The Greek Rugby League Association (GRLA) have announced that they will have eight domestic players as part of their 24-man squad for next year’s World Cup.
Up until now, in most competitions Greece have played in, there have
always been RLEF player quotas that the GRLA have to abide by. Qualifying
for the World Cup however, means Greece are now entering uncharted
waters where there are actually no quotas and competing nations are not obliged to use any domestic players at all.
“Given these circumstances, we felt it necessary to take measures to ensure
that there were guaranteed spots for our domestic players,” said GRLA President George Stilianos.
“The game in Greece continues to grow. We will be having an eight-team
competition in 2020/21, which for the first time will include a side from Albania.”
Greek domestic players Stefanos Bastas, (UK League One), Giannis Rousoglou and Kostas Gerontakis (French Elite 2) have recently played at a higher level and the strength of the Greek Rugby League competition means that more local players will follow that trend.
“I have no doubt that there are several domestic players that can step up at
World Cup level and get the job done for Greece as they have done in the qualifying matches,” said Greece national coach Steve Georgallis.
“By announcing that we will have eight spots available for the domestic
players, it gives them an opportunity to have a pathway and, most
importantly, continue to develop the game in Greece. There is no doubt that more local players will be involved in future World Cup tournaments.”
Greece has been drawn in Group A with England, Samoa and France. The
World Cup will begin on the 27th of October 2021. The full World Cup
schedule and venues will be announced next month on the 21st of July.