Netherlands women to make rugby league debut

Netherlands will become the latest nation to play a women’s senior international when they take on Greece tomorrow (Saturday) at the Municipal Stadium Dimitris Nikolaidis in Athens (kick off 7.30pm, local time).

Vera van der Zwan will captain the side and Sylvie Moelee is set to become the youngest ever Netherlands International at 16 years, 8 months and 29 days old.

Netherlands women’s head coach, Matt Rigby, commented: “We are excited for this occasion. The girls have been working extremely hard over the past few months learning the sport and have excelled and we are confident they can give a good account of themselves. It goes to show the appetite for rugby league here at the moment, the match brings an end to a fantastic year for Netherlands RL with men’s, U19’s and now women’s teams all taking to the field, we will be looking to finish the year positively, it will mark a fantastic celebration of development for the sport in Europe.”

Veteran Greece captain Rania Koutsikou is a late withdrawal due to illness, but Athens Raiders pair Georgina Kalomenopoulou and Rosemary Van De Goor could make their debuts.

Greece women’s head coach, Stuart McLennan, noted: “We are excited to be hosting the Netherlands women’s team for their first international match. Since our narrow victory over Serbia we have been working on improving our attacking structure. I urge people in Athens to come and support us in what promises to be an exciting encounter.”

Such is the demand for women’s rugby league, there will be a curtain raiser between the respective ‘A’ teams beforehand.

GREECE WOMEN’S SQUAD

Anna Limperi, Asimina Mastoraki, Christina Makri, Effie Skouroliakou, Georgina Kalomenopoulou, Maria-Anna Lamprou, Myrsini Pappa, Paula Grosyk, Rosemary Van De Goor, Sophia Margarita Kitsaneli (Aris Eagles), Chrysiida Lymperidi, Eleftheria Angeli, Georgia-Fotini Koutsimpogeorgou, Magdalini Stavrianou, Rania Koutsikou, Sophia Anagnostopoulou (Athens Raiders), Dimitra Papoutsi, Isaia Maragkou, Styliani Markou, Vasiliki Roumpi, Velissaria Koutsioumpa (Attica Rhinos), Giota Alevra, Katerina Varypati (Zante RL)

NETHERLANDS WOMEN’S SQUAD

Iris Hansman (RC The Big Stones), Rixt Aerts, Hiske Blom, Kyra Elzinga, Sylvie Moelee, Danique Nikkels, Anniek Nauta, Sela Steenkist (The Blue Babes), Clara Terlouw(RC Delft), Lisa Berding, Hannah van Beukering, Dominique Velema (HRC Xtreme), Stephanie van Diepen (Harderwijk Dolphins), Lorraine Voorbach (RC DIOK), Nicole Kennedy (London Broncos), Linneke Gevers (RC Octopus), Lotte Westerlaken(Stanningley RLFC), Dunja Witmond (RC Wageningen), Vera van der Zwan (RC Zwolle)