Physical and Learning Disability Rugby League discussed in Parliament
Last night (5 February) the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group discussed Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) and Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) at its first ordinary meeting of 2019.
MPs and Peers were joined by comedian and Warrington Wolves PDRL player Adam Hills, Warrington Wolves Foundation Director Neil Kelly and The RFL’s Head of Growth Tom Brindle, who made a presentation on the development, growth and future of PDRL and LDRL in England.
PDRL was first established in Australia, with Warrington Wolves launching the format in the UK with RFL support, and contesting the first game against Leeds Rhinos in February 2018 in front of a crowd of 1500. Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers also established teams in 2018, whilst Warrington Wolves travelled to Australia to claim the inaugural PDRL World Club Challenge, beating South Sydney Rabbitohs.
LDRL was also established in the UK in 2018, with a handful of fixtures played as curtain raisers to Super League fixtures, and Hull Kingston Rovers, Warrington Wolves, St Helens, Widnes and Wakefield all taking part in The RFL’s Grand Day Out, which also included a PDRL competition.
In 2019, PDRL and LDRL programmes will continue to grow, and it was recently announced that a PDRL festival would be an integral part of Rugby League World Cup 2021 celebrations.
Speaking after the meeting, All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chair and Member of Parliament for Bradford South, Judith Cummins MP, said “it was a pleasure to welcome Adam, Neil and Tom to Parliament and hear more about the rapid growth of Physical and Learning Disability Rugby League across the country over the past year.
“The establishment of Physical and Learning Disability Rugby League underlines the game’s commitment to inclusion, and the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group is delighted with the work that is being done across the sport to ensure that there is a format for everyone.”
Comedian, The Last Leg Host and Warrington Wolves PDRL player Adam Hills said “it’s just over a year since the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League game was played in the UK, and as a player, I’ve almost recovered from it. Despite the bumps and bruises, it has been a pleasure to be involved with the development of this format of the game.
“There are some truly incredible players in both Physical and Learning Disability Rugby League, and I hope that further growth of both formats will inspire more people to get involved.
“Looking ahead, it is fantastic that Physical Disability Rugby League will feature as part of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 for the first time ever, and I know that all players will now have their eyes set on a place in their national team. I just have to work out which country I’m going to support.”