Greece have created history in fine style by thumping Serbia in Belgrade on Saturday to advance to their first rugby World Cup. The Greeks qualified for the 2021 tournament in England with an 82-6 rout over the Serbs following their recent 42-24 loss to Scotland.
Greece only began competing in attempting to qualify for the World Cup six years ago but the fledgling rugby league nation will be competing on the sport’s biggest stage.
Head Coach Steve Georgallis could not be happier. “We hope it’s the step forward needed and everyone back home will be proud of us,” Mr Georgallis said following the Greek success.
In Greece, the team are not allowed to play matches in their home country as the Hellenic Modern Pentathlon Federation (HMPF), who govern the sport, do not recognize the Greek Rugby League Association.
In the past, police have been called to matches and there are no facilities for the sport, however it continues to operate despite the obstacles.
Rugby League is illegal in Greece
Rugby League games have to be played in secret
Their national team have had to play home games abroad
They get no funding from the Greek government
Despite all of that…
— Rugby Football League 🇬🇧🦁 (@TheRFL) 9 Νοεμβρίου 2019