A 17-player Wales Rugby League Physical Disability Rugby League squad has been named to take on England at Church Bank, Llandovery on Saturday 2 September (kick-off 2pm).
This will be the first fixture since the inaugural PDRL World Cup with Wales coming third after beating Australia in the third-place play-off. The two nations met in the World Cup with England coming out 32-6 winners.
There are four potential new caps in Sam Bowditch, Shane Chilcott, Keiran Gardner and Richard Ellis Thomas, with the remaining 13 having all played in last year’s World Cup.
Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) is a full-contact version of the game adapted for participants with a physical disability who want to access a running version of Rugby League.
The game includes full-contact tackles, but players who have a disability that restricts them from safely playing full contact are permitted to play Touch RL tackle rules. On the field, these players are identified by wearing red shorts. There is a maximum of two physically disabled players on the field of play at any one-time playing Touch RL rules.
Wales will be led by head coach, David Jones, replacing Craig Fisher who has stepped down from the role. Jones was part of the coaching staff at the World Cup and has plenty of PDRL experience. He plays for the Wakefield Trinity PDRL team and has featured in three PDRL Grand Finals at club level.
This match will be the first of two this autumn with a return game in England set to be announced.
Jones said: “It’s going to be tough going up against the World Champions but the team gave it their all before and can do it again.
“These games are the start of a long-term project to develop PDRL in Wales, providing yet more opportunities for people to get involved in rugby league.
“We’re really excited by the opportunity to have these matches and to build on what was started last year.”
Wales Rugby League would like to thank Craig Fisher for his efforts as head coach of the PDRL Team in the World Cup.
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WALES: Paul Jones (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Rob Carpenter (Cardiff Chiefs MARU), Dylan Hughes, Isaac Pickett, Chris Young (all Leeds Rhinos), Dan Shaw (Pembrokeshire Vikings MARU), Nicky Harris (Port Talbot Panthers MARU), Sam Bowditch*, Kieran Gardner*, Tyma Hughes, Morgan Jones, Stuart Newton, Richard Ellis Thomas* (all Salford Red Devils), Shane Chilcott*, Ben Lewis, Gareth Sullivan, Leif Thobroe (all unattached)