Ukraine men to travel to Greece for rugby league internationals

Ukraine’s men will travel to Greece to play two senior internationals over a weekend, which will both count for world ranking points. The matches will be the Ukrainian men’s first since the 2021 Euro B tournament, when they defeated Russia and lost to Serbia, their U19s finishing fourth in the European Championship the following year.

The games will be played for the Unity Cup on Saturday 28 October at the Municipal Stadium, Goudi (kick off 3pm local time) and the following day, 29 October at Gkorytsa Stadium, Aspropyrgos (kick off 4pm) with the scores aggregated.

Ukraine head coach, Artur Martyrosian, said: “This is the first tournament for the Ukraine men’s senior team after the full scale military aggression of Russia. Many Ukrainian players, coaches and referees have been in the army defending freedom and independence. Unfortunately, we have losses among our players. Because of this, we opened a fundraiser for the families of our fallen athletes, which will end after the tournament in Greece.

“Ukraine Rugby League is very grateful for the organization of this Unity Cup. Our players have really missed international rugby league and are looking forward to this series.”

Greece played Serbia earlier this year, losing 40-6, and will be travelling away to Norway on the weekend following these matches.

“Ukraine have had to overcome enormous adversity to make these matches a reality,” noted Greece men’s head coach Steve Georgallis. “Our last game against them was in Kharkiv in 2018 and a qualifying match for the Rugby League World.

“I remember it as a physical encounter where we were able to just win 28-26. We are expecting the same physical approach from Ukraine but, more importantly, we cannot wait to host them.”