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The Greece national rugby league team (Greek: Ελλάδα εθνική ομάδα ράγκμπι λίγκ) represents Greece in rugby league. The national team has been participating in international competition since 2003, and have become an affiliate member of the Rugby League International Federation.[1]

Greece
Badge of Greece team
Team information
NicknameTitans
Governing bodyGreek Rugby League
RegionEurope
Head coachSteve Georgallis
CaptainJordan Meads
RLIF ranking16th
Uniforms
First colours
Second colours
Team results
First international
 New Caledonia 10–26 Greece 
(September 2003)
Biggest win
 Hungary 0–90 Greece 
(27 October 2013)
Biggest defeat
 Greece 4–76 Spain 
(17 October 2015)

HistoryEdit

Era previous to the foundation of a domestic FederationEdit

In October 2005, Greece, The Titans, played an international match in Australia against Malta which they lost 24 points to 22 in front of an estimated crowd of 6,500. Greece then played a warm up match against Fiji A at OKI Jubilee Stadium in front of 1103 spectators. Fiji, who had just qualified for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, won the match 34-12.

Greece played their first ever Rugby League International Game in a 26-10 victory against New Caledonia in September 2003. On 28 October 2006, Greece played Serbia in the first international match on Greek soil. Greece, supported by Greek-heritage players from Australia, eventually ran out winners, 44-26 in front of 150 home fans of the Glyka Nera Football Club, Athens. Greece were coached by former Western Suburbs Magpies player Steve Georgallis.

Greece won their first ever Rugby League Championship in 2009 when they won the Australian Mediterranean Shield, defeating Italy in the Final 34-14. This was the first competition that the Greek side had competed in. The Greeks were captained by Wests Tigers player John Skandalis. Greece did not qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

Era after the foundation of a domestic FederationEdit

On 27 October 2013 Greece defeated Hungary 90-0 in an international match played in Budapest in front of 500 spectators.[2] The Greek side featured a mixture of players from the Greek domestic competition (8) and Australian-based (9) players including Anasta and Korkidas.[3] Anasta kicked 15 goals from 15 attempts and scored 46 points in the win.[2]

In October 2014, Greece were crowned European Championship C champions after beating Czech Republic in the final. This was their second international tournament victory[4]

Later in the same month, Greece competed in the inaugural Balkans Cup tournament held in Serbia. They beat the hosts in the final to win their third international tournament to add to their trophy cabinet, second in over a week.[5]

Matthew Ashill was the coach of the team for the 2015 European C/2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifying tournament and on 13 September 2015 he named a 22-man train-on squad with only domestic club players which caused controversy as it was a key event coming up for the national rugby league team. He explained his decision saying "We have a totally new plan using just domestic players who will contribute to the growth and development of the sport here".[6]

2021 World Cup Qualification

In September 2018, Greece began their qualification path for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup by winning the European Championship C South conference. They defeated Ukraine 28-26 at Dynamo Stadium (Kharkiv)[7] and Malta Rugby League 60-4 at Glyka Stadium, Athens[8].

In May 2019, Greece faced European Championship C North conference winners Norway national rugby league team at New River Stadium, London, in the European Championship C decider.[9] The matched served as a curtain raiser to the League 1 (rugby league) Round 9 fixture between London Skolars and Doncaster R.L.F.C. Greece defeated Norway 56-26 to progress to the final stages of World Cup qualifiers.[10]

Official Men's Rankings as of July 2019
Rank Change* Team Pts%
1     Australia
2     England
3     New Zealand
4     Tonga
5     Fiji
6     France
7     Samoa
8     Scotland
9     Lebanon
10     Papua New Guinea
11     Wales
12     Ireland
13   1   Jamaica
14   1   Italy
15     United States
16   3   Greece
17   1   Malta
18   2   Norway
19   2   Serbia
20   2   Hungary
21     Canada
22     Philippines
23     Poland
24     Niue
25     Czech Republic
26     Netherlands
27     Solomon Islands
28   17   Cook Islands
29     Russia
30   2   Spain
31     Turkey
32   1   Vanuatu
33   1   Chile
34     Japan
35   5   Germany
36   1   South Africa
37   2   Ukraine
38   2   El Salvador
39   1   Hong Kong
40   2   Sweden
41     Colombia
42   3   Belgium
43     Argentina
44   2   Thailand
45   1   Brazil
46   1   Uruguay
47   2   Denmark
48   2   Bulgaria
*Change from December 2018

Current squadEdit

Squad selected for the 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship;[11][12]

  • Stefanos Bastas
  • Terry Constantinou
  • Nathan Hughes
  • Clinton Hughes
  • Dimosthenes Kartsonakis
  • Con Katsidonis
  • Michael Korkidas
  • Billy Magoulias
  • Peter Mamouzelos
  • Jordan Meads
  • Terry Mihalatos
  • Nick Mougios
  • Giannis Rousoglou
  • Sebastien Sell
  • Sam Stratis
  • Liam Sue-Tin
  • Tyrone Taukamo
  • George Tsikrikas
  • Billy Tsikrikas
  • Robert Tuliatu
  • Sebastien Vourlos
  • Adam Vrahnos
  • Jake Vrahnos
  • Mitchell Zampetides
  • Alex Zarounas
  • Laurence Zarounas

Notable playersEdit

Since rugby league has been known to the nation of Greece since the 2000s many players of Greek birth or heritage have gone on to attain notability in representing either Greece, other nations, or appearing in major domestic leagues around the world, some notable Greek Rugby League Players include:

