George Agathokleous achieves his 50th cap for Cyprus Rugby
15 years and 50 matches as a Mighty Mouflon!
George Agathokleous (AKA 'Polemi') was born of Cypriot parents in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 40 years ago. He returned to Cyprus, with his parents, at the turn of the century and became one of the original Paphos Tigers players along with a host of other returning South Africans. He spent a brief period back in South Africa representing College Rovers, a Durban-based rugby team playing in the top league in KwaZulu-Natal, before returning to Cyprus on a permanent basis.
He attained his first cap in the Independence Cup match against Greece, the first ever international game that Cyprus played, on 24 March 2007. Having qualified for European rugby as a result of the resounding victory against Greece, 39-3, Cyprus became an associate member of FIRA, the predecessor to Rugby Europe. 4 games per year were played, and still are, 2 at home and 2 away.
George was due to achieve his 50th cap on home soil at the Slovenia fixture on 26 March 2022, almost exactly 15 years since that first international. Unfortunately, Slovenia forfeited the match, resulting in Polemi's 50th cap finally being awarded away at the Tony Bezzina Stadium in Paola, Malta on Saturday 16 April 2022. Bearing in mind there was no rugby for a 2-year period due to the recent Covid restrictions, it can be seen what an incredible achievement this is. He has missed only 2 matches throughout this period, both due to injury.
It is doubtful, though not known for certain, that this achievement in Rugby Europe has ever been surpassed and everyone associated with Cyprus Rugby is exceedingly proud of this incredible milestone. Well done George and let’s hope for a few more caps yet.