England’s Wheelchair World Cup winners are heading for York on Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter Final weekend – and fans are invited to join them, and even get in a chair, at a special open training session.
After the Betfred Wheelchair Super League’s Magic Round at Northumbria University in Newcastle this weekend, the England stars will gather for their second squad session of the season on June 17-18, continuing their preparations for autumn’s international programme.
And head coach Tom Coyd will throw open the doors at the University of York’s Sport Centre from midday on Sunday June 18, as the latest move to capitalise on the explosion of interest in Wheelchair Rugby League following last year’s World Cup triumph.
The go-ahead York club, who have embraced Women’s Rugby League so enthusiastically and successfully in recent years, were quick to join the newcomers to the Wheelchair game in 2023, having run a number of taster sessions in the superb facilities at the University.
And Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter Final weekend will now see a World Cup style celebration of the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair game in the Minster City, as the open England training session will be followed by a double header of knockout rugby at the LNER Community Stadium.
Lindsay Anfield’s Valkyrie, who are unbeaten this season since their rebrand, have an intriguing tie against the Cardiff Demons from 2pm, before Andrew Henderson’s Knights take on the red-hot Leigh Leopards at 5pm.
England Wheelchair Head Coach Tom Coyd said: “We’re excited to be breaking new ground with our first training camp in York, and that provides us with the chance to give a unique taste of Wheelchair Rugby League to a new audience.
“We really enjoyed opening the doors in our first session of the year in Hull in the spring, and York is another great fit – especially with two Challenge Cup Quarter Finals also being played in the city on the same day.
“We’re grateful to York Sport, the University of York and Clint Goodchild and his team at the LNER Community Stadium for their support of Wheelchair Rugby League.”
Coyd named a reshaped England Performance Squad for 2023 ahead of the Hull camp, with a number of new faces including Wigan’s Jack Heggie and Hull’s Tristan Norfolk, and recalls for the likes of Tom Martin of Halifax, Freya Levy of London Roosters, and Ewan Clibbens and Josh Butler of Leeds Rhinos.
They will all be in action in the Betfred Wheelchair Super League Magic Weekend, when all six clubs in the top flight will feature in three consecutive fixtures at Northumbria University’s Sport Central, in the heart of Newcastle – following on from the latest successful Magic Weekend for the running game’s Super League.
Champions Halifax face Hull at midday; league leaders Leeds Rhinos take on Warrington Wolves at 2pm; and the action concludes with an intriguing clash between Wigan Warriors and London Roosters at 4pm.