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Greek hooker set for a mammoth year

21 November 2020, 3:14PM 0 Comments

Written by Stuart McLennan

Pictures taken at a recent South Sydney Rabbitohs training session reflect the efforts Peter Mamouzelos has put into building his body to cope with the demands of the toughest rugby league competition on earth.

The transformation is noticeable and going into the 2021 season as an NRL squad development player the 19-year-old Greek international doesn’t look out of place.

“To be honest I was pretty fortunate that the 2020 season was cancelled due to the fact I had surgery on my shoulder and required 6 months of rehab. Therefore if the season continued I would have missed half the year,” Mamouzelos revealed to Everything Rugby League.

“Putting on some weight was a goal of mine for the 2020 season. I knew I would be with the NRL l squad in the coming year and the boys were a lot bigger than me. After my surgery, I lost about two kilos so after I completed my rehab I was in the gym almost every day and I really focused on my diet. I have put on five kilos and I still have a few to go.”

As a development player, Mamaouzelos is eligible to be selected in the NRL after June next season but the talented dummy half is not looking that far ahead at this point.

“My goals for the 2021 season are to complete the pre-season at my best ability, hopefully play in the Canterbury Cup and also have a good World Cup campaign with Greece.

“Cookie (NSW and Australian player Damien Cook) is one of the best hookers in the NRL so over the next year I’m gonna focus on learning as much information off him as much as I can. Learning off him is only going to make me a better player in the long run.”

Peter Mamouzelos training with South Sydney

Mamouzelos was joined in the Greece team for the 2021 World Cup qualifiers by fellow Rabbitoh Nick Mougios, a nod to the Greek Australian flavour at South Sydney that includes club Chair Nick Pappas.

“I love all the boys and the coaching staff at the Rabbitohs but to have a few Greeks involved makes it even more special.”

After helping Greece to qualify for the 2021 World Cup, the young hooker has already accumulated seven international caps, scoring 10 tries along the way, including four in a man of the match performance against Norway at New River Stadium in London in 2019.

It would be an understatement to say he is looking forward to playing for Greece at the World Cup in October next year.

“I’m really excited about the World Cup next year. It’s always an honour and privilege to wear the Greek jersey and to wear it in our first rugby league World Cup makes it even more special.”

Greece Rugby League World Cup players celebrate

Mamouzelos says he is not daunted by the prospect of playing fellow Pool A countries England, Samoa and France and is honoured to have the opportunity.

Greece will select a minimum of eight domestic players in the squad for the World Cup and the young star is keen to join up with the local Greeks he admires for their spirit and resilience.

“I have so much respect for the Greek boys, I really look forward to playing with them every opportunity I get. Especially the boys who live in Greece, they don’t have the best facilities over there but they always ask questions because they are hungry to improve and I really love their work ethic. I can’t wait to take the field with them at the World Cup.”

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