Wakefield Trinity: Derby debut for new physical disabilities rugby league team

THE NEW Wakefield Trinity physical disabilities rugby league (PDRL) team will make their debut this weekend.

Connor Lynes. PIC: James Hardisty

Trinity will face Leeds Rhinos at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, on Sunday (5.30pm), after the Betfred Super League derby between the two clubs. It will be Rhinos’ second game, following a win over Warrington Wolves two months ago. Wakefield’s team is part of the Trinity foundation, whose general manager Craig Shepherd regards Sunday’s game as a significant step forward.

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“I attended the game between Warrington and Leeds and I was very impressed by the talent on show and also some of the stories behind the players,” he said. “It is giving them an opportunity to play the game if they’ve never played it before, but is is also chance for those – who through injury or illness or for whatever reason – have had to stop playing rugby league to play the game they love. The rules have been changed slightly, but it still looks very much like rugby league.”

PDRL is a nine-a-side – from 13-player squads – mixture of full-contact and touch rugby. Teams include seven players with a physical disability and two able-bodied players. Trinity’s able-bodied players are Keith Mason, Alan Hunte and Nigel Wright. The side also includes former Stanley Rangers junior Ben Nicholson and Connor Lynes, who suffered a blood clot on his brain after an under-15s game.