Greece national rugby league team

Last updated

Greece
GreeceRL.png
Team information
NicknameTitans
Governing body Greek Rugby League Association
Region Europe
Head coach Steve Georgallis
Captain Jordan Meads
Most caps Stefanos Bastas (14)
Top try-scorerJordan Meads (16)
Top point-scorerJordan Meads (132)
IRL ranking 11th
Uniforms
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body bluehoops.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks hoops white.png
Kit socks long.svg
Primary colours
Team results
First international
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg  New Caledonia 10–26 Greece  Flag of Greece.svg
(September 2003)
Biggest win
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 0–90 Greece  Flag of Greece.svg
(27 October 2013)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 4–76 Spain  Flag of Spain.svg
(17 October 2015)

The Greece national rugby league team (Greek: Ελλάδα εθνική ομάδα ράγκμπι λίγκ) represents Greece in rugby league. The team has been participating in international competition since 2003, and have qualified for their first Rugby League World Cup, to be held in 2022.

Contents

Administered by the Greek Rugby League Association since 2017, the team is coached by Greek Australian Steve Georgallis and captained by Jordan Meads.

History

Early years (2003–12)

Greek Rugby League was first formed in Australia by Australians with Greek heritage. The founder of the Greek Rugby League was Colin Mylonas.

The team, nicknamed 'The Titans' first played international fixtures in 2003. Greece played a warm-up match against New Caledonia in late August winning the encounter 10–26. In September of that year, the Greece national team played their debut RLIF sanctioned game against Italy in September. The game was played in Australia at Jubilee Oval for the inaugural Ionio Cup. Greece were narrowly defeated 26–24. [1]

In October 2005, Greece 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.

On 28 October 2006, Greece played Serbia in the debut international match on Greek soil. Greece, supported by Greek-heritage players from Australia, won 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.

Domestic federation founded (2013–16)

2013 saw the creation of a domestic Rugby League competition in Greece. This competition was originally governed by the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League (HFRL).

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 Braith Anasta and Michael 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]

In April 2016, the HFRL was suspended from the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) following a year-long investigation for "wilfully acting in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the RLEF and international rugby league." [7] The HRFL was expelled from the RLEF in August 2016 for failing to meet membership requirements. [8]

New administration, 2021 World Cup qualification (2017– )

In March 2017, the Greek Rugby League Association (GRLA) was recognised by the RLEF as the official governing body for rugby league in Greece, gaining observer status. In March 2018 the GRLA were rewarded for what the RLEF described as "significant progress rebuilding the national governing body and revamping its competition structure, with the support of the Greek Australian community" by being granted affiliate status. [9]

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) [10] and Malta Rugby League 60–4 at Glyka Stadium, Athens. [11]

In May 2019, Greece faced European Championship C North conference winners Norway at New River Stadium, London, in the European Championship C decider. [12] The match served as a curtain raiser to the League 1 round 9 fixture between London Skolars and Doncaster, Greece defeated Norway 56–26 to progress to the final stages of World Cup qualifiers. [13]

In November 2019, Greece qualified for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup after participating in the final round of European World Cup Qualifiers in Pool B with matches against Scotland and Serbia. Greece were unable to host their designated match against Scotland, as the Greek government does not recognise the Greek Rugby League Association. [14] [15] Instead, the match was played in London at New River Stadium on 1 November. Greece were defeated 42–24. [16]

The remaining match in Pool B saw Greece play Serbia, with the winners advancing to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Greece defeated Serbia 82–6 at Makiš Stadium, Belgrade. [17] [18]

On 16 January 2020, Greece were drawn into Group A of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup with England, Samoa and France. [19]

They then entered the 2020 European Championship B where they'll play Russia and Serbia. [20]

As of July 2022, the Greek government has announced its recognition of the Greek Rugby League Association and has announced games are free to take place on home soil without intervention.

Official rankings as of 9 July 2022
RankChangeTeamPts %
1Steady2.svgFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 100.00
2Increase2.svg 1Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 68.00
3Decrease2.svg 1Flag of England.svg  England 64.00
4Steady2.svgFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 52.00
5Steady2.svgFlag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea 36.00
6Steady2.svgFlag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 29.00
7Increase2.svg 1Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 17.00
8Increase2.svg 1Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 17.00
9Decrease2.svg 2Flag of France.svg  France 16.00
10Increase2.svg 5Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 14.00
11Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 13.00
12Steady2.svgFour Provinces Flag.svg  Ireland 11.00
13Steady2.svgFlag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 11.00
14Steady2.svgFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 11.00
15Decrease2.svg 4Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 11.00
16Increase2.svg 7Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 8.00
17Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 8.00
18Decrease2.svg 1Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 8.00
19Steady2.svgFlag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 7.00
20Increase2.svg 2Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands 6.04
21Decrease2.svg 3Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica 6.03
22Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 6.02
23Decrease2.svg 3Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 5.00
24Increase2.svg 2Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 5.00
25Increase2.svg 4Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 4.29
26Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 4.00
27Decrease2.svg 3Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3.81
28Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 3.00
29Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 3.00
30Increase2.svg 8Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 2.86
31Steady2.svgFlag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 2.85
32Increase2.svg 11Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 2.80
33Steady2.svgFlag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 2.00
34Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1.79
35Increase2.svg 2Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 1.72
36Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 1.66
37Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1.61
38Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 1.31
39Decrease2.svg 2Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands 1.21
40Increase2.svg 2Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1.06
41Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1.04
42Decrease2.svg 2Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu 1.03
43Increase2.svg 1Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.02
44New.pngFlag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 1.00
45Steady2.svgFlag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 0.50
46Steady2.svgFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 0.10
47Decrease2.svg 6Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 0.05
48Decrease2.svg 1Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 0.01
Complete rankings at INTRL.SPORT