Player Position Association to Greece Distinctions
Braith Anasta Five-eighth Greek Father
and Grandparents
Played in the NRL with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters and the West Tigers. He has represented notable Australian representative teams such as the Australian national team and the New South Wales rugby league team.
Anasta has made one appearance for Greece in their 2013 test-match against Hungary where he contributed with 46 points.
Jason Demetriou Second Row Greek Heritage Mainly known for his career in their Super League.
Represented Greece in 2000.
George Gatis Hooker Greek Heritage Played in the NRL with the North Queensland Cowboys and New Zealand Warriors as well as with the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League.
Played for Greece in 2005.
Michael Korkidas Prop Greek Heritage By far Greece's most influential big name player, making his debut in 2005 and ever since captaining the side and making more than 10 appearances for the team. He has mainly played his career in the Super League with teams such as the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Salford City Reds, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants.
Nick Kouparitsas Second Row Greek Heritage Played in the NRL with the Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters as well as playing for the London Broncos in the Super League.
Appeared for Greece in 2005 and 2006.
Blake Lazarus Halfback Greek Heritage Played in the NRL with the Wests Tigers.
Appeared for Greece in 2012 and 2014.
Jordan Meads Halfback Greek Heritage Played in the Toyota Cup (rugby league) with the New Zealand Warriors and in the Championship 1 tier of English competition for the Gloucestershire All Golds and Newcastle Thunder.
Captained Greece in 2014 Balkans Cup and 2014 European Championship C.
John Skandalis prop Greek Heritage Notable Wests Tigers player as well as playing for the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League. Represented the City Origin Team between 2002-2006.
Captained Greece in the 2009 Australian Mediterranean Shield.

Overall Tournament HistoryEdit

The following tournaments is a list of notable international competitions that Greece has been competing in since their existence in 2003.

A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Greece

World CupEdit

World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2008 Not involved in qualifying
   2013 Not involved in qualifying
   2017 Failed to Qualify
Total 0 Titles 0/13 0 0 0 0

Balkans CupEdit

Balkans Cup
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2014 Champions 1/4 2 2 0 0
  2017 Second place 2/3 2 1 1 0
  2019 to be determined
Total 1 Title 1/2 4 3 1 0

Emerging Nations World ChampionshipEdit

World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2018 To be determined
Total 0 Titles 0/13 0 0 0 0

Australian Mediterranean ShieldEdit

  • The Australian Mediterranean Shield tournament is a tournament involving affiliate and observer European nations competing against each other for more international rugby league experience. Greece beat Portugal by 42-16 and therefore advanced to the final to take on Italy. They won the final by a score of 34-14 to be crowned the champions, the country's first International rugby league title.
Australian Mediterranean Shield
Year Round Position GP W L D
  2009 Champions 1/4 2 2 0 0
Total 1 Title 1/? 2 2 0 0

European Championship CEdit

European Championship C
Year Round Position GP W L D
    2008 Not Invited
    2009 Not Invited
  2010 Not invited
  2011 Not invited
  2012 Not invited
      2013 Not invited
     2014 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
      2015 3rd place 3/3 2 0 2 0
    2016 Not invited
            2018 To be determined
Total 1 Title 1/7 4 2 2 0

ResultsEdit

  • MAY 2019: Norway 26-56 Greece
  • OCT 2018: Hungary 18-26 Greece (Emerging Nations World Cup 2018)
  • OCT 2018: Niue 16-8 Greece (Emerging Nations World Cup 2018)
  • OCT 2018: Vanuatu 0-38 Greece (Emerging Nations World Cup 2018)
  • OCT 2018: Hungary 20-18 Greece (Emerging Nations World Cup 2018)
  • SEP 2018: Greece 60-4 Malta
  • SEP 2018: Ukraine 26-28 Greece
  • OCT 2017: Serbia 50-8 Greece
  • OCT 2016: Japan 0-72 Greece
  • OCT 2015: Greece 4-76 Spain (RLEF European Championship C)
  • OCT 2014: Serbia 22-50 Greece (Balkan Cup - winners)
  • OCT 2014: Bosnia / Herzegovina 4-58 Greece (Balkan Cup)
  • OCT 2014: Greece 68-16 Czech Republic (RLEF European Championship - winners)
  • JUN 2014: Malta 18-32 Greece (RLEF European Championship C)
  • OCT 2013: Hungary 0-90 Greece
  • OCT 2012: Vanuatu 14-24 Greece
  • OCT 2009: Greece 34-14 Italy (Mediterranean Shield Winner)
  • JUL 2008: Greece 14-12 France (Plate Winners, Student World Cup)
  • OCT 2007: Greece 58-32 Scotland Students (development team)
  • OCT 2006: Greece 44-26 Serbia
  • OCT 2005: Malta 24-22 Greece
  • OCT 2004: Italy 58-14 Greece
  • MAR 2004: Greece 56-8 New Caledonia
  • SEP 2003: Italy 26-24 Greece
  • SEP 2003: Greece 26-10 New Caledonia

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "RLIF - Rugby League International Federation". www.rlif.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b RLEF
  3. ^ Εθνικη Ομαδα / National Team - Ελλασ Ραγκμπυ Λιγκ - Hellas Rugby League
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ RLEF
  6. ^ "Greece coach names initial squad for european championship c". rlef.com. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2021". www.rlwc2021.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Greece defeat Malta in Euro C (South)". www.rlif.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2021". www.rlwc2021.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  10. ^ Darbyshire, Drew (19 May 2019). "Greece defeat Norway in World Cup qualifier". Love Rugby League. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Coaching rivals to team up for Greece". NRL.com. 19 September 2018.
  12. ^ https://www.rlenwc.com/2018/10/01/match-report-greece-hungary/ Greeve vs Hungary Match report

External linksEdit