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Eagles enter second team as Crusaders await


Wheelchair Rugby League in Sheffield will take another leap forward on Sunday when the Eagles travel to North Wales Crusaders as the club launches its “A” team!

Following the unprecedented growth of Wheelchair Rugby League in the city since being launched in June 2021, the Eagles have recorded over 20 registered participants and have grown to become one of the largest clubs in the country.

With a view to continuing that growth, the Eagles have been granted a late entry into the Wheelchair Rugby League’s North league, the tier below the Championship, and will field their “A” team in the competition against York, Wakefield and North Wales Crusaders “A” with the first game in the league set to be a double-header at Deeside Leisure Centre on Sunday 16th April, with both club’s first teams clashing at 13.45 in the Championship before the 15.45 encounter in the North League.

“It's great to see how Wheelchair Rugby League has progressed in Sheffield” noted Martin Coyd OBE, Chairperson of the Wheelchair Rugby League.

“We’re grateful that Sheffield have been able to add a second team into the pyramid and take up one of the vacant places in the North league and I know that this helps them with ensuring that all of their players get plenty of game time.

"It’s a very exciting time for Wheelchair Rugby League in this country as we follow on from England’s World Cup win last year and I’m thrilled that clubs like Sheffield Eagles are able to thrive in the sport.”

The trip to North Wales Crusaders will see 15 players in action this weekend, with Head Coach Greg Brown delegating coaching responsibility to Stacey Roulson for the Championship game and to David Butler for the North Division game due to other commitments.

Joe Wink-Simmonds and Ben Simpson return to the Championship team following being unavailable for the away win at Mersey, as 2022’s player of the year Vicky Brooks returns for her first competitive game of 2023 following recovery from an operation and will feature in both games.

For the North Division, Ian Pride and Lisa Kelly-Pride return to competitive action having featured in the team’s win over Bradford Bulls last month, as does Shaun Orton who has missed two games due to illness.

The Eagles will be without talisman Stephen Reilly who is on the injury list with a suspected shoulder fracture, but are hopeful of Jenny Pearson returning shortly after a period of illness to further bolster the ranks.

Championship Team to face North Wales Crusaders: 1 Lottie Davis-Browne (Penistone Round Table), 2 Jack Johnson (Heaton Green Dust Control), 3 Chris Haynes (In Memory of Richard Hastings), 4 Joe Wink-Simmonds (CTD Architectural Tiles), 5 David Butler (EVOGO), 6 Vicky Brooks (SLP Driving Tuition), 9 Emma Pearson (Nichola & Simon Kirkham and Andy Mac), 13 Ben Simpson (Beam Dyslexia), 15 April Brooks (Haywood & Co Financial Planning), 19 Will Brooks (Haywood & Co Financial Planning)

North Team to face North Wales Crusaders A: 1 Lottie Davis-Browne (Penistone Round Table), 2 Jack Johnson (Heaton Green Dust Control), 6 Vicky Brooks (SLP Driving Tuition), 8 Stuart Wilkinson (Penistone Round Table), 10 Stacey Roulson (EVOGO), 12 Shaun Orton (Lifetime Financial Solutions, Yorkshire), 15 April Brooks (Haywood & Co Financial Planning), 19 Will Brooks (Haywood & Co Financial Planning), 20 Ian Pride (In memory of Bernice Kelly), 21 Lisa Kelly-Pride (In memory of Mick Kelly)