At 17 years and 52 days old Pantelis Stylianou is the youngest ever player to be called up for the Cypriot National Rugby team and the youngest ever player in the tournaments history. Playing at the European Rugby 7s Conference in Belgrade Serbia over the weekend of 8/9 June 2019. Although the team narrowly missed out on progressing in the Conference Cup itself, which would have led to an Olympic qualifier competition, they did however win the Conference Trophy with an emphatic final game win over Austria.
Pantelis was the only player in the squad to play in all 6 games. He scored 4 tries, which also makes him the youngest ever try scorer and was voted the Cypriot player of the tournament by his team mates and management. The team won 4, drew 1 and only lost 1 game (by a 1 point difference), quite an achievement for a small island team.
Due to Pantelis’s performance he has been selected for trials for the National XV squad in August, ready for next seasons European fixtures. Pantelis was one of the original members of Sale FC M&Js program, progressing through the age groups and finally playing two years up for the Senior Colts 2 seasons ago.
He is continuing to train with the Sale FC senior squad and is hoping now that he is 17, he will play for the senior team in the forthcoming season. Pantelis says
It was a fantastic feeling and I’m very proud to be part of an international team.
It was a great experience and definitely one I would like to repeat. Obviously its a different type of game from XVs rugby that takes some getting used to but, Im glad I played my part well and helped the team make a good impression at the tournament