We talked with one of the most experienced players of Yenisei-STM about the start of the Russian championship, motivation in sports and the moment when we would like to finish our career.

On June 20, Yenisei will play the first match of the season against the Bogatyrs. We believe that you, like other players, are already running on your feet, and you are looking forward to the match?

  • We are definitely waiting for the start of the season, we really missed Rugby. I don’t think I’ve had such a long break from games in the last twenty years.

Do you agree that given the huge update of the Krasnodar team, “Yenisei” was the most lucky with the opponent in the first round?

  • The opponent is not principled at all. In my opinion, now all the teams are not in optimal shape, but only gaining conditions and working out game bundles. In any case, everyone will have mistakes and marriage. Therefore, it does not matter with whom to open the season.

If we are not mistaken, this will be your 19th season in the Yenisei team. Uldis Saulite said that his main motivation is a constant interest and excitement in Rugby, which does not disappear. What is your main motivation in Rugby?

  • I love Rugby and get huge emotions from it. With age, of course, it is harder to train, at least because you need more time to recover. I will not hide it, physical activity is more difficult to bear, but I enjoy the game the same as before.

In 2018, you said: “next year I will finish my career. I want to play one game on the new Avangard and finish it.” But here is 2020 and Yuri Baranov is still in the ranks. What made you change your mind? How much do you feel you are ready to play yet?

  • In 2018, I had a knee injury and cruciate ligament surgery. To be honest, even I didn’t really believe that I would be able to recover and play at a good level at the age of 35. But I still managed to do it and as long as I bring benefits to the team and enjoy Rugby, I will continue to play.