Current squad

Squad selected for the 2019 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers:

Notable players

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:

PlayerPositionAssociation to GreeceDistinctions
Braith Anasta Five-eighthGreek Father
and Grandparents
Played in the NRL with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters and the Wests 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 RowGreek HeritageMainly known for his career in their Super League.
Represented Greece in 2007.
George Gatis HookerGreek HeritagePlayed 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 PropGreek HeritageMade his debut in 2005, taking the role of captain. 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 RowGreek HeritagePlayed 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 HalfbackGreek HeritagePlayed in the NRL with the Wests Tigers.
Appeared for Greece in 2012 and 2014.
Jordan Meads HalfbackGreek HeritagePlayed in the Toyota Cup 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 propGreek HeritageNotable Wests Tigers player as well as playing for the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League. Represented the City Origin Team between 2002 and 2006.
Captained Greece in the 2009 Australian Mediterranean Shield.

Results

All-time record for Greece's national side as of 24 December 2020. [21]

TeamFirst PlayedPlayedWinDrawLossWin %Points ForPoints AgainstPoint DifferenceLast Played
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 20141100100.00584+542014
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 20171100100.00688+602017
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 20141100100.006816+522014
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 2013320166.6713438+962018
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 2003310233.337298-262009
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 20161100100.00720+722016
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 2005420250.0011476+382018
Flags of New Caledonia.svg  New Caledonia 20032200100.008218+642004
Flag of Niue.svg  Niue 201810010.00816-82018
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 20191100100.005626+302019
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 20091100100.004216+262009
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 201910010.002442-182019
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 2006430175.00184104+802019
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 201410010.00476-722014
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 20191100100.003824+142019
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 20181100100.002826+22018
Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu 20122200100.006414+502018
Total200329200968.971116602+5142019

A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Greece

World Cup

World Cup record
YearRoundPositionPldWDLPFPA
Flag of France.svg 1954 Not involved in qualifying
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1957
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1960
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 1968
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1970
Flag of France.svg 1972
1975
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 1977
1985–88
1989–92
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1995
Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 2000
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2008
Flag of England.svg Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 2013
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 2017 Failed to Qualify
Flag of England.svg 2021 Qualified
Total0 Titles0/130000

Balkans Cup

Balkans Cup
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of Serbia.svg 2014 Champions1/42200
Flag of Serbia.svg 2017 Second place2/32110
Total1 Title1/24310

Australian Mediterranean Shield

Australian Mediterranean Shield
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2009 Champions1/42200
Total1 Title1/?2200

Emerging Nations World Championship

World Cup record
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2018 3rd Place3/134220
Total0 Titles3/134220

European Championship B

European Championship B
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of Russia.svg Flag of Greece.svg Flag of Serbia.svg 2020 Qualified
Total0 Titles0/30000

European Championship C

European Championship C
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of Estonia.svg Flag of Latvia.svg 2008 Not Invited
Flag of Latvia.svg Flag of Estonia.svg 2009 Not Invited
Flag of Malta.svg 2010 Not invited
Flag of Hungary.svg 2011 Not invited
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 2012 Not invited
Flag of Ukraine.svg Flag of Norway.svg Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 2013 Not invited
Flag of Malta.svg Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Flag of Greece.svg 2014 Champions1/32200
Flag of Spain.svg Flag of Malta.svg Flag of Greece.svg 2015 3rd place3/32020
Flag of Ukraine.svg Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 2016 Not invited
Flag of Ukraine.svg Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Flag of Greece.svg Flag of Malta.svg Flag of Norway.svg Flag of Germany.svg 2018 Champions1/64400
Total2 Titles1/74220

Records

Most Capped Players

Left to Right: Bastas, Tuliatu, Rousoglou, Kartsonakis. After Emerging Nations 3rd Place Victory at St Mary's Stadium, Sydney. Emerging Nations 3rd place playoff.jpg
Left to Right: Bastas, Tuliatu, Rousoglou, Kartsonakis. After Emerging Nations 3rd Place Victory at St Mary's Stadium, Sydney.
#NameCaps
1 Stefanos Bastas 14
2Terry Constantinou13
3Ioannis Rousoglou12
4Ioannis Nake10
Nikos Bosmos
6Kostas Katsidonis9
7Dimosthenes Kartsonakis8
Jordan Meads
Robert Tuliatu
10 Michael Korkidas 7
Peter Mamouzelos
Jake Vrahnos
Mitchell Zampetides
Alvaro Zota

Top Try Scorers

#NameTries
1 Jordan Meads 16
2Terry Constantinou14
3 Peter Mamouzelos 10
4Nikos Bosmos6
Jake Vrahnos
6Ioannis Nake5
George Tsikrikas
Mitchell Zampetides
9 Braith Anasta 4
Adam Bouris
Sebastian Sell
Vasili Tsikrikas

Top Point Scorers

#NamePointsTriesGoalsField Goals
1 Jordan Meads 13216340
2Liam Sue-Tin661310
3Terry Constantinou561400
4Nikos Bosmos526140
5 Braith Anasta 464150
6 Peter Mamouzelos 401000
7Sam Stratis302110
8Jake Vrahnos24600
9Aris Dardamanis22350
Ioannis Nake510

Source: [22]

See also

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References

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  3. Εθνικη Ομαδα / National Team - Ελλασ Ραγκμπυ Λιγκ - Hellas Rugby League
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