Wigan launch PDRL team.
Physical and Learning Disability side will take on St Helens on 17th Feb.
- The inaugural fixture to take place at Robin Park (K.O. 3pm).
Wigan Warriors’ first ever PDRL side will take on rivals St Helens on 17th February as the Club’s Community Foundation launches another inclusive way to enjoy the great game.
Introducing the newest playing offer available through Wigan Warriors and the Community Foundation. Disability Rugby League is a mixture of non-contact and full contact Rugby League and can be played by anyone aged 14+ through to adults of any age and of either gender, provided they have a physical or learning disability.
Each squad will consist of 13 players with each team permitted nine on-field players. The nine players on each team will consist of seven players with a physical/learning disability and the option of two able-bodied players who do not have disabilities.
It is a running format of Rugby League which involves both full contact and touch tackle options, for all players who have physical disabilities. Barrie McDermott and Adam Hills are part of the Management Group overseeing the development of PDRL and LDRL, with the Group chaired by John Welch.
The Wigan Warriors offer is lead by Health and Wellbeing Manager, Claire Taylor with the support of Head Coach, Scott Burns, Assistant Coach, Gareth Roughton and Team Manager, Adam Rigby. The team have been training regularly and have a group of 20 players that are really enjoying the fantastic opportunity. From the first suggestion of a team back in August, the group have come a long way. The players are growing in confidence and enjoying the camaraderie that rugby league provides.
The team recently completed a team building activity at Challenge For Change, Salford. Speaking of the activity, Scott Burns, said: “The team trained as usual on Friday and it’s great to see the smiles on their faces as they take part in the sport they love. I’m really thankful to Wigan Warriors for the chance to coach and for the help the Community Foundation provide.
“This is an offer that ordinarily wouldn’t exist. Following the team building it’s all eyes on Friday 17th February, we have our opening fixture down at Robin Park, 3pm KO and we’re facing St Helens. It would be great to see as many fans down to support the team on the day. I’m just so excited to be part of a Wigan v St Helens derby then taking the team to cheer the Warriors on against Sydney Roosters!
“As a club Wigan Warriors are delighted to working with the Rugby Football League to bring this playing offer to life. The opportunity for Physical Disability and Learning Disability participants to pull on the famous Cherry and White shirt is such a big step for the game. Having seen the efforts of Warrington last year, their trip to Sydney and the kudos that Adam Hills has brought to the sport, we knew it was the right thing to do and it shows how much of a family friendly and inclusive club we are.”
Health and Wellbeing Manager, Claire Taylor, added: “From the first meeting with John and PDRL a while ago and our expression of interest, we’ve come a long way. To make this offer available in the town we’ve worked hard, I’ve had support from Anthony Atherton and he’s helped the relationship with The Rugby Football League to grow. They have been very supportive and offered us some good guidance on setting the activity up. We’ll be working closely with the PDRL Management Group and other Super League Clubs to establish a competition framework that fits the needs of the game.”
The inaugural fixture for the PDRL Team is Sunday 17th February at Robin Park. This is prior to the World Club Challenge fixture. The invite is for ticket holders to come and watch the game and cheer the team on.