After a blockbuster inaugural season last October, players in the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League competition are revving up for a promising second season, which kicked off this week.
Wheelchair rugby league is almost identical to rugby league, but it’s played on a smaller field with mini goalposts, as well as five players a side.
Players use an AFL-style hand pass instead of a kick on the last tackle and to convert a try.
The teams consist of both able-bodied players and athletes with varying degrees of disability.
While the sport is still in its infancy, it has received a major boost with NRL clubs supporting teams in the wheelchair competition.
Penrith Panthers is one of six clubs sponsoring a team, including dressing the team in their own jerseys.
“The word has spread, two new teams have joined our competition and six NRL clubs have granted our teams support. We couldn’t be more delighted. What a fantastic game we have and it’s great to have the support of clubs,” said President of the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League, Joseph Chidiac.
“People who have a disability have the same passion for rugby league as anyone else so it is such a fantastic opportunity for players to represent the clubs they love and support.”
Other clubs getting in on the fast-paced wheelchair action include the Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters, Canterbury Bulldogs, Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights.