The Russian national team with new head coach Dmitry Maximov from the reigning Russian champion Moscow Patriots, is on its way to Belgium to take on the Belgian Barbarians this weekend in an international friendly.
Team Russia last took the field in 2016 when they lost in the IFAF Europe qualifying tournament to both Great Britain (30-13) and Holland (17-6). Russia had previously defeated Norway 20-0 to advance to the qualifying tournament.
The team will be bringing a roster of 47 players according to general manager Pasha Khoroshilov. He said that they will probably have up to 21 players who will be donning the national team jersey for the first time.
“We are looking forward to make a great team for the next big tournament. We have a lot of work to do and the game against Belgian Barbarians is a good first test for us.”
This will be the first game ever between these two nations.
The Barbarians have been one of the busiest national teams in Europe since 2014, playing between two and four games a year. Earlier this year Belgium edged Spain 18-16 in a thriller. Last year they beat both Spain and Hungary. In 2015, they played four games including a tough loss to Holland in a European qualifier in front of almost 5,000 roaring Dutch fans.