Greece and Norway have named 20-man squads for their 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifier, to be held at London Skolars’ New River Stadium on 18 May (kick off 1pm). The clash will be part of a double-header with Skolars’ Betfred League 1 clash with Doncaster.
The match, a first meeting between the nations and who are currently world ranked 19th and 20th , will also determine the winners of European Championship C - with the victors hosting Scotland (2-3 November 2019) and travelling to Russia (9-10 November 2019) in the final European Qualifying tournament for a World Cup place in England.
Both nations have made their final selection after warm up games, Norway playing away against an Ireland XIII and Greece holding an origin clash between Athens and the rest of the country.
Greece include a player from both of the featured League 1 sides in their line-up, Doncaster’s Stefanos Bastas and Robert Tuliatu from Skolars, with domestic champions and current league leaders Rhodes Knights supplying six players and Aris Eagles five.
Coach Jim Pizanias commented: “All the players in the squad are looking forward to the match. We know it will be tough and everyone is training really hard, appreciating that a win will take us one step closer to our dream of qualifying for the World Cup. Our squad will go into camp in Athens on May 10th , before heading to London for one of the most important games in Greek Rugby League's history.”
Eight domestic clubs are represented in the Norwegian squad, with four players from Stavanger Storm.
“The match against Greece will be the biggest game in Norway's short history,” said head coach Dave Hunter. “We've had a couple of productive camps and a tough match against the Irish. The players took a lot out of that game and know what they have to work on. Whilst we’ve done well to get this far in qualifying, we are well aware that this Greek team is going to be very hard to beat, so we'll have to be at our absolute best. We will celebrate our national day on 17th May in London with expat Norwegians and hopefully they will get along to the game the following day to help cheer the boys on.”
Among the invited guests attending will be Norwegian Ambassador Wegger Strømmen and transport minister Jon Georg Dale.
GREECE 20-MAN SQUAD
Aris Dardamanis, Grigoris Koutsibogiorgos, Ioannis Dimakas, Ioannis Rousoglou, Thodoris Nianiakas (Aris Eagles), Iasonas Kourkakis, Ioannis Nake, Eugenios Malai (Attica Rhinos), Jordan Meads (Beerwah Bulldogs), Stefanos Bastas (Doncaster RLFC), Robert Tuliatu (London Skolars), Sebastian Sell (Mittagong Lions), Dimos Kartsonakis, Georgios Tsiakos, Kostas Katsidonis, Michail Bosmos, Nikos Bosmos, Pantelis Tsattalios (Rhodes Knights), Peter Mamouzelos (South Sydney), Terry Constantinou (Sunbury Tigers)
NORWAY 20-MAN SQUAD
Brett Harvey (Bardufoss Badgers), Casey Diggs, Bendik Kalvik, Sam Mullins (Bodø Barbarians), Harald Mikalsen (Flekkefjord Tigers), Sonny Mellor, Joshua Skidmore-Hornby, Lucas Zuniga (Lillestrøm Lions), Nils Kristian Holte, Kristoffer Milligan, Simon Viljoen (Oslo Capitals), Kevin Båtnes, Chris Stalsberg (Porsgrunn Pirates), Kristoffer Borsheim, Nathan Cummins, Ezra McIntyre, Fredrik Nordtun (Stavanger Storm), Callan Sinclair (Shellharbour Sharks), Stephen Stepanek Mwikaria (Trondheim Rugby Klubb), Kristian Nordin-Skipnes (Woden Valley Rams)
Early Bird Offer (up to end of April): Adults £12 and Concessions £6
From May 1st onwards: Adults £15 AND Concessions £10
Throughout the whole period: U11’s £3 and U5’s - Free
Eventbrite link: http://bit.ly/DoubleheaderN22
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1864325813690249/