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Russia national rugby union team

Russia
Union Rugby Union of Russia
Nickname(s) Bears
Emblem(s) Russian bear
Coach(es) Alexander Pervukhin
Captain(s) Alexander Voytov
Most caps Andrey Kuzin (78)
Top scorer Yury Kushnarev (351)
First international
Barbarians 23 – 27 Russia 
(6 June 1992)
 Belgium 11 – 17 Russia 
(11 Oct 1992)
Largest win
 Denmark 7 – 104 Russia 
(13 May 2000)
Largest defeat
 Russia 3 – 75 Japan 
(6 November 2010)
World Cup
Appearances (First in 2011)
Best result 2011 - 5th in group

The Russia national rugby union team is the national team representing Russia in the sport of rugby union.

Rugby union in Russia is administered by the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR). The RUR is the official successor union of the Soviet Union and the combined CIS team which played in the early 1990s. Since 1992, the team has played as Russia.

Russia is seen as a Tier 2 union by the International Rugby Board (IRB).[1] The team's regular international competition is in the European Nations Cup (ENC) Division 1A – often referred to as the Six Nations B. In addition, the team participates in IRB-run summer tournaments - the Nations Cup in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012, the Churchill Cup in 2010 and 2011, and the IRB's International Rugby Series in Colwyn Bay in 2012.

Russia competed in their first Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand in 2011 after qualifying as Europe 2 through their second-place finish in the 2009–10 ENC. Russia played in Pool C and finished fifth, scoring one point. Previous qualification campaigns saw elimination to Portugal ahead of the 2007 tournament and expulsion from 2003 qualifying for breaches of eligibility rules. The team also unsuccessfully attempted to qualify for the 1999 and 1995 Rugby World Cups.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Rugby World Cup 2
    • World Cup record 2.1
    • Early qualifying attempts (1987 – 2007) 2.2
    • 2011 2.3
    • 2015 2.4
  • European Nations Cup 3
  • Current Players 4
    • Current Squad 4.1
  • Coaching staff 5
  • Home grounds 6
  • Recent results 7
  • IRB World Rankings 8
  • Overall Record 9
  • Individual records 10
    • Top points scorers 10.1
    • Most points in a Match 10.2
    • Top try scorers 10.3
    • Most caps 10.4
  • Other international teams 11
    • Sevens 11.1
    • Women 11.2
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

History

Georgia v. Russia, 24 March 2007

The Rugby Union of the Soviet Union was founded in 1936, although the national side did not play its first official international until 1974.

The Soviet Union took time to establish itself, but by the mid-1980s was regularly beating the likes of Italy and Romania. The team was invited to the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, but declined on political grounds, not least the continued IRB membership of apartheid South Africa.[2]

Following the breakup of the USSR, Russian players played for the interim Commonwealth of Independent States team, which played four matches during 1991 and 1992.

The first game played by the new Russian national team took place on June 6, 1992, when Russia beat the Barbarians 27–23. Russia's first game against a full IRB member was versus Belgium four months later in the 1992/4 FIRA-AER European Trophy. That edition of the tournament saw Russia secure its first, and to-date only, win over Georgia. Russia continued to participate until realignment of FIRA-AER competitions in 2000.

The Russian national side has since played its regular competitive rugby in FIRA-AER's European Nations Cup, the second level mirror tournament to the Six Nations. Russia replaced Morroco in the top tier in 2001 after a team-record nine-game win streak and have stayed there ever since. The Russian side has yet to win the title, but has come close with second-place finishes twice, in the 2009 and the 2007-8 editions. It also secured second place in the 2009–10 combined table used in Rugby World Cup qualification.

In addition, as part of attempts to secure regular international fixtures the team has played in the now-defunct Superpowers Cup, winning the tournament once, the Nations Cup, the Churchill Cup, and most recently the IRB's International Rugby Series. The Russian side has also played representative teams including England Counties, France's equivalent side, South African Super Rugby youth and university sides, and New Zealand club teams as it seeks to vary and improve the quality of opposition.

