south and St Petersburg on the Baltic coast, with rugby league played throughout
the year.

The national team, the Bears, which came out of a two-year hibernation in 2010, successfully launched their European Shield campaign with three consecutive wins,
and international fixtures have been built into the schedule for at least the next three seasons.

"Our priority in 2013 will be to regain Russian rugby league's Full Member status of both the RLEF and the RLIF," continued Taturyan. "We also aim to restore the legal
status of the sport in the Russian State Registry of Sports, where we are being more favourably received, in the new year."

As part of a wide-ranging and comprehensive strategy, the Assembly members agreed to reintroduce a zonal play-off to complete the 2013 league season, with the four
league-leading clubs playing home and away matches to crown a Russian champion.

PHIL CAPLAN
RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”  Eleanor Roosevelt


#2 John Rhino

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:05 AM

I hope this really is the truth. A strong Russia would be good for the game.

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#3 walter sobchak

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

I hope this really is the truth. A strong Russia would be good for the game.

Totally agree, huge population and a booming economy, I always thought that the eastern European countries would love rugby league, countries like Russia, ukraine, Poland etc and Scandinavian countries for that matter.

#4 Phil

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Totally agree, huge population and a booming economy, I always thought that the eastern European countries would love rugby league, countries like Russia, ukraine, Poland etc and Scandinavian countries for that matter.


The Russians seem to like physical collision type sports, Ice Hockey is still massive there. a strong Russian prescence in international RL would be great for the game.
"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

#5 flyingking

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

Totally agree, huge population and a booming economy, I always thought that the eastern European countries would love rugby league, countries like Russia, ukraine, Poland etc and Scandinavian countries for that matter.

It is great to see Russian RL bouncing back from the serious disruption caused by the Russian sports ministry. Sport is hugely important to the Russian way of life and something they take very seriously. You only have to look at soccer and see the millions spent on Chelsea by Roman Abramovich, or the crazy guy who buys some of the world's best players and flies them into a warzone for each home fixture. When Russians get involved in sport, they have the potential to do so on a large scale. They have invested billions into the Sochi Winter Olympics and will put the same again into the FIFA World Cup, and I have the feeling that both events will be done as well as London's Olympics.

The Russians have created what is arguably THE SUPER LEAGUE of Europe and it is nothing to do with rugby. The Kontinental Hockey League is by common consent the second most important ice hockey club competition in the world. As well as some of the most skilled players playing for Russian clubs based in each of their time-zones, the League also features clubs from Prague, Bratislava and Riga. The likelihood is that next season they will be joined by franchises in Zagreb and Milan. Even their developmental league sends an under 21 junior team from Budapest to play their counterparts in Siberia, close to the Chinese border!

Rugby league has the potential to grow massively in Russia, it suits the Russian temperament of using strength to counter adversity and there is money available in the country to develop the game if they can locate the right millionaires. If they find the right billionaire, we might even end up with the RT Challenge Cup or the Gazprom Super League!
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