Men’s and Women’s squads for double-header Tests in Turkey

The southern section of the inaugural women’s Euro B competition kicks off on Sunday (25 September) when Turkey host Greece at the Istanbul Technical University Stadium (kick off 1pm local time). That match will be followed by a men’s Test with Turkey facing Bulgaria (kick off 3pm), the squads having been named for all the sides.

The women last met each other in 2019 in Edirne, Turkey running out 40-4 winners. Turkey women’s skipper, Ecem Acıkgoz, said: “It is our pleasure to host our beloved friends and neighbours. We hope to not only play quality rugby league but also mutually improve each other. It is excellent that we now have this extra level of high competition to play at, we look forward to facing Serbia in this competition also.”

Only eight of the Greek women who played in the previous encounter are in head coach Stuart McLennan’s squad this time. He commented: “We are very excited to be returning to Turkey to play our second-ever international match. We have a number of debutants who have enjoyed being in camp this last week. There is an air of excitement within the group as they contemplate representing their country.  We are looking forward to putting what we have learned into practice out on the field.”

Turkey men’s captain, Serhat Keles, said of their encounter: “We are honoured to welcome our old friend and neighbour country Bulgaria. We have a lot of new players in our squad and hope to have a joyful 80 minutes of rugby league. Good luck to both teams – let friendship win.”

Tihomir Simeonov, Bulgaria RLF president and team manager, added: “This is our first match in a long time, with many new players in our ranks, selected by our coach Adrien Frigola. We thank the TRLA for organizing the match, it will be important for the region.”

Stefan Stamenic from Serbia will referee the women’s game and both matches will be livestreamed at – Turkish Rugby League – YouTube


TURKEY WOMEN’S SQUAD  :  Aslihan Helvaci, Ayse Miray Doyuk, Beyzanur Oktay, Ecem Acıkgoz, Elif Cinar, Elif Yilmaz, Hafize Berin Donmez, Nazife Taskin, Nurbanu Yorubulut, Ozlem Kaya, Selin Ardal (Ankara Frigler RLC), Tugcu Guvenc (Aqua Warriors R), Ece Tekin, Elif Kutlu, Gozde Gor, Nazlican Filiz (Kadikoy Bulls RC), Derya Sanliturk, Meryem Savk, Sultan Cagdas  (Kocaeli RLC)

GREECE WOMEN’S SQUAD  :  Eirini Dakidi, Maria-Eleni Gkirlemi, Sofia-Margarita Kitsaneli, Maria-Anna Lamprou, Asimina Mastoraki, Kleopatra Velmachou (Aris Eagles), Anna Spatharova, Aspasia Stavrianou, Magdelini Stavrianou, Georgia-Fotini Koutsimpogeorgou (Athens City Raiders), Maria Avzoti, Chrysavgi Bakaloumi, Velissaria Koutsioumpa, Styliani Markou, Antonia Voikli (Attica Rhinos), Chrysovalanti-Eirini Ntasiou, Dimitra Papoutsi (Patras Panthers), Ourania Koutsikou, Chrysi Lymperidi (Rhondda Outlaws)

TURKEY MEN’S SQUAD  :  Kemal Yilmaz (Antalya Warriors RLC), Emin Erden, Emirhan Bilek, Mustafa Can Aydin (Aqua Warrios RC), Algan Yilmaz, Ali Mert Ozbalak, Aras Kuyumcuyan, Berat Altin, Can Berk Uckuzular, Kerem Keskin, Sefa Can Demir, Serhat Keles (Bilgi Badgers RLC), Atahan Kose, Batuhan Duman, Batuhan Kose, Furkan Guney, Mete Sencer Gole, Taylan Hakan Calan, (Bosphorus Wolves RLC), Doruk Guvel, (Istanbul Lions RLC)

BULGARIA MEN’S SQUAD  ;  Doicho Slavin (RC Bulls Burgas), Amo Kehaia, Denis Ivanov, Emil Savov, Kostadin Debrenliev, Mihail Georgiev, Mitko Atanasov, Teodor Manchev, Tinko Hristov, Tsvetan Rashev, Simeon Tsvetanov, Stanislav Borisov, Stilian Karchev, Vladislav Parizov (RLC Lokomotive Sofia), James Mott (RC Sailors Burgas), Veselin Peichev (RFC Valiacite Pernik), Ilia Dimitrov (RC Yantra Gabrovo)