Greece national rugby league team

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Greece
Badge of Greece team
Team information
NicknameTitans
Governing bodyGreek Rugby League
RegionEurope
Head coachSteve Georgallis
CaptainJordan Meads
RLIF ranking26th
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)

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

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 December 2018
Rank Change* Team Pts%
1 Steady  Australia 100.00
2 Increase 1  England 92.14
3 Decrease 1  New Zealand 88.55
4 Steady  Tonga 45.14
5 Steady  Fiji 29.41
6 Increase 2  France 26.11
7 Decrease 1  Samoa 24.28
8 Decrease 1  Scotland 20.36
9 Steady  Lebanon 18.93
10 Steady  Papua New Guinea 15.78
11 Increase 1  Wales 11.40
12 Decrease 1  Ireland 10.70
13 Steady  Italy 7.90
14 Increase 1  Jamaica 6.39
15 Decrease 1  United States 6.15
16 Increase 2  Malta 5.98
17 Steady  Serbia 5.76
18 Increase 3  Hungary 5.53
19 Increase 7  Greece 4.78
20 Decrease 1  Norway 4.74
21 Decrease 5  Canada 4.14
22 Increase 5  Philippines 3.89
23 New entry  Poland 3.39
24 Increase 10  Niue 3.21
25 Decrease 1  Czech Republic 2.89
26 Increase 2  Netherlands 2.82
27 Increase 15  Solomon Islands 2.56
28 Decrease 6  Spain 2.46
29 Decrease 9  Russia 2.37
30 Steady  Germany 2.18
31 New entry  Turkey 2.14
32 Increase 1  Chile 2.05
33 Increase 3  Vanuatu 1.95
34 Increase 7  Japan 1.87
35 Decrease 10  Ukraine 1.79
36 Increase 1  El Salvador 1.66
37 Decrease 5  South Africa 1.53
38 Decrease 9  Sweden 1.48
39 Decrease 16  Belgium 1.31
40 Increase 5  Hong Kong 1.29
41 Decrease 1  Colombia 1.08
42 Decrease 4  Thailand 1.06
43 Decrease 4  Argentina 0.90
44 Decrease 13  Cook Islands 0.75
45 Decrease 10  Denmark 0.56
46 Decrease 3  Brazil 0.51
47 Decrease 3  Uruguay 0.47
48 Decrease 2  Bulgaria 0.21
49 Decrease 2  Latvia 0.07
*Change from July 2018

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.[1] The Greek side featured a mixture of players from the Greek domestic competition (8) and Australian-based (9) players including Anasta and Korkidas.[2] Anasta kicked 15 goals from 15 attempts and scored 46 points in the win.[1]

In October 2014, Greece were crowned European Championship C champions after beating Czech Republic in the final. This was their second international tournament victory[3]

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.[4]

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".[5]

Current squad[edit]

Squad selected for the 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship;[6][7]

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

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 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 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.

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
Serbia 2017 Second place 2/3 2 1 1 0
Turkey 2019 to be determined
Total 1 Title 1/2 4 3 1 0

Emerging Nations World Championship[edit]

World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
Australia 2018 To be determined
Total 0 Titles 0/13 0 0 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 3rd place 3/3 2 0 2 0
Ukraine Czech Republic 2016 Not invited
Ukraine Czech Republic Greece Malta Norway Germany 2018 To be determined
Total 1 Title 1/7 4 2 2 0

Results[edit]

  • 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 also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b RLEF
  2. ^ Εθνικη Ομαδα / National Team - Ελλασ Ραγκμπυ Λιγκ - Hellas Rugby League
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2014-10-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ RLEF
  5. ^ "Greece coach names initial squad for european championship c". rlef.com. 2015-09-13. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  6. ^ "Coaching rivals to team up for Greece". NRL.com. 19 September 2018.
  7. ^ https://www.rlenwc.com/2018/10/01/match-report-greece-hungary/ Greeve vs Hungary Match report

External links[edit]