PDRL history in the making

History will be made at Warrington’s Victoria Park on Sunday 15th August when the venue hosts Physical Disability Rugby League’s first Lancashire versus Yorkshire Origin fixture and two Wigan Warriors players have been selected to play.

Wigan PDRL players Ben Seward and Steve Mort have both been called up to the Lancashire 16-player squad.

This will be the first PDRL match played under the code’s new international rules. And in another first for the game following recent player classification sessions, PDRL will make its debut as a fully classified and internationally recognisable disability sport. 

The Origin fixture itself is part of a regional PDRL festival for north-west teams. Kicking off at 4:30pm, Lancashire versus Yorkshire will be the climax of a day of celebration of inclusive Rugby League. Similar learning disability Rugby League festivals will take place in Hull and Wakefield over the same weekend.

Warriors disability head coach, Gareth Roughton, Warriors said: “Ben and Steve have been key members of our squad since the beginning of our PDRL involvement back in 2018. Seeing both these players now go on the represent Lancashire in the upcoming Origin game is a great honour for both of them. 

“As our Club captain, Ben has always looked to be an example to the rest of the team and being selected has shown that his hard work and dedication is being seen by the selectors. 

“Steve always gives 100 per cent on the field I don’t think I have ever seen someone as mentally strong as him and he has no quit in him. His effort and determination is second to none.”

RFL social and inclusion manager, Chris Godfrey, said: “Sunday is a landmark event for all of us in so many ways, players and administrators alike.

“As well as being a special occasion, Sunday will be a learning curve for everybody involved in PDRL – a world-first for this variation of the game and its debut as a fully-classified and internationally recognisable disability sport.”  

England Community Lions PDRL head coach, Shaun Briscoe, added: “This is a great opportunity to showcase Physical Disability Rugby League to a wider audience. And for the players it’s another step up in their personal development and a chance to showcase their skills to the England Community Lions selectors.”

Lancashire squad:

Mike Addison, Jamie Barnett, Tom Bayliss (all Warrington Wolves), Peter Clark (Leeds Rhinos), Wayne Cox, Adam Hills, Nathan Jezierski, Lewis Kennedy, Adam Morris (all Warrington Wolves), Steve Mort (Wigan Warriors), Stuart Ryder (Warrington Wolves), Ben Seward (Wigan Warriors), Tony Seward, Barry Whalley, Josh Whipday (all Warrington Wolves), Sam Zeller (Leeds Rhinos).

Yorkshire squad:

Mick Colborn (Castleford Tigers), Darren Dean, Alex Dickinson, Adam Fleming (all Wakefield Trinity), Scott Gobin (Leeds Rhinos), Mark Gummerson (Castleford Tigers), Nick Horner (Leeds Rhinos) , John Humphries (Wakefield Trinity), Nick Kennedy (Castleford Tigers), Connor Lynes, Ben Nicholson, Callum Parkinson (all Wakefield Trinity), Tommy Pouncey, Harvey Redmonds, Tom Sheridan (all Leeds Rhinos), Kenan Wilkes (Castleford Tigers), Chris Young (Leeds Rhinos).

Wednesday 04 August 2021