Three of Wakefield Trinity’s PDRL side have been named in a first official England Community Lions Physical Disability squad.
The Rugby Football League have announced the squad following confirmation that there will be a PDRL tournament as part of next year’s Rugby League World Cup.
This week’s announcement of the new schedule for RLWC2021 following its postponement to the autumn of 2022 included details of a six-team PDRL competition to be based in Warrington, with teams from Australia and New Zealand travelling to take on the four Home Nations.
The players hopeful of inclusion in the England squad have endured a frustrating 12 months since the national PDRL team was formed last autumn as part of the RFL’s Community Lions programme.
But despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are now more players than ever aiming to impress head coach Shaun Briscoe – the former Wigan, Hull, Hull KR and Widnes full-back, who represented England on 11 occasions between 2004-2009.
The 24-strong squad included three Trinity players, with Adam Fleming, Ben Nicholson and Callum Parkinson being named alongside a whole host of players littered amongst the 10 teams.
Wakefield endured a positive 2021, coming back strong following a full year out due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A positive start, with three draws in a row, was soon built on, with the side ending the season in second place, just behind Warrington Wolves.
A las, that Grand Final winning moment wasn’t meant to be, but Lee Whiteley and his side have a solid foundation upon to build in 2022.
Talking upon the squad’s release, England PDRL head coach, Shaun Briscoe, said, “The World Cup announcement was really exciting for everyone involved in Physical Disability Rugby League, and I know the lads will be buzzing when we meet up.
“This is a provisional squad, selected on form during the 2021 season, but there is still plenty of time for other players to make their case.”
While, the Foundation’s Rugby League & Inclusion Officer, Charlie Doherty, followed, “It is great to see three Wakefield Trinity players named in the 24-player squad, especially with the World Cup on the horizon.
“To reach the 2021 Grand Final, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, is a huge achievement and something that every single one of them should be proud of.
“We look forward to seeing Callum, Adam and Ben wearing the three lions’ shirt in the near future.”
England Community Lions PDRL squad
Mike Addison, Jamie Barnett, Tom Bayliss (all Warrington Wolves), Pete Clarke (Leeds Rhinos), Adam Fleming (Wakefield Trinity), Scott Gobin (Leeds Rhinos), Mark Gummerson (Castleford Tigers), Nick Horner (Leeds Rhinos), Lewis Kennedy (Warrington Wolves), Nick Kennedy (Castleford Tigers), Connor Lynes (Wakefield Trinity), Adam Morris (Warrington Wolves), Steve Mort (Wigan Warriors), Ben Nicholson, Callum Parkinson (both Wakefield Trinity), Tommy Pouncey, Harvey Redmonds (both Leeds Rhinos), Ben Seward (Wigan Warriors), Tony Seward, Barry Whalley, Josh Whipday (all Warrington Wolves), Keenan Wilkes (Castleford Tigers), Chris Young, Sam Zellar (both Leeds Rhinos)