Training resumes in Serbia ahead of early June restart

Serbia’s rugby league clubs resumed training last week after a two-month lay off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rugby league competitions in Serbia were suspended in the middle of March – but new local governments have loosened lockdown measures in the country and outdoor sports are among the first organised activities to get permission to go back to work.

The SRL will recommence over the weekend of the June 6-7, with Serbian Cup ties; Car Dušan Silni Paraćin facing Red Star Belgrade, Beogradski ORK hosting Partizan, and Dorćol Tigers Belgrade versus Radnički New Belgrade.

Before the shut down, qualification for the remainder of the league campaign was decided and the nine clubs will split into two divisions as follows:

Serbian Super League – Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade, Radnički Niš and Radnički New Belgrade.

B League: Dorćol Tigers Belgrade (formerly Tašmaidan Tigers), Morava Chitas Leskovac, Car Dušan Silni Paraćin, Belgrade YRLC and Dorćol Belgrade.

SRL secretary general Vlagan Kikanovic said: “We are honouring all the government safety measures in our decision to resume the season.

“Life in Serbia is slowly going back to normal, so we are also really carefully resuming and preparing for the competition restart.”

The SRL has also left a window for possible international fixtures should borders be re-opened, with semi-finals and Grand Finals ending the domestic campaign in early October.

Kikanovic added: “At international level our priority this season was the Under-19s European Championship which is postponed but we will continue to build our squad, and we are hoping to be able to continue the tradition and have our annual invitation Belgrade Trophy in August.

“The terms of travelling worldwide aren’t yet set, so it’s just our projection that we can have foreign guests to play our boys.

“Also, later in the second part of the season our focus will be on the fourth year of the Balkan Super League, which is set to be over a new knock-out format and the final held in early November, and possible senior European Championship B fixtures against Russia and Greece.“

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