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Wales’ first Physical Disability Rugby League trials held in Port Talbot

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The first ever Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) trials in Wales took place last Saturday in Port Talbot as Wales prepare for this autumn’s Physical Disability World Cup.

PDRL is an adapted version of rugby league aimed at facilitating those with physical disabilities the opportunity to play. It’s a nine-a-side game of rugby league which, like Masters (over 35s) rugby league, is a combination of full contact and touch, based on colour of shorts.

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Wales Rugby League CEO Gareth Kear opened the first historic session with an introduction and welcomed all the players to the WRL family.

He said: “We have been working on a PDRL World Cup since 2020 and have committed financial budget and resource to this new pathway. It is a fitting recognition of the work by our WRL board Director Neil Lynch who initiated this form of Disability Rugby League. It is great that these players will now have an opportunity to represent their national team and help us build the community PDRL game.”

Wales’ head coach Craig Fisher said: “We had 12 players show for the session, but since then had many expressions of interest. The standard was exceptionally high with some very good core skills on show.

“It was a physically demanding session where we tested the physical endurance of the players through some tough fitness tests from my strength and conditioning coach Jarad Hinnem and then placed in skill-based activity by my assistant coach Matt Drinkwater. The calibre of player was such that every play that attended has formally offered a place in the squad. Special mentions need to be made to Ben Lewis and Morgan Jones who will be our captain and vice-captain respectively.

“We will be holding another session on March 26th at a venue to be confirmed, where we can piece together the remainder of the squad and then plan for the tournament in October. But from seeing the players we have, the attitude, commitment and ability of the group, I feel we will make a huge noise in the World Cup.”

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The inaugural PDRL World Cup contains six nations – with Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland Ireland also competing – and will take place in Warrington alongside the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cups that run from October 15 until November 19.

Do you want to play for Wales in the Physical Disability World Cup? You must either be Welsh born, have a Welsh parent or grandparent or must have lived in Wales for at least five years.

For further details about PDRL, where to play in Wales, or to get involved with the Welsh national side, please contact Wales PDL team manager at neil.lynch@walesrugbyleague.co.uk.

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