Four Leeds Rhinos players named in England Wheelchair Rugby League side for international against Wales

FOUR player from Leeds Rhinos have been named in England's 10-man team for next Saturday’s Wheelchair Rugby League international against Wales in Sheffield.

SQUAD NAMED: England Wheelchair Rugby League have named a 10-man squad for next week's international against Wales. Picture courtesy of the RFL.
SQUAD NAMED: England Wheelchair Rugby League have named a 10-man squad for next week's international against Wales. Picture courtesy of the RFL.

Josh Butler, Nathan Collins, Tom Halliwell and James Simpson have all been included in the squad that will use new Rugby League Elite Wheelchairs manufactured by the sports wheelchair specialists RGK as they continue preparations for this autumn’s World Cup.

Rob Hawkins of the Halifax Panthers, the reigning Young Wheelchair Rugby League Player of the Year, is also named in the squad alongside teammate Wayne Boardman - taking Yorkshire's representatives in the side to six.

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Adam Rigby of Leyland Warriors, Joe Coyd and Lewis King from Kent-based Argonauts and Sebastien Bechara of Catalans Dragons complete the side.

Tom Coyd, the England Head Coach, said: “Our season and preparation is building nicely. The whole of the National Performance Squad put in a huge personal effort over the pandemic period and improved in every dimension. Since we came back to training together in March this year, we have made big improvements every time we get together at practice.

“Team selection was a real challenge. Our game is evolving and we are testing ourselves, pushing the boundaries of how the game has been played and evolving the sport. Players have to be flexible and be able to fit into the playing style.

Wales will give us a great challenge and enable us to measure progress. Each player who has made selection is there on merit and will get a crack in an International Test Match.”

England players were measured for their bespoke chairs by RGK during recent training camps, and Martin Coyd, the General Manager of England Wheelchair RL, believes the chairs will improve performance.

He added: “The build-up to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup gives us a wonderful opportunity to test, push and improve everything we do in the game.

“We have built the best possible Coaching and Support Team to give the players the opportunity to be at their best. Great coaching, analysis, medicine, nutrition, sports science, psychology and wellbeing are all playing a big role in incremental improvements across the board.

“We have created partnerships with a fantastic group of sponsors which has enabled us to source a state of the art, made to measure, ergonomic Wheelchair for each player in the RLWC Team.

“RGK make the best wheelchairs in the world and they have developed a Rugby League specific Chair. We believe that this will raise our levels even further and enable the players to feel the benefit of their hard work on and off the field. We are determined to be at our very best come November.”