The RUR has been attempting to gain greater participation in the autumn test window, and is now being integrated into the IRB's global test match schedule.[1]

Rugby World Cup

World Cup record

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
1987 Declined invitation -
1991 Did not enter Did not enter
1995 Did not qualify 4 3 0 1 125 49
1999 4 1 0 3 85 92
2003 6 5 0 1 176 114
2007 14 6 1 7 382 323
2011 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 57 196 10 7 1 2 291 175
2015 Did not qualify 12 7 0 5 269 300
Total 1/7 4 0 0 4 57 196 50 29 2 19 1328 1053

Early qualifying attempts (1987 – 2007)

The Soviet Union declined to take up its invite to take part in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup on the basis of the IRB membership by apartheid South Africa.[3] The Soviet Rugby Union was not an IRB member in time for 1991 Rugby World Cup qualifying.

In qualifying for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first in which the national side was involved, Russia came through preliminary qualifying with wins over Poland and Georgia, before beating Germany but losing to Romania for the Eastern Europe spot.

In European qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Russia finished fourth in Pool 1 in Round B, which was not enough to progress from a group also including Italy, Georgia, Croatia, and Denmark.

The Russian national side was expelled from qualifying for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, due to eligibility issues. Spain, who Russia had beaten in qualifying, protested the fielding of three South African-born players (Johan Hendriks, Reiner Volschenck and Werner Pieterse), who the RUR claimed had qualified through ancestry. However, the RUR did not produce documentation deemed acceptable by the IRB, and Spain were re-instated in qualification in Russia's place.[4]

In 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifying, Russia came through European qualifying to a mini-group stage where they were pooled with Italy and Portugal. The winner would qualify directly and the second place team would continue the qualification process, with the third-placed team eliminated. After both losing heavily to Italy, Portugal and Russia met to determine progression to qualifying round 5. Russia lost the match, played in Lisbon, 26–23 and dropped out.

2011

Russia qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand as Europe 2 after finishing second in the 2008–10 European Nations Cup. This marked the team's World Cup debut, with Russia becoming the 25th side to play at the tournament, where they faced Australia, Ireland, Italy and the United States in Group C of the tournament.[5]

Despite losing all four of their games, most disappointingly a narrow defeat to the USA in its opening fixture in which the Bears scored a bonus point, Russia's debut was generally viewed as a success, as the team scored the most tries (8) by a debutant in the professional era, and the most since Western Samoa in 1991, and becoming the first side to score three tries against Australia in a World Cup match since 1987.

Team Pld W D L PF PA BP Pts
 Ireland 4 4 0 0 135 34 1 17
 Australia 4 3 0 1 173 48 3 15
 Italy 4 2 0 2 92 95 2 10
 United States 4 1 0 3 38 122 0 4
 Russia 4 0 0 4 57 196 1 1
Match Results
Date Opponent Score Venue
15-Sep-2011  United States 6-13 Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth
20-Sep-2011  Italy 17-53 Trafalgar Park, Nelson
25-Sep-2011  Ireland 12-62 International Stadium, Rotorua
1-Oct-2011  Australia 22-68 Trafalgar Park, Nelson

2015

The Russian national rugby union team finished third in European qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The top two teams in the final group— Georgia and Romania — immediately qualified for the 2015 tournament. Russia, as third-place finisher in the final group, faced Uruguay in a home-and-away two-game playoff. Uruguay won on aggregate and secured the 20th and final qualifying spot for the 2015 tournament, with Russia failing to qualify.

European Nations Cup

Main: European Nations Cup

Russia's primary international competition is the European Nations Cup, administered by FIRA-AER and played, by-and-large, during the Six Nations international release window in February and March. This competition replaced previous FIRA Trophy, which ran until Italy left to join the then Five Nations tournament. Russia won the inaugural Division 2 competition, winning promotion to the Top Tier in 2000, where they have remained ever since.

Since realignment, Russia has secured two runners-up spots and three third-place finishes, in doing so claiming the third-highest number of wins, the third-highest win percentage, and the third-lowest number of losses, in each case placing below Georgia and Romania.

As the Soviet Union, the side secured four straight silvers (all behind France and ahead of Italy and Romania) during the 1980s, and a further three bronzes.

