10 Feb 2021

The Association of Russian Rugby League clubs has received support and backing from former chess grand master 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 very long time.”

This is the year of the Rugby League World Cup 2021

The Rugby League World Cup is taking place between the 23 October – 27 November this autumn and is the pinnacle of international Rugby League, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place in 21 venues across 18 host towns and cities in England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

RLWC2021 will be the most visible Rugby League event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.

Mission: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.

Vision: Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage and leave a long-lasting positive social impact.