Twelve clubs, split into three groups, representing five nations – Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro, Albania and Bulgaria – will take part in the 2022 Balkan Super League, which is set to kick off on the weekend of the 2-3 April.
Group A will feature six clubs: RLC Dorcol Tigers, RLC Partisan 1953, current holders RLC Red Star (Serbia), RLC Fethiye Falcons (Turkey), RLC Arsenal (Montenegro) and RLC Locomotive (Bulgaria), whilst Group B will be split into two comprising B1 – Youth RLC Morava Cheetahs (Serbia), RLC Antalya Warriors (Turkey) and RLC Tirana (Albania) and B2 – RLC Radnicki Belgrade, RLC Radnick Nis (Serbia) and RLC Mornar (Montenegro).
In the playoffs, on 18-19 June, the winners of B1 will face the top side in B2 in their Grand Final, and the following week the top two in group A will meet to decide the champions.
Balkan Super League director, Dragan Pavlovic, commented: “This is a big step for us after the pandemic which affected all sports organizations across Europe and prevented us from playing the Balkan Super League in full in 2020 and 2021.
“In 2019, we had 15 teams from eight countries and, at some stage, we are looking to welcome back those from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and Greece from season 2023 as they rebuild. We are also open for clubs from other countries including Italy and we hope that North Macedonia will very soon establish a club in Skoplje, and we are open to assisting them.”
In the fifth Balkan Super League Grand Final, held over from last season and staged at the Lugovi Stadium in Budva, Montenegro, Red Star defeated rivals Partisan 1853, 30-18 in front of over 500 fans, Marco Jankovic and prop Milos Calic with two each of their five tries. The match was broadcast live on TV Arena Sport for the first time at prime time, and the win gave the red and whites their third Balkan title.