Greece may eventually embrace rugby, a sport not widely followed in the country, as the National Team has qualified for the Rugby League World Cup to be held in the UK in October.
Greece will participate in its first-ever World Cup in Group A after qualifying in November 2019, when they beat Serbia 82-6 in the European qualifiers.
Before playing England in Sheffield on October 29th, they will play Samoa on Sunday, October 23, and France on Monday, October 17, both in Doncaster.
The 24-player squad comprises five Australian NRL players, some players from the Australian junior league, Australian NRL players, as well as some players from the Australian junior league and eight domestic players from Greece.
On Thursday Greece announced its squad of Australian-based players in an event in Sydney Australia.
The squad: Jordan Meads (Captain), Lachlan Elias, Stefanos Bastas, Nikolaos Bosmos, Terry Constantinou, Jake Kambos, John Mitsias, Nick Mougios, Robert Tuliatu, Sebastian Sell, Chaise Robinson, Kosta Katsidonis, Mitchell Zampetides, Greg Koutsimporgiorgos, Theodoros Nianiakas, Vasili Tsikrikas, Adam Vrahnos.
They are coached by Steve Georgallis, with the help of assistant coaches Jim Pizanias and Michalis Chatziinoannou.
Greece participates in rugby league competitions since 2003
The Greece national rugby league team has been participating in international competitions since 2003.
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.
Until July 2022 Greece was unable to host matches as the Greek government did not recognize the Greek Rugby League Association. After recognition, games are free to take place on home soil without intervention.
Australia hot favorites to retain title
Australia, France and New Zealand are the only nations who have appeared at every Rugby League World Cup from 1954 to 2017. England has also been at all, but participated under the banner of Great Britain in the majority of the earlier tournaments.
Qualifying for the 2021 World Cup featured 20 teams, the most to date with 8 teams having automatically qualified. 13 of these teams had never qualified for the World Cup before.
14 teams took part in the European stage of the qualifying with 4 teams in the Americas group and three in the world play-offs where the runner-up of the Americas group met the highest ranked teams from Asia/Pacific and Africa/Middle-East.
Rugby League World Cup holders Australia are heavy favorites to retain their crown at this year’s tournament in England.
Mal Meninga’s go into this year’s World Cup as overwhelming favorites, having won the last two World Cups in 2013 and 2017.
New Zealand, who won the World Cup in 2008, are second favorites and England are third.