Written by Stuart McLennan
Aspasia and Magdalini (Maggie) Stavrianou will make their second appearance for Greece against Serbia this Sunday.
The sisters, who are recognised for their happy natures, represent the Athens Raiders club in Greece. Both made their international debut in the 8-4 victory over Turkey last weekend. However the game presented differing fortunes for the siblings.
Back rower Aspasia played out the full 80 minutes whereas fullback Maggie received an accidental knock to her face in the 13th minute that saw her receive stitches and sit out the rest of the match.
“I wanted to play more. I don’t mind that I hurt my nose but I don’t like that it happened so early in the game. I’m looking forward to the game against Serbia,” Maggie, who started playing the sport in 2019 before her older sister joined her in 2020, told Everything Rugby League.
“When I started playing rugby league I couldn’t imagine that Aspasia would be joining me. It’s a dream.”
“It’s very exciting and we talk about it a lot at home. I wanted to be as excited about the sport as Maggie was when she was playing alone” Aspasia said.
“I was a bit scared when Maggie was hurt (against Turkey). This was one of my biggest fears. I tried to play for both of us and keep it out of my mind. I think I did that.”
The sisters insist their happy outlook comes naturally and are a result of positive thinking.
“That’s something that comes naturally. I try to be optimistic and don’t keep the bad thoughts,” Maggie explained.
Athens Raiders head coach and Greece assistant coach Christos Mouzakitis said the sisters were a pleasure to have playing rugby league in Athens.
“They have fallen in love with the sport and they are an integral part of the Athens Raiders team. They are very different on and off the field but at the same time they are completing each other. Maggie is more introverted, quiet off the field but fiery and loud on field while Aspasia is more of an extrovert and she’s a working ant on field. They care for each other but at the same time, each one pushes the other, just like the rest of the team.
“What they have achieved is they have extended their family bond to the rest of the girls, both at Athens Raiders and the national team, making many more sisters through the rugby league sisterhood,” Mouzakitis added.
Greece head coach Stuart McLennan is expecting another tough clash with the Serbian team on Sunday after his players went toe to toe with Turkey last weekend in Istanbul.
“While our ten debutants will have benefited from their first taste of international footy against Turkey we have to make sure the same effort and urgency is there on Sunday,” McLennan said.
Greece will play Turkey at Aspropyrgos Stadium on Sunday 2 October at 15:00 Athens time. You can catch a livestream of the match on https://www.facebook.com/rlgreece/