Serbia RL First Division – New Format Starts

A change of format for national championship heralds a new Serbian domestic season, kicking off this weekend. Eight clubs will begin the quest to contest the Grand Final, split into two groups of four.

In Group A, which starts on Sunday, a big city derby will open proceedings when Red Star face arch rivals Partizan and current champions Dorćol host Radnički Niš. While the teams in Group B are Novi Beograd, Morava Gepardi Leskovac, Soko Vranje and Car Dušan Silni Paraćin.

In the first part of the season, each team will play the other – both home and away – after which the bottom side in Group A will be relegated to Group B, with the winner of that group being promoted.

In the second part of the season, teams will play their rival within the group just once, after which a play-offs sesion will determine the overall champion, and the team to be relegated to second division.

“Last week we enjoyed a thrilling Super Cup match,” said SRLF general secretary Slobodan Manak, who cannot wait for the big kick off. “The new format for the first division is designed to feature more matches among the top sides, to continue raising the standard of play.

“It will also give the upcoming teams more game time, in which to gain experience and challenge the leaders. The schedule is tough but we are confident that the quality of rugby will rise overall.”