Current Players

Russia has fielded a number of new players since RWC 2011 as it seeks to bed in younger players ahead of qualifying for RWC 2015 and in response to injuries to a large number of core players. Therefore, a number of prominent players for the national team did not feature in the team's most recent squad - that for the 2013 European Nations Cup.

Russia has traditionally fielded squads consisting near-entirely of players from its own professional league, but as players gain exposure, several foreign-based have represented their country, including Northampton Saints winger Vasily Artemyev, the first Russian to play in the Aviva Premiership, and Sale Sharks locks Andrey Ostrikov, and Kirill Kulemin.

Former Melbourne Rebels lock Adam Byrnes, who qualifies for Russia through maternal lineage, is the only foreign-born player to have played for the Bears in recent years.

Current Squad

Russia's 28-man squad for the 2-test series against Namibia on 11 and 18 July 2015.[6]

Head Coach: Alexander Pervukhin

  • Caps Updated: 2 July 2015
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Vladislav Korshunov Hooker (1983-03-13) 13 March 1983 73 VVA Saracens
Yevgeny Matveyev Hooker (1985-04-15) 15 April 1985 39 VVA Saracens
Stanislav Selskiy Hooker (1991-09-02) 2 September 1991 12 Yenisey-STM
Andrei Igretsov Prop (1985-12-23) 23 December 1985 25 Slava Moscow
Andrei Palivalov Prop (1986-08-09) 9 August 1986 3 Yenisey-STM
Vladimir Podrezov Prop (1994-01-27) 27 January 1994 0 VVA Saracens
Evgeni Pronenko Prop (1984-06-06) 6 June 1984 40 VVA Saracens
Sergey Sekisov Prop (1986-11-19) 19 November 1986 6 Yenisey-STM
Aleksey Volkov Prop (1986-06-14) 14 June 1986 34 VVA Saracens
Innokenty Zykov Prop (1981-05-25) 25 May 1981 26 Yenisey-STM
Dimitri Krotov Lock (1992-01-14) 14 January 1992 2 Yenisey-STM
Andrei Ostrikov Lock (1987-07-02) 2 July 1987 25 Krasny Yar
Pavel Butenko Flanker (1987-05-11) 11 May 1987 33 Yenisey-STM
Danila Chegodaev Flanker (1992-01-09) 9 January 1992 0 VVA Saracens
Andrei Garbuzov Flanker (1983-08-07) 7 August 1983 65 Krasny Yar
Andrei Temnov Flanker (1983-01-01) 1 January 1983 46 Yenisey-STM
Victor Gresev Number 8 (1986-03-31) 31 March 1986 68 Krasny Yar
Alexei Panasenko Number 8 (1983-01-13) 13 January 1983 30 VVA Saracens
German Godlyuk Scrum-half (1992-08-11) 11 August 1992 1 Slava Moscow
Alexey Shcherban Scrum-half (1990-11-17) 17 November 1990 23 Yenisey-STM
Ruslan Yagudin Scrum-half (1987-03-29) 29 March 1987 5 Krasny Yar
Anton Ryabov Fly-half (1989-04-04) 4 April 1989 15 Krasny Yar
Dimitry Gerasimov Centre (1988-04-16) 16 April 1988 33 Yenisey-STM
Evgeny Kolomytsev Centre 0 Krasny Yar
Vladimir Rudenko Centre (1987-09-01) 1 September 1987 8 Krasny Yar
Sergey Trishin Centre (1984-12-12) 12 December 1984 47 VVA Saracens
Igor Galinovskiy Wing (1985-11-08) 8 November 1985 33 Krasny Yar
Andrey Lizogub Wing (1991-01-22) 22 January 1991 0 VVA Saracens
Yuri Kushnarev Fullback (1985-06-06) 6 June 1985 72 Yenisey-STM

Coaching staff

Former Wales flanker Kingsley Jones was the most recent coach, with Siua Taumalolo and Darren Morris as his assistants. He left in 2014 to take up a coaching role with the Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales. Raphaël Saint-André, brother of French coach Philippe Saint-André, then coached the team for the final two matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay. With Saint-André in charge, Russia lost 49-57 on aggregate, resulting in the Saint-André losing his job. Alexander Pervukhin in now the current coach as of December 2014.

