How Greece could line-up at the Rugby League World Cup

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Nathan Peats, Billy Magoulias and Lachlan Ilias Greece Credit: PA Images
Nathan Peats, Billy Magoulias and Lachlan Ilias Greece Credit: PA Images

We’re creating how each nation could line-up ahead of the World Cup, in collaboration with He Can Play For. This week, it’s Greece!

In these weekly feature pieces, we are selecting our predicted side who can represent Greece. This can include players born in that country, with heritage to the nation or even residency.

The first sec were France, Jamaica, Cook Islands, Fiji, Ireland, Wales and Papua New Guinea. Now it is time for Greece

How Greece could line-up at the World Cup

1. Chaise Robinson

The full-back is currently playing for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Jersey Flegg Cup. He says he is hoping to make his NRL debut this year or next.

Robinson comes from great rugby league stock, with his father and cousin Nathan Merritt previously playing for Souths. Robinson is of Indigenous Australian and Greek heritage, and has already played for Greece on the international stage.

2. Johnny Mitsias

Mitsias is currently plying his trade for Wests Magpies in the New South Wales Cup. The Magpies are the feeder club for NRL side Wests Tigers.

The winger has already played for Greece on the international stage, and will be hoping to play in his first World Cup this autumn.

3. Sam Loizou

Loizou might only be 19 years of age, but he has already made his NRL debut for Parramatta Eels, which came in 2021.

The winger or centre was born and raised in New South Wales, but is of Greek Cypriot heritage. He has got a bright future ahead of him.

4. Nick Mougios

Mougios is another player in the Rabbitohs system who is of Greek descent. The 23-year-old was born in Sydney and qualifies to play for Greece through his family.

The former North Sydney Bears star played for Greece in their World Cup qualifiers. He will be hoping to play in his first World Cup later this year.

5. Dimosthenes Kartsonakis

Kartsonakis plays for the Rhodes Knights in the Greek domestic competition. The 26-year-old, who is also a bar manager, has won eight caps for Greece.

The winger has also spent time with League 1 club West Wales Raiders in the past. He will be hoping to put his country on the rugby league map later this year.

6. Jordan Meads

Half-back Meads was born in Wellington, New Zealand and qualifies to play for Greece through his mother’s side of the family.

The 30-year-old, who played at Gateshead Thunder for two seasons between 2014-15, is the captain of the Greek national team. He is the nation’s top try scorer (16) and points scorer (132).

Meads captained Greece in their qualification process for the World Cup and is likely to lead Steve Georgallis’ side at the tournament in England.

7. Lachlan Ilias

Lachlan Ilias South Sydney Rabbitohs PA Credit: PA Images
Lachlan Ilias South Sydney Rabbitohs PA Credit: PA Images

Greece are drawn in a group alongside England, Samoa and France at this year’s World Cup.

If they are to cause an upset the tournament, then Ilias will be very much an important part of that. At just 22 years of age, Ilias is regarded as one of the NRL’s brightest talents.

Ilias has already made 17 first team appearances for South Sydney Rabbitohs, scoring two tries.

8. Billy Tsikrikas

Billy Tsikrikas Canterbury Bulldogs PA Credit: PA Images
Billy Tsikrikas Canterbury Bulldogs PA Credit: PA Images

The 27-year-old actually made his international debut for Greece eight years before making his NRL debut!

His birth name is Vasili but he is known by his team-mates as Billy. He made his NRL bow for Canterbury Bulldogs earlier this season and has made two first team appearances so far. He has scored four tries in six games for Greece.

9. Peter Mamouzelos

Peter Mamouzelos South Sydney Rabbitohs PA Credit: PA Images
Peter Mamouzelos South Sydney Rabbitohs PA Credit: PA Images

Like his Rabbitohs team-mate Ilias, if Greece are to defy the odds at the World Cup then Mamouzelos will have to play a massive part.

