England’s group stage opponents Greece have revealed that neither their players or staff will earn a penny from participation in the Rugby League World Cup.
That’s because the decision was made by the entire Greek squad to reinvest any money they receive back from the tournament back into the Greek Rugby League Federation.
One of the big reasons for this is due to the struggles with rugby league in Greece, with the sport outlawed in the country until a few months ago.
This forced home-based players of the national team to create fake events and play at midnight in a bid to avoid the authorities and have some sort of a warm-up for the World Cup.
Most of the Greece team are part-time, meaning the majority of the players have had to take leave from work to participate in the nation’s first-ever Rugby League World Cup.
Because of this, and the player’s decision to reinvest the money into the federation, the entire Greek team, including those who are full-time, will pay out of their own pocket to play in the tournament.
Head coach Steve Georgallis said: “All the players have decided to forego their money to help the federation. It’s actually costing a lot of the guys to play but they understand what we are trying to achieve.
“Even the professional guys like Lachlan Ilias and Peter Mamouzelos, you’d think they would get paid but they said ‘no, we get what you’re trying to build’.”
“Now it (rugby league) is legal, we can get into schools and not have the fear of not being able to do things. We are hoping that it’ll go to another level after this.”
Greece will face France in their opening game before coming up against Samoa and England, with their game against the hosts at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Saturday 29th October.