Sculthorpe backs England wheelchair team
The England Wheelchair Rugby League squad have been presented with their representative shirts by Paul Sculthorpe ahead of their Test Match against France in Cahors on Saturday October 16.
The squad which consists of three players from Wigan, two from Halifax and one player each from Wolverhampton Rhinos and Bury Jigsaw met up for a training camp in Leigh on Sunday as part of their final preparations for the International.
Phil Roberts, England Wheelchair Rugby League Head Coach said: “With one eye on the next World Cup we have three debutants in the team, including two teenagers and this is a great opportunity for the players to prove themselves.
“We expect this to be a fast and fierce encounter as always, especially as it is the first International played in France since 2007.”
England are the reigning world champions having beaten tournament hosts Australia 44-12 in the 2008 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final.
England Wheelchair Rugby League Team Manager Jo Drapier was on hand at the training camp to brief the players and staff team on the itinerary for the tour to France.
Jade Tse and Tom Clack (Team Physio and Doctor) were also present to make sure the team are fit and well for their final preparations.
The training session was topped off with a visit from the former Great Britain captain Paul Sculthorpe who gave an inspirational speech on what it meant to him to represent his country. He also spoke about how proud all the squad should be when putting on their England shirts on Saturday, especially the debutants Jack Heggie, Tom Docherty and Steve Mort.
Wheelchair Tag Rugby League is quite unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players of both sexes the opportunity to compete both with and against each other on a level playing field created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptations of the rules of Rugby League.
There are five players per side in Wheelchair Rugby League. Tackles are made in the same way as tag rugby, with players wearing tags on their shoulders and opposition players having to remove a tag to effect a tackle.
The game has the same 6 tackle count that is used in Rugby League, with teams conceding possession of the ball if they have not scored after a set of 6 tackles have been completed. Offside, knock-on and in-touch rulings apply as they do in the traditional game.
Conversions are scored by punching the ball from a tee over mini-RL posts.
If you are interested in finding out more about Wheelchair Rugby League visit www.tryit.co.uk
England Wheelchair Rugby League squad
Jack Brown Halifax WRLC
Tom Docherty Wolverhamption Rhinos WRLC
Jack Heggie Bury Jigsaw WRLC
Steve Mort Wigan WRLC
Martin Norris Wigan WRLC
Adam Rigby Wigan WRLC
Andy Wharton Halifax WRLC
England Wheelchair Rugby League staff
Phil Roberts Head Coach
Mark Quinn Assistant Coach
Jo Drapier Team Manager
Tom Clack Team Doctor
Jade Tse Team Physio