Greece national rugby league team

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Greece
Nickname Centaurs
Governing body Hellas Rugby League Federation
Region Europe
Head coach Steve Georgallis
Captain Joshua Kanakis
RLIF ranking 24th
Colours
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)

The Greece national rugby league team (Greek: Ελλάδα εθνική ομάδα ράγκμπι λίγκ) represents Greece in rugby league football, officially since 2013. The team has been participating in international competition since 2003, and have since become an affiliate member of the Rugby League International Federation.

For more Greek stats, news, team results and more visit Greece's RLEF Page.

History[edit]

Era previous to the foundation of a domestic Federation[edit]

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. Before departing to Greece for their historic match, they 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, because of their Australian based contingent, were favourites against a much improved Serbian outfit as both teams fought out the game in determined fashion. Greece 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 where they won the Australian Mediterranean Shield defeating Italy in the Final 34-14. The 2009 Australian Mediterranean Shield that they won was their first competition that they took part in. The Greeks were led to the win by Wests Tigers player John Skandalis. The Greeks Triumph at the 2009 Australian Mediterranean Shield was their first trophy in the trophy cabinet. The Greeks did not qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup which was held in Australia.

Official Rankings as of May 2017[1]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Same position  Australia
2  New Zealand
3  England
4  Scotland
5  Samoa
6  France
7 Rise  Ireland
8 Fall  Fiji
9 Same position  Wales
10  United States
11 Rise  Tonga
12 Fall  Serbia
13  Canada
14  Italy
15 Same position  Papua New Guinea
16  Russia
17  Jamaica
18  Belgium
19 Rise  Malta
20 Fall  Spain
21 Same position  Lebanon
22  Ukraine
23  Germany
24 Rise  Cook Islands
25 Fall  Czech Republic
26 Same position  Norway
27  Denmark
28  Greece
29  Sweden
30  Netherlands
31 Rise  Niue
32 Fall  South Africa
33 Rise  Hungary
34 Fall  Philippines
35 New entry  Thailand
36 Fall  Chile
37  Vanuatu
38 Rise  El Salvador
39 Fall  Latvia
40 Rise  Solomon Islands
41 New entry  Uruguay
42 Fall  Morocco

A number of plans for the Greek Rugby League have been put into place with a regular domestic competition to commence in 2007. The domestic competition was planned to be based in Athens consisted of four teams, as that was the minimum requirement in gaining associate membership into the Rugby League European Federation. As of 2012 they did not manage to establish a championship. On July 11, 2011, the GB Student "Pioneers" played a game vs an unofficial "national" team (consisted of players from the two Rhodes teams) in Rhodes island. Greeks lost that game. Greece have had a fair bit of players in Australian Rugby League in the past 40 years. Players like George Peponis a former Australian International and Captain who played for the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, George Katsogiannis, Jim Serdaris, Steve Georgallis the Coach who played for Western Suburbs, John Skandalis, Nick Kouparitsas, Michael Korkidas and Braith Anasta who is half-Greek, half-Anglo Saxon Australian is a Greek and Australian International who used to play for the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and is now retired. He played for both Countries at International level.

Era after the foundation of a domestic Federation[edit]

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]

Matthew AshilL was the coach also in the first international test match, played after the recognition of the sport by the Greek Government, under the Aegis of the Modern Pentathlon Federation. The match took place in L'Aquilla, Italy, at March 12, 2017 vs the national Italian Team of the LIRFL. Both Federations non-RLEF members. Hosts won by 51 to 13. The Greek tries scored by Konstantinos Ilias and Ilias Gatos. Kostas Roussos scored two conversions and a field goal.

Current squad[edit]

Here is the 18 man squad played vs Italy on March 12, 2017.

  • Panagiotis Karefilis (c) - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Kostas Roussos - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Dimitris Pagozidis - Pyrrihios Aspropyrgou
  • Stathis (Stu) Papadopoulos - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Giannis Giannimaras - Promitheas Rendi
  • Ilias Gatos - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Alexandros Goumas - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Thodoris Konstantinidis - Pyrrihios Aspropyrgou
  • Kyriakos Spetsiotis - Promitheas Rendi
  • Vasilis Dokouslis - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Konstantinos Ilias - Pyrrihios Aspropyrgou
  • Giorgos Aslanoglou - A.O. Kavala
  • Nikos Leivathinos - Agios Thomas Goudi
  • Alekos Kesidis - A.O. Kavala
  • Nikos Keskinis - A.O. Kavala
  • Panagiotis Stefanidis - Nemesis Thessaloniki
  • Vaggelis Kolouvardis - Promitheas Rendi

Notable players[edit]

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 of the more notable Greeks have included:

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 the 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.
Iwi Hauraki Wing Greek Heritage Played in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters.
Has represented Greece in 20??
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 NRL with the New Zealand Warriors and in the Championship 1 tier of English competition for the Gloucestershire All Golds.
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.

Match official[edit]

Referee

  • Dino Vikas

Overall Tournament History[edit]

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 Cup[edit]

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

Balkans Cup[edit]

Balkans Cup
Year Round Position GP W L D
Serbia 2014 Champions 1/4 2 2 0 0
Total 1 Title 1/1 2 2 0 0

Australian Mediterranean Shield[edit]

  • 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
Australia 2009 Champions 1/4 2 2 0 0
Total 1 Title 1/? 2 2 0 0

European Championship C[edit]

European Championship C
Year Round Position GP W L D
Estonia Latvia 2008 Not Invited
Latvia Estonia 2009 Not Invited
Malta 2010 Not invited
Hungary 2011 Not invited
Czech Republic 2012 Not invited
Ukraine Norway Czech Republic 2013 Not invited
Malta Czech Republic Greece2014 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
Spain Malta Greece 2015 To Be Determined
Total 1 Title 1/7 2 2 0 0

Results[edit]

  • MAR 2017: Italy 51-13 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
  • 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 also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]