Wheelchair RL Championship North: Crusaders vs Eagles Preview
Sheffield Eagles will make their competitive Wheelchair Rugby League debut on Sunday in their Championship North fixture against North Wales Crusaders “A”, just 24 hours after the men’s team plays Crusaders in the Betfred Challenge Cup.
The game kicks off at 2.45pm at Deeside Leisure Centre, CH5 1SA.
Crusaders, who suffered a 100-10 defeat at the hands of Mersey Storm last weekend will be seeking to reverse their fortunes on home soil, whilst the Eagles are also aiming for their first win after two losses in friendly games.
“We are all excited to be heading to Wales this Sunday for what will be our first league fixture after only starting last June” said Greg Brown, Eagles Head Coach.
“The sessions look so much different from when we set out; the quality of rugby league has improved, there’s great camaraderie and we’re ready to take on our opposition and put our structures into place to continue our improvement.”
A smaller number of players are available for the fixture, all of whom have played in the Eagles pre-season games, with Brown selecting from Lottie Davis-Browne, Chris Haynes, Stacey Roulson, Shaun Orton, Stephen Campbell, Vicky Brooks and Will Brooks – but he is optimistic about the team’s chances.
“We had some large numbers for our pre-season games and we lost a little bit of structure at times with the amount of interchanges, so having a few less rotations should allow the players to keep focussed and to stick to the plan.”
Despite crossing the border into Wales for the team’s opening game, the first part of the season sees the Eagles then pick up a run of four home games with Bradford Bulls, Rochdale Hornets, Dundee Dragons and Mersey Storm all visiting the Steel City for the first wave of Championship North fixtures, after which the leagues will be recast to ensure the second half of the season continues in a competitive manner for all participating teams.
“The team are very excited about competing in the league and about coming up against other sides and showing what we can do. We’re not making any bold predictions for the league, but if we stick to our game plan and work hard for each other, we’ll definitely get some results. Thank you so much to the Eagles Foundation, the RLWC21 CreatedBy and our funding partners and sponsors who have supported the team to get to this point!” concluded Brown.
The team were joined at their final training session before the season started by Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston, who spent time speaking to the players and got involved with some small sided games to learn more about Wheelchair Rugby League.
Wheelchair Championship North Fixtures:
Sunday 13th March v North Wales Crusaders ‘A’ (A) @ Deeside Leisure Centre (2.45pm)
Saturday 19th March v Bradford Bulls (H) @ Forge Valley Sports Centre (2pm)
Sunday 27th March v Rochdale (H) @ Hillsborough College (2pm)
Saturday April 2nd v Dundee Dragons (H) @ Forge Valley Sports Centre (2pm)
Saturday April 23rd v Mersey Storm (H) @ Forge Valley Sports Centre (2pm)