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Cyprus to face Greece in first rugby international game March 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cricket Hockey Rugby.
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Cyprus, the most recent member of the European Rugby Federation, will take on an experienced Greece side this Saturday in the first rugby international to take place on the island.

The two sides will be competing for the Independence Cup, an esoteric Hellenic affair, at the Kiniras Stadium in Paphos at 2.30pm.

Cyprus will be playing against a side that has been a member of the European Federation for four years, and are currently the leading their a very tough regional group. The Greek squad arrive on Friday night at 8.20p.m. at Larnaca airport and will be greeted by the Cyprus Rugby Union President, Costas Mastoroudes and his welcoming committee, who will accompany them to their accommodation in Paphos.

The Greeks will not announce their team until Saturday morning, and like all international rugby sides, will be drawing on members that play the game overseas. International rules allow players to represent a country if they can show nationality deriving from a grandparent; or citizenship; or have 3 years residential qualification.

The Cyprus National side will be drawn from a training squad of 22, and will rely heavily on the three main Cypriot clubs; Paphos Tigers, Limassol Crusaders, and the Nicosian Barbarians. Cyprus will be led by Jonathan Pettemerides, currently of the once mighty exiles side; London Welsh, and formerly of one-time English league champions; Bath. Playing at number 8, the captain will be the lynch-pin of the pack; a position that requires speed and an appetite for tough tackling.

In addition, we have Andrew Binikou and George Agathocleous, who play their rugby in South Africa for College Rovers in Durban, and Michael Maratheftis and Felix Frixou from north of England league sides, Burton and Derby.

The rest of the team will be drawn from the following: Lawrence Vassiliades, Peter Hunter, Kostas Christou, Greg Loucaides, Andy Webster, Tony Thoma (Vice-captain), Chris Thoma, Marios Shattaoulas, Dinu Florendun, Vladimir Mijhalov, Alexi Pavlou, Gary Thompson, Warren Dean, Chris Christophi, and Panayiotis Loizides.

The game, will be strictly refereed by John Stavrou (S.A.R.F.U.) and his touch judges,  John Holland (Rugby referees co-ordinator for Cyprus, and R.F.U.), Andreas Fragkopouls (G.R.F.U); the fourth official being, Keith Elliot (R.F.U.). On the morning of the game there will be an official photo-op at 10am at the Coral Beach Hotel where the team, management and officials, will be present. Later at the stadium, at 12noon, a further opportunity to film the team accompanied by all the officials of Cyprus Rugby Federation.

Great efforts have been made to bring rugby to the island and this match will act as an excellent measure as to how far it has progressed and give fans an opportunity to witness the game played at a high level.

Make sure this is an event to remember; and if it is your first game, prepare to be surprised. Rugby is not for the faint hearted. Admission is 2 pounds for adults and one pound for children.

Related Links > www.cyprus-rugby.com  and  www.rugby.gr

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