The 21-year-old hooker has made four NRL appearances for the Rabbitohs since making his first-grade debut in 2021.

Mamouzelos has scored 10 tries in seven games so far for Greece, helping them gain qualification for their first-ever World Cup.

Both sets of his grandparents migrated to Australia from Greece. His mother’s side of the family hail from Zakynthos whilst his dad’s side are from Kalymnos.

Speaking after a win over Norway in the World Cup qualification process, Mamouzelos told Neos Kosmos: “Especially after the game, my dad tried to hide it but he actually started crying. I have never seen him cry before, so to put on that jersey to represent my culture and my last name is a great honour and it’s something that I will cherish forever.”

10. Rob Tuliatu

The 26-year-old is currently playing in the Championship for London Broncos, having previously played for London Skolars and West Wales Raiders in League 1.

Tuliatu, who spent time with Newcastle Knights’ Under-23s, has won eight caps for Greece so far.

11. Nic Flocas

Flocas is currently playing in the Queensland Cup for Ipswich Jets. The 23-year-old forward has already played 11 times for the Jets this season.

He has yet to play for Greece on the international stage, but he could feature in the World Cup if called upon.

12. Billy Magoulias

Billy Magoulias Warrington Wolves Credit: PA Images
Billy Magoulias Warrington Wolves Credit: PA Images

Magoulias recently returned to Australia following a short spell in Super League with Warrington.

The 25-year-old played 17 games for Cronulla Sharks in the NRL before moving over to England ahead of this season. However, he was granted a release from his contract on compassionate grounds.

Magoulias was born and raised in Sydney but qualifies to play for Greece through the family heritage ruling. He has also represented his Greek roots three times. He will be one of Greece’s most high-profile players this autumn.

Since his return Down Under, Magoulias has re-joined Newtown Jets in the New South Wales Cup. They are Cronulla’s feeder club.

13. Nathan Peats

rugby league player Nathan Peats Credit: PA Images
Photo: Fabrice Rodriguez/SWpix

Toulouse hooker Peats is the most high-profile player in this squad, with the 31-year-old previously playing for New South Wales in the State of Origin arena.

Peats, who is of Indigenous Australian and Greek descent, has yet to play for Greece but it would be some coup for the Greeks if he played at the upcoming World Cup.

The New South Wales-born hooker or loose forward has made more than 200 career appearances for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Parramatta Eels, Gold Coast Titans, Leigh, Huddersfield, Albi and Toulouse.

Peats has also played for the Indigenous All Stars and Combined Nations All Stars in the representative arena.

Bench

14. Jake Kambos

Kambos plays alongside Greece international team-mate Mitsias for New South Wales Cup side Wests Magpies.

The Magpies are a feeder club for Wests Tigers so a good World Cup campaign for Greece could help back-rower Kambos achieve his goal of playing in the NRL.

15. Harris Georgopoulos

The second-rower is currently in the system at NRL side St George Illawarra Dragons.

Georgopoulos has been playing for the Dragons in the New South Wales Cup this season and dreams of one day playing in the NRL. He qualifies to play for Greece via the family heritage rule.

16. Stefanos Bastas

Stefanos Bastas Greece Credit: PA Images
Stefanos Bastas Greece Credit: PA Images

Bastas will be a familiar name to rugby league anoraks in the northern hemisphere. The 28-year-old prop has previously played for Hemel Stags, Doncaster and Coventry Bears in League 1.

The Karystos-born prop has also enjoyed spells with Villeghailhenc-Aragon and Saint-Gaudens Bears in the French domestic competitions.

Bastas has won 12 caps for his native Greece since making his international debut in 2014.

17. Adam Vrahnos

Vrahnos plays alongside his Greek international team-mate Tuliatu at Championship side London Broncos.

The 29-year-old forward made his debut for Greece at the Emerging Nations World Cup in 2018. He will be hoping to prove himself on the biggest stage at this autumn’s World Cup.

Thanks to He Can Play For for their collaboration, you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

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