Rugby League returns to Greece

As Covid 19 restrictions start to be further lifted, Rugby League is returning to Greece, with a six team domestic season due to kick off in November.

The six teams will include a new club, Perama Tigers, founded mid-pandemic in the eponymous port town 20km from Athens, where encouragingly increased numbers are now training.

Some initial, friendly fixtures have been played, in readiness for the restart, with Attica Rhinos defeating AEK Athens 38-14 and Aris Eagles overcoming Athens City Raiders 40-6, in a double header.

Greek Rugby League president, George Stilianos commented: “A minute’s silence was observed before both matches, in memory of former Aris Eagle, Manolis Spanoudakis. Understandably, many players were rusty after not having played a match for so long but it was great to see them back out there, along with the newcomers.

“Competition is likely to start in November, with a six team format. Our other clubs need more time to recover and rebuild, as the pandemic took its toll. They can join in, or we will help with friendly fixtures for them, as soon as they are ready.

“A women’s 9s tournament is also being planned for early November, set to feature three teams. We are confident that we will make up the lost ground very quickly, and that six months from now, things will be looking better than ever, as we build towards  the World Cup.”