Greek ‘Brothers in Law’ heading for Wimbledon

15 Nov 21, 6:05PM 0 Comments

Written by Stuart McLennan

Greek Australians Adam Vrahnos and Rob Tuliatu have things in common. Both represented their heritage nation in World Cup qualifying matches and are practising lawyers.

Jermaine Coleman coached them at different times while he was at London Skolars and he has offered both a chance to be part of the squad in his new role at London Broncos in the UK Championship competition. Vrahnos currently has a ‘train and trial’ contract while Tuliatu will take up a one year deal at the Broncos new Plough Lane home ground in Wimbledon.

Both men will be hoping the experience at London Broncos will help them win a spot in the Greek squad to contest the Rugby League World Cup commencing in England later in 2022.

Vrahnos (4 international caps), a Canterbury Bulldogs junior who can play second row, lock or five eighth, told Everything Rugby League having the opportunity to earn a playing contract at London Broncos “feels a bit surreal.”

“Any aspirations of playing at higher levels took a back seat when I started university,” said Vrahnos who landed in Manchester in 2019 before making his way down to London last year.

“I kept playing rugby league for the love of it and now I have a chance to play for a famous club in the London Broncos. It is an awesome experience. I’ll be doing my best to earn an opportunity to pull on that jersey.

“Jermaine was great to play for (at London Skolars). He is very knowledgeable about the game but for me, I found the best thing playing for Jermaine was that he valued hard work over everything. If you brought a good attitude and put in the effort, the opportunities and rewards would be there.

“Rob (Tuliatu) is a great bloke who I have gotten to know through Greek rugby league. He is a character and we always have a good laugh. We will both be flying the flag proudly for Greek RL.”

Tuliatu (8 international caps), who can play prop, lock or second row will make the journey back to London after playing with the West Wales Raiders and London Skolars in the League One competition in 2019 before heading back to Australia and picking up a premiership title with the Cessnock Goannas in 2020.

The former Australian Universities representative returns to the home of Big Ben with a law degree in his suitcase and a determination to succeed at Championship level.

“Pushing for selection for Greece at the RLWC at the end of 2022, the speed, structure and quality of the Championship is the kind of challenge I want for myself to cement a place in that squad. I’ve wanted to play at the Championship level for years because I’ve known that I need to be consistently at my best to perform.

“Any opportunity to play the game in a space (London) that could see new fans is a massive incentive. Plus, few cities can rival London for cultural diversity. You could spend the morning in the National Gallery looking at Pissaro and Degas paintings and then two hours later you are eating peas and jerk kitchen from a Jamaican food cart.

“Playing with Jermaine Coleman was absolutely an incentive. With the resources and talent pool of the Broncos behind him, I wanted to be a part of his plans. He has a great relationship with his players. And he doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. If something isn’t right, he will challenge you. And if you reciprocate that challenge, he won’t meet you with an adversarial attitude. It’s one of many reasons I’m looking forward to 2022.”

Like Vrahnos, Tuliatu is looking forward to meeting up with his Greek team mate in the capital and hopefully spending the season with him at the Broncos.

“Adam is one of rugby league’s nice guys and a bit of an all-rounder. Probably one of the most intelligent guys to throw the oval ball. His debut for Greece at the Emerging Nation’s World Cup in 2018 was one of the best I’ve ever seen. He wanted to be in everything, his defence was armed with a heavy right shoulder, and he scored one of Greece’s best individual tries. I am hoping he gets every opportunity to show the Broncos what he is capable of because I would love to stand next to him every week.”

Both players will look to further their off field careers in the legal profession with Vrahnos having already gained UK experience.

“I work in shipping/maritime law and London is the ‘hub’ for that area of law so I moved here for my career,” Adam explained.

“It was a great decision and I have not looked back. I recently passed my exams to requalify as an English solicitor which was a really gruelling process with a massive study load but I think it will be worth it. I am now dual qualified in Australia and England/Wales so hopefully, that will open up new opportunities for me.”

“Like Adam I am also in the legal profession,” Tuliatu said.

“Being quite junior though, I am making the move to the Broncos not long after getting some solid experience. Which is why it was a massive relief when my current firm agreed to keep me on whilst I pursue this dream in the UK. I am not sure what that arrangement will look like, but the thought of transitioning to the UK legal profession has crossed my mind. I have not thought it through extensively, but it could be an incentive to stay in the UK long term.”

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