History will be made this afternoon as Warrington’s Victoria Park plays host to the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League Yorkshire versus Lancashire Origin fixture.
This will be the first PDRL contest to be played under the code’s new international rules as well as the game making its debut as a fully classified and internationally recognisable disability sport.
Players from Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors will take to the field representing their respective counties.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s clash, Tommy Pouncey who has played for Leeds Rhinos since the PDRL format began spoke about what it means for him to pull on the Yorkshire jersey.
“It will mean everything to me to represent the White Rose and my county in this game as there is nobody I hate more in this world than the people from Lancashire – we are called God’s County after all,” Pouncey said.
“The game is being played under new international PDRL rules to fit alongside those from the governing body for PDRL in Australia. This helps to create a more level playing field whilst also remaining as inclusive as possible.
“Having Adam Hills as a representative of our sport is massively important. He continuously helps with the funding through charitable events and promotes the sport on his Channel 4 show The Last Leg.
Leeds Rhinos fullback Chris Young could not contain his excitement for the fixture after being named in the squad and insists it will be no holds barred once out on the field.
Young stated, “I am Yorkshire born and bred and it is very rare that I enjoy travelling across the pennines so it is a huge honour to be able to put on that jersey and represent my county.
“There are a couple of the Leeds players in the Lancashire squad and the statement has already been made that we’re not mates once we are out there on the field – If you are not in blue, then I don’t respect you for those 80 minutes.
“This game will be about putting merit on the field and it will be good to show people who may have never seen PDRL before, that even with a disability, you still have the ability to achieve your dreams.”
The full Origin squads are as follows:
Chris Young, Harvey Redmonds, Nick Horner, Scott Gobin, Tommy Pouncey, Tom Sheridan (All Leeds Rhinos) Kenan Wilkes, Mark Gummerson, Mick Colborn, Nick Kennedy (All Castleford Tigers) Adam Fleming, Alex Dickinson, Ben Nicholson, Callum Parkinson, Connor Lynes, Darren Dean, John Humphries (All Wakefield Trinity)
Adam Hills, Adam Morris, Barry Whalley, Jamie Barnett, Josh Whipday, Lewis Kennedy, Mike Addison, Nathan Jezierski, Stuart Ryder, Tom Bayliss, Tony Seward, Wayne Cox (All Warrington Wolves) Peter Clarke, Sam Zeller (Leeds Rhinos) Ben Seward, Steve Mort (Wigan Warriors)