Greece and Serbia women name squads for 2026 Rugby League World Cup qualifier

The second match in Group B of the Women’s 2026 World Cup European qualifiers takes place this Saturday 18 May, with Greece facing Serbia at the Agios Dimitrios Stadium in Athens (kick off 5pm local time).

 

It is Serbia’s debut in the qualifiers, Greece having lost to favourites France in their opening game in Marmande. That was a highly creditable performance from Greece in only their fourth women’s fixture, which includes an 8-4 win against Serbia in Bojnik last November.

 

The winners of this clash will be looking to qualify for the European play off for the inaugural repechage World Series in 2025.

 

The hosts have named three debutants in their squad, Efstathia Skouroliakou, Georgia Kalomenopoulou and Sotiria Skouroliakou, all from Aris Eagles, who recently won the women’s domestic championship.

 

Greece women’s head coach, Jim Minadakis, noted: “This is our second and most crucial match for the World Cup Qualifiers. We must win to keep our dream alive and the same goes for Serbia. During this preparation period we have pushed the squad to its limits to ensure that on the day of the match we present the best possible. We are hoping to get a big crowd at the Agios Dimitrios stadium to give us the push we need to win the game.”

 

Captain Ourania Koutsikou added: “There’s no better feeling of playing at home in front of your family and friends. However, we have the duty to give our best performance and continue our qualifying journey. I’m sure this will be a big fight and we are ready for it!”

 

Serbia could also have three debutants on display, two of them Australian-based heritage players, Cleopatra Carreno of Camden Rams and Wentworthville Magpies’ Lea Milosevic, alongside Dunja Stojiljkovic of Red Star Belgrade.

 

“We are very existed that we have the opportunity to compete,” said Serbia women’s head coach, Slobodan Manak. “We are hoping that the hard work that the girls did in the previous period is going to show in this game. If the Greek girls show the same fighting spirit they showed versus France I am sure this is going to be one interesting game. Also, we have prepared something new to show to them! We analysed what we could’ve done better last time and we worked on those things for the last couple of weeks.”

 

The referee will be James Jones of Wales.

 

GREECE WOMEN’S SQUAD

Anna Limperi, Asimina Mastoraki, Christina Macris, Cleopatra Velmachou, Efstathia Skouroliakou, Georgia Kalomenopoulou, Maria-Anna Lamprou, Maria-Eleni Gkirlemi, Myrsini Pappa, Sofia-Margarita Kitsaneli, Sotiria Skouroliakou (Aris Eagles), Chrysi Lymperidi, Georgia-Fotini Koutsimpogeorgou, Magdalini Stavrianou, Marianna Chali, Ourania Koutsikou, Sofia Anagnostopoulou (Athens Raiders), Dimitra Papoutsi, Velissaria Koutsioumpa (Attica Rhinos)

 

SERBIA WOMEN’S SQUAD

Cleopatra Carreno (Camden Rams), Anna Liuter (RLC Dorcol), Anastasija Karanovic (RLC Partisan 1953), Dunja Stojiljkovic, Jelena Stojiljkovic, Jovana Fridl, Karolina Blizanac, Katarina Veljanoski, Natasa Kovacevic, Natalija Simic, Nika Bajic, Marija Maslakovic, Sanja Starcevic, Tamara Bosnjak, Teodora Micic, Uma Cengaj (RLC Red Star Belgrade), Lea Milosevic (Wentworthville Magpies)