Titanic task awaits, but don’t back against the Greeks




Entering their first World Cup, things are looking rosy for Greek rugby league. First up, they recently were victorious in a decade-long fight to have the game legalised in Greece, where the domestic competition had been playing without access to funding and without government recognition.

On the back of that huge boost to the sport, they are also facing up to their first tournament, having qualified in late 2019 with a win over Serbia. They face a group with England, Samoa and France, so it’s going to be a tough ask – but they’ll certainly not lack for passion and commitment.

Their team will be much improved on the 17 that won them qualification, but there will be names that remain alongside the more recognised figures.

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In fact, they’ll have a unique situation at the World Cup: they will feature players from the top three grades in England and Australia, as well as the French competition – not to mention their own comp.

The Titans have committed to at least 8 domestic players for the tournament and will feature several, not least Stefanos Bastas, a living legend of the game in Greece who was the first player to go from the domestic comp to the pro ranks.

Certainties

Greece have a few star names, a few fringe names and then a big drop off. Of the NRL talent, they get Lachlan Ilias and Peter Mamouzelos of Souths and Billy Magoulias, now at Newtown Jets after stints with Cronulla and Warrington.

Robert Tuliatu is running around for London Broncos and has made eight appearances in the past, so will likely play again, as will his teammate Adam Vrahnos.

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Sam Louizou and Johnny Mitsias are NSW Cup players at the Eels and Magpies respectively, while Nick Mougios plays Flegg at Souths, Harris Georgeopolous is at the Dragons and Jake Kambos is at the Magpies in third grade.

Alongside Bastos, Dimosthenis Kartsonakis has played pro in the UK and should be picked.

Probables 

Billy Tsikrikas from the Bulldogs would have walked it had he not done a knee, but his brother, George Tsikrikas might feature. Chaise Robinson is in the Souths system and if fit, will play.

Perhaps even more unlikely than Greek domestic players featuring in the World Cup is that they might well have a Victorian: Terry Constantinou, born in Gordon, was selected in 2019. From further north, Nic Flocas of the Ipswich Jets will likely be on the plane.

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Possibles

This is more a question of who makes themselves eligible. Nathan Peats, now playing Super League with Toulouse, could certainly feature, as could Jordan Meads, once of Gateshead in the UK but now playing rugby union on the Sunshine Coast.

Jake Vrahnos, Adam’s brother, is captain-coach at Sydney Uni RLFC and is a chance. We have left the last spaces available for Greek domestic players – as deep as our research goes here at The Roar, it doesn’t go that deep.

Predicted Greece squad

1 Chaise Robinson
2 Dimosthenis Kartsonakis
3 Nick Mougios
4 Sam Louizou
5 Johnny Mitsias
6 Jordan Meads
7 Lachlan Ilias
8 Robert Tuilatu
9 Peter Mamouzelos
10 Stefanos Bastas
11 Terry Constantinou
12 Adam Vrhanos
13 Billy Magoulias
14 Nathan Peats
15 Jake Kambos
16 Nic Flocas
17 Harris Georgeopolous
18 Jake Vrhanos
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