Coaching staff
Name
With Backs Forwards Dates
Alexander Pervukhin 2014-
Raphaël Saint-André Laurent Seigne 2014
Kingsley Jones Siua Taumalolo Darren Morris 2011-2014
Nikolay Nerush Kingsley Jones Henry Paul Darren Morris 2010-2011
Nikolay Nerush Steve Diamond Jos Baxendell Steve Diamond 2008-2010
Claude Saurel 2008
Alexander Pervukhin 2006-2008

Home grounds

The Russian rugby team has no fixed national stadium at present, although Central Stadium in Sochi is currently serving that function in interim.

Russia has hosted international fixtures at a number of venues around the country. These include the rugby hotbed of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, where the national side played its first full test against a foundation union, versus Ireland in 2002. Other games have been played in Moscow, normally at Slava Stadium in the city centre, Penza, and most recently at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Sochi was selected as a case of convenience, as climatic conditions in other venues have proved too severe to guarantee playability during the ENC's February–March window. Support in Sochi is minimal and it is hoped that the completion of a stadium for the VVA-Podmoskovye club in Monino, Moscow region, with full undersoil heating will allow international fixtures to be played closer to Russian rugby's support bases. Sports Minister Vitaliy Mutko has promised this will be completed by 2013.

Recent results

The following table shows the results of the Russian national team in official test matches during the previous 20 matches.

Date Opponent Opp Rank Result Venue Attend Event
2014-10-11  Uruguay L (27-36) Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo 14,000 2015 RWC qualifying
2014-09-27  Uruguay W (22-21) Krasnoyarsk ??? 2015 RWC qualifying
2014-08-02  Zimbabwe W (23-15) Krasnoyarsk ??? 2015 RWC qualifying
22-06-2014  Uruguay 20 L (6-13) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf ??? IRB Nations Cup
18-06-2014  Romania 17 L (20-18) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf ??? IRB Nations Cup
13-06-2014 Emerging Ireland N/A L (66-0) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf ??? IRB Nations Cup
24-05-2014  Germany 24 W (20-31) Wolfgang-Meyer-Sportanlage ??? 2015 RWC qualifying
15-03-2014  Belgium 29 W (20-34) King Baudouin Stadium ??? European Nations Cup
08-03-2014  Portugal 21 W (34-18) Sochi Central Stadium ??? European Nations Cup
22-02-2014  Georgia 16 L (36-10) Dinamo Arena 54,827 European Nations Cup
08-02-2014  Romania 17 L (3-34) Gazprom Yamal Health Resort ??? European Nations Cup
01-02-2014  Spain 21 W (25-28) Estadio Nacional Complutense ??? European Nations Cup
23-11-2013  United States 18 L (7-28) Allianz Park ??? end-of-year tests
16-11-2013  Japan 14 L (13-40) Eirias Park 1,250 end-of-year tests
10-11-2013 Oxford University N/A W (24-31) Oxford University ??? end-of-year tests
16-06-2013  Argentina Jaguars N/A L (30-17) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf 6,000 IRB Nations Cup
12-06-2013  Italy A N/A L (19-27) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf ??? IRB Nations Cup
08-06-2013  Romania 18 L (30-20) Stadionul Arcul de Triumf 1,000 IRB Nations Cup
16-03-2013  Belgium 24 W (43-32) Sochi Central Stadium ??? European Nations Cup
09-03-2013  Portugal 21 W (23-31) Estádio Universitário de Lisboa ??? European Nations Cup

IRB World Rankings

Top 25 rankings as on 1 November 2015[7]
Rank Change* Team Points
1  New Zealand 96.10
2  Australia 89.33
3  South Africa 87.66
4  Wales 83.49
5  Argentina 82.59
6  Ireland 81.17
7  France 79.77
8  England 79.77
9  Scotland 77.94
10  Japan 77.05
11  Fiji 76.96
12  Italy 72.74
13  Tonga 71.60
14  Georgia 71.45
15  Samoa 70.36
16  United States 68.66
17  Romania 66.59
18  Canada 62.65
19  Uruguay 62.11
20  Namibia 61.75
21  Spain 61.54
22  Russia 61.10
23  Chile 57.34
24  Hong Kong 57.31
25  South Korea 56.70
*Change from the previous week
Russia's Historical Rankings
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 1 November 2015[7]

