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josie andrews
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Post by josie andrews »

With head coach Tom Coyd having named his 11-man squad, anticipation is building for the fourth staging of this event and the first as part of the main Rugby League World Cup

A former soldier, a site manager and an NHS Trust project support officer - meet the England stars hoping to lift the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup on 18 November.

With head coach Tom Coyd having named his 11-man squad, anticipation is building for the fourth staging of this event and the first as part of the main Rugby League World Cup.

Here, we take a look at the incredible stories that have defined the men who are hoping to win England's second world title.

Tom Halliwell

A broken leg was what first pushed England’s captain towards wheelchair rugby. Halliwell started playing rugby aged four and continued to do so until he sustained a freak incident while in the junior ranks at Leeds Rhinos.

He managed just 56 minutes in the last World Cup but has established himself as a mainstay of the side since, taking the reins as captain for the first time in June.

Seb Bechara

A motorbike accident forced Bechara to have his right leg amputated below the knee in 2012.

Having been inspired by the London Paralympics of the same year, which he watched from hospital, Bechara took up wheelchair basketball following the conclusion of his rehab.

Former France wheelchair rugby captain Cyril Torres then invited Bechara to train with Catalans Dragons and he was soon an international star, appearing in the 2017 World Cup final defeat against Torres’ France.

Wayne Boardman

The oldest member of the England squad, Boardman enjoyed a stellar semi-pro career in the running game prior to a motorbike accident which led him to the wheelchair version.

Jack Brown

Brown played in England’s first international match in 2005, having first tried wheelchair sport in order to share an activity with his brother Harry, who lost both legs to meningitis as a baby.

Harry has won world and European golds as part of Great Britain’s wheelchair basketball team and now it is Jack’s turn to bid for top spot this winter.

Nathan Collins

Born with dwarfism, Collins has played wheelchair rugby since the age of 10 and was integral to England’s 62-48 win over France in the summer.

Joe Coyd

An assistant site manager at Barratt Developments and the younger brother of head coach Tom, Coyd scored twice in the summer victory against fierce rivals France.

Rob Hawkins

Set to play in his first World Cup, Hawkins scored five tries as Halifax Panthers beat Leeds Rhinos 52-48 in the Wheelchair Grand Final at the beginning of October.

Lewis King

A blood clot in King’s spinal cord left him unable to walk unaided in 2009. He started playing wheelchair rugby in 2016 and registered a first England start two years later.

Adam Rigby

A special operations project support officer for North West Ambulance NHS Trust, Rigby has familial spastic diplegia, a hereditary condition affecting joint mobility.

Rigby has played internationally since 2007 and was a part of the 2008 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup winning side aged just 16.


Declan Roberts

One of the standout performers for Wigan Warriors in the Super League, finishing as top scorer on his first season with the club.

James Simpson

Lost his legs while serving with the 1 st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009 and began playing wheelchair rugby three years later.

Simpson is now player-coach at Leeds Rhinos


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