Wheelchair team recognised for World Cup win


Members of England’s World Cup-winning Wheelchair Rugby League team were recognised at the Houses of Parliament last week.

The England Wheelchair Rugby League team were joined by Lord Smith (leader of Wigan Council), Greg Mulholland (MP for Leeds North West and Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group), Don Foster (the Liberal Democrats Shadow Sports Minister) and Andy Reed (MP for Loughborough) to pay tribute to the squad for their achievements.

Led by Head Coach Phil Roberts, England went through the World Cup in Australia undefeated,  beating Pacific Islands, Australia and France before meeting the hosts once again in the final.

Inspired by a man-of-the-match performance by Wigan star and captain Martin Norris, England triumphed to a 44-12 victory over the Kangaroos.

Ian McCartney the MP for Ashton-in-Makerfield said: “It is fantastic to be able to recognise the achievements of a real team of sporting heroes. Other international sports stars are paid tens of thousands of pounds and these guys are all volunteers.

“To go out and beat Australia not once but twice is a fantastic achievement. We are proud to host them at the Houses of Parliament and recognise just what they achieved.”

Phil Roberts said: “It was a great experience to be rewarded for our World Cup winning exploits. We hope this recognition will produce a knock on effect and encourage more people to register their interest in Wheelchair Rugby League.”

“The sport is developing rapidly in the UK and we hope this trend continues as we look to form a team capable of retaining the next World Cup.”

England Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup winning squad:
Head Coach/Player: Phil Roberts (Wigan)
Team Captain: Martin Norris (Wigan)
Harrison Brown (Calderdale)
Jack Brown (Calderdale)
Adam Rigby (Wigan)
Andrew Wharton (Calderdale)
Paul McCormick (Bury Jigsaw)
Stewart Walker (Calderdale)

Manager: Gill Johnson
RFL Tour Manager: Joanne Drapier
Match Official: Richard Johnson
Tour Physiotherapist: Cris Kellett
Tour Doctor: Dr De Jennings
RFL Liaison Officer: Graham Davey.