Russia have named a 29-man squad for their 2017 Rugby League World Cup European Pool B Qualifiers against Ireland and Spain in October.
Around half are debutants although five of them; Anatoly Grigoryev, Sergei Konstantinov, Vladimir Vlasyuk and Nikolay Zagoskin from Nara and Moscow Storm’s Vadim Fedchuk, featured in the Qualifier for the 2008 World Cup against Holland. Recently appointed ARLK executive director Denis Korolev was also a member of that squad.
Skipper Sergei Konstantinov commented: “We are working hard for the qualifying matches, it’s a wonderful opportunity for all participating teams to show their skills and abilities. We are really looking forward to playing in these international fixtures, they bring everyone in the sport here together.”
Former coach Evgeny Klebanov has been invited to take over the national team following the resignation last year of Igor Ovchinnikov and the administrative workload of Korolev, who stood in for Ovchinnikov in a caretaker capacity.
Given the closeness of the Russian rugby community in the country, Ivan Troitskiy from union club Ivanovo has been invited to be part of the squad.
All players selected are from the Moscow Region, the district outside of the capital city.
RUSSIA 29-MAN TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Viktor Ariutkin, Andrey Kuznetsov, Eremin Viacheslav (Dynamo), Kirill Kosharin (CSKA Moscow), Viktor Ariutkin, Andrey Kuznetsov, Eremin Viacheslav (Dynamo), Ivan Troitskiy (Ivanovo White Sharks), Vadim Buryak, Leonid Kalinin, Maxim Tsinkovich (Lokomotiv Moscow), Petr Botnarash, Mikhail Burlutskii, Sergey Gaponov, Anatoly Grigorev, Sergei Konstantinov, Aleksandr Lysokon, Maksim Suchkov, Denis Tiulenev, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Nikolay Zagoskin (Nara), Anton Iunisov, Iustin Petrushka (Moscow Fili), Dmitry Bratko, Denis Chuprin, Igor Chuprin, Vadim Fedchuk, Ruslan Khumarov, Sergei Stakhanov, Nikolai Zaitsev (Moscow Storm), Nikita Dagaev, Alexander Trofimchuk (Moscow Zelenograd)