The domestic rugby league season in Greece – the first since the sport gained official government recognition in the country – begins on Sunday, on the back of the men’s national side making their debut in the recent World Cup, and the women’s having won the inaugural Euro B South competition.
Nine men’s teams are split into two pools, in the East division: Rhodes Knights, Attica Rhinos and Athens Raiders, and in the West: AEK, Aris Eagles, Glyfada Sharks, Patra Panthers, Perama Tigers and Pyrrichios, whilst four women’s teams: Attica Rhinos, Aris Eagles, Athens Raiders and Patra Panthers will face each other. The schedule shows a triple-header Grand Final on 18 March 2023 for all three divisions.
George Stilianos, president of the Greek Rugby League Federation, noted: “We are excited about what will be our first season as a fully recognised sporting federation. The season is starting later than it normally would as a lot of our key personnel were involved with the World Cup.
“The eight domestic players that played in it are back and ready to contribute to their club's success and some of them have assumed player-coach roles at their respective clubs because of the experience gained. Two clubs, Glyfada Sharks and Perama Tigers, despite being founded in 2020, will now take part in their first full season of matches following the disruption caused by the pandemic, while Pyrrichios return to the fold.
“In the women's division, this will be our debut season. They have had success as a national team and we are now looking forward to them having regular, competitive games as we lead into the World Cup 2025 qualifiers next year.”
Stilianos added: “We are leaving April and May open for 9s tournaments and hope to get a UK team touring, plus our girls are looking to go to Belgrade after Easter. We have also agreed to play Serbia men in Athens in May with details to be confirmed.”
The season kicks off on 27/11 with:
Athens Raiders vs Rhodes Knights (men’s East)
Aris Eagles vs Attica Rhinos (women's)
The following weekend in the men’s Western division:
Pyrrichios vs Aris Eagles
AEK Athens vs Glyfada Sharks