Lachlan Ilias may have felt like a king when he was the headline name in Greece’s final World Cup squad – but he won’t be travelling like one.
The 22-year-old South Sydney half was the headliner as debutants Greece became the first men’s team to finalise its squad, the team read out in front of a star-studded audience of 230 at Sydney’s Grand Roxy this week.
Former Junior Kiwi Jordan Meads is again captain while Ilias will be joined by his Souths team-mate Peter Mamouzelos, Canterbury tyro Billy Tsikrikas and ex-Warrington import Billy Magoulias.
Ilias had asked team benefactor and Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis, via the media, for a business class seat because of a nagging back complaint.
The youngster told the Sun-Herald: “I’ve never met Nick, but I’m thinking of asking him if he can fly me to England in business class, just to help my back.”
Ilias and Politis weren’t observed speaking at the dinner but the answer to his request has come back – and it’s not good.
“Nick told me there would be no business class seat for Lachlan unfortunately,” Greece team manager Terry Liberopoulos said.
“He said if he gave a business class seat to Lachlan he’d have to give one to each of the Sydney Roosters players travelling to the World Cup.”
Politis was joined at the dinner – which featured traditional Greek dancing – by former Australia captain George Peponis, another ex-Kangaroo in Braith Anasta, boxing champion Jeff Fenech, businessman Mark Bouris, World Cup-winning coach Tim Sheens and some 14 members of the squad.
Around A$14,000 was raised to help with expenses as ‘the team that came in from the cold’ prepares to take its bow just months after the sport was finally recognised by the Greek government.
Greece are in Group A with France, England and Samoa.