On introduction of the IRB World Rankings in October 2003, Russia was ranked 23rd. Since then the team's lowest ranking was 26 (most recently in October 2005). The team has been an ever-present in the top 20 since June 2006, peaking at 16 on several occasions (most recently in February 2010). As of February 22, 2013, Russia is ranked 20th.[8]

Overall Record

Team Mat Won Lost Draw %
 Argentina Jaguars 4 0 4 0 0.00
 Australia 1 0 1 0 0.00
Barbarians 1 1 0 0 100.00
 Belgium 3 3 0 0 100.00
 Canada 3 0 3 0 0.00
 Croatia 2 1 1 0 50.00
 Czech Republic 8 6 2 0 75.00
 Denmark 3 3 0 0 100.00
 England Saxons 2 0 2 0 0.00
 France A 2 0 2 0 0.00
 Georgia 17 1 15 1 5.88
 Germany 5 5 0 0 100.00
 Ireland 2 0 2 0 0.00
 Italy 4 0 4 0 0.00
 Italy A 6 0 6 0 0.00
 Japan 4 1 3 0 25.00
 Morocco 3 2 1 0 66.67
 Namibia 3 3 0 0 100.00
 Netherlands 4 4 0 0 100.00
 Norway 1 1 0 0 100.00
 Poland 4 4 0 0 100.00
 Portugal 15 9 5 1 63.33
 Romania 16 5 10 1 34.36
 Spain 16 13 3 0 81.25
 Tunisia 2 2 0 0 100.00
 Ukraine 9 9 0 0 100.00
 United States 6 1 5 0 16.67
 Uruguay 4 3 1 0 75.00
Total 146 75 69 3 52.40
  • Correct as of June 12, 2013 (after Italy game)
  • Russia only, no Soviet results included[9]

Individual records

Top points scorers

Most points in a Match

Konstantin Rachkov 29 (vs. Germany, 2000)

Top try scorers

Viatcheslav Grachev 31 Andrey Kuzin 24

Most caps

  • Andrey Kuzin: 78
  • Alexander Khrokin: 76
  • Viatcheslav Grachev: 74

[10]

Updated as of June 12, 2013 (post-Italy game). Russia only, no Soviet results included

Other international teams

Sevens

Russia also has a Rugby Sevens team, which competes in several rounds each year on the IRB World Sevens Series (WSS) and in the FIRA-AER Grand Prix Sevens (GPS) circuit, with Moscow hosting the second leg. The Sevens team has recorded wins against Tier 1 nations and recorded their first top 8 finish at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens and a Bowl win in Glasgow in 2012. The team is two-time European Champion (2007 and 2009), making it the second most successful team at that tournament.

Women

Russia's Women field national rugby union teams in both fifteens, where it appeared at the Women's Rugby World Cup in 1994 and 1998 as Russia and in 1991 as the USSR, and in sevens, which took part in the first Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2009 and which contests the IRB Women's Sevens World Series.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.irb.com/newsmedia/mediazone/pressrelease/newsid=2036531.html
  2. ^ RUR Team Media Guide RWC11
  3. ^ Rugby Union of Russia Official Team Media Guide for RWC11
  4. ^ http://www.ferugby.com/noticias.htm
  5. ^ "Official RWC 2011 Site". RugbyWorldCup.com. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  6. ^ (Русский) Состав сборной России по регби на сбор перед тест-матчами с Намибией
  7. ^ a b "World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  8. ^ http://www.irb.com/rankings/full.html
  9. ^ extrapolated from RUR official Team Media Guide RWC 2011
  10. ^ extrapolated from RUR Official Team Media Guide RWC 2011

External links

  • (Russian) Rugby Union of Russia – Official Site
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