Athens is preparing to host Greece’s first official rugby league Test match when the national side face the Czech Republic on Saturday in European Championship C.

Victory will see the hosts, who are seeing the fruits of concerted domestic development since 2012, win the title and with it promotion to European B.

Tasos Pantazidis, president of the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League said: “We have long waited for this day, we hope that the work we have done at club level will now be repaid in international matches. We are ready to take this historic step.”

The visitors’ squad, made up from seven clubs, have all come through the Czech domestic system and has an average age of 23.

Coach David Lahr commented: “We are looking forward to the contest. We will make no excuses and will give our all to come out on top.”

Greek squad:
Alvaro Zota (Knights of Rhodes), Giorgin Syti (AEK Kokkinias), Ioannis Nake (Pegasus Neos Kosmos), Ioannis Roussoglou (Aris Petroupolis), Ioannis Valassas (Aris Petroupolis), Jordan Meads (Gateshead Thunder), Liam Sue-Tine (Pine Rivers), Manolis Katalaktakis (Aris Petroupolis), Michael Korkidas (Dapto), Neofytos Christou (AEK Kokkinias), Nikolaos Bosmos (Knights of Rhodes), Nikolaos Kanellopoulos (Aris Petroupolis), Panagiotis Karefilis (AEK Kokkinias), Panagiotis Lambousis (Knights of Rhodes), Pantelis Arfaras (Knights of Rhodes), Sebastian Sell (Mittagong), Stefanos Bastas (Knights of Rhodes)

Czech squad:
Tomáš Krištof, Lukáš Krištof (Lokomotiva Beroun), Vít Čáslavka, Patrik Koliska (Chrudim Rabbitohs), Tomáš Ričica (Pardubice Jets), Petr Šedina, Michal Kučera, Pavel Zemánek, Adam Petržela, Otto Friedl (Mikulov Roosters), Ladislav Cintler (Slavia Hradec Králové), Jaroslav Bžoch, Václav Fischer, Antonín Berk (Teplice Dragons), Pavel Kubasta, Milan Pešout, Filip Špaček (Orli Havlíčkův Brod)