Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Changing Lives Through Sport

PDRL training session
Players wanted for Leeds Rhinos Foundation's PDRL team
22 March 2019, 1:31
By Ben Hall
Leeds Rhinos Foundation's Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team are searching for new players to join the side for the 2019 season.
After enjoying a hugely successful first season, including a landmark 22-10 victory against Warrington Wolves in the first competitive PDRL fixture to be played in the UK, the side are now looking to grow even further and bolster their ranks ahead of the upcoming campaign.

There will be a new-look coaching team at the helm this year, with captain Dan Roberts taking on a player-coach role alongside joint-coach Mark Weavill, who himself has a wealth of experience in rugby having previously worked with Super League outfit Huddersfield Giants and England RL.

Physical Disability Rugby League may be a modified version of the world-known game, but it does not hide away from the usual impact and collision or values of rugby league, which is something that Roberts believes can be somewhat of a misconception about the PDRL game.

He said: "I've noticed that people who have watched PDRL the first time are really surprised at the standard of rugby, and become really impressed with how fast and physical the matches are, which is a testament to all the players who have stepped on the pitch and showcased the format."

"You could see last year that we were really improving as a team. By the second time we faced Warrington at Headingley, there was a big difference in the standard of rugby we played from the first game played over there, and that improvement was made over just a matter of months.

"Being able to play the sport I love again, after maybe 12 or 13 years away and thinking the opportunity had gone, was absolutely magic. Playing at Headingley, where I've been going since I was young to support the Rhinos, alongside Barrie McDermott and Danny Schofield who are Leeds legends and sporting heroes of mine, was incredible too. It's a special feeling to pull on that blue and amber jersey and represent this club."

"We all work to each other's strengths and weaknesses and we make sure we all have fun and help each other out where we can. Whether you've never picked up a rugby ball before, or you want to get back into the sport, just come and give it a go."

Ben Berry, Leeds Rhinos PDRL team manager, added: 'We have got a great bunch of lads coming down to training on a Monday evening already, however it would be fantastic to have more people join us.

"We are beginning registration for the upcoming season which features lots of fixtures, festivals and marquee events. It provides a fantastic opportunity for those with a physical disability to either get back into rugby league or be introduced to the game in a fun and inclusive environment.

"If you have any questions around training, eligibility, the structure of the season or anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch."

The Rhinos PDRL team is part of the charity's commitment to making rugby league accessible to all parts of the community. Training sessions take place at Leeds Rugby Academy in Kirkstall on Monday evenings, with matches scheduled to take place throughout the year against other Super League clubs.

Anyone interested in joining the team should email ben.berry@leedsrhinosfoundation.org to find out more information.
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