This weekend Kuban Krasnodar and VVA Saracens Moscow were both involved in the inaugural World Club 7's tournament at Twickenham. Featuring top teams from around the world including Auckland, Blue Bulls and eventual winners the Brumbies from Australia, the two Russian sides gave a good account of themselves and once again demonstrated the progress the sport is making in their country.
VVA Saracens Moscow, featuring national 15's players Aleksandr Yanyushkin, Mikhail Babaev and Igor Klyuchnikov, had a great first day, beating English Premiership side Gloucester and South Africans DHL Western Province before drawing with New York. In the quarter finals, they narrowly lost to the Brumbies in extra time before finishing a creditable 7th overall.
Kuban, captained by national team player Yury Kushnarev, were unable to register a victory on the first day, but had a successful day 2, beating Northampton Saints and Blue Bulls on route to winning the Shield. As captain Kushnarev says here, the Russians are well on their way to being able to compete regularly against the more traditional rugby playing nations.
Having worked with the Russia 15's squad earlier this year, I can safely say that any success they have in the future will be a direct result of the hard work and determination that the player put into training, preparation and all aspects of their rugby performance.
Posted By: Rob Fowkes
Posted: 19 Aug 2013