The Wheelchair Rugby League Australia (WRLA) Board met last weekend to discuss our proposed participation in the upcoming 2021 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) in England.
The WRLA Board resolved that Wheelchair Rugby League Australia would support the Australian Rugby League Commission’s (ARLC) decision to withdraw their support from the 2021 RLWC, based on player safety and wellbeing concerns and possible health risks to our tour party.
WRLA Chair Martin Meredith said, “The RLWC in England this year was going to be a ground-breaking opportunity for Wheelchair Rugby League. It was the first time that the sport would be showcased through its inclusion in the main event alongside the Men’s and Women’s programs. Due to the COVID pandemic, this opportunity will not occur now for our Wheelaroos.
“The organisation is now exploring opportunities for our high-performance athletes to be involved in a revamped Wheelchair Rugby League State of Origin Series, which we hope to conduct in the coming months, once our domestic borders in Australia reopen.
“We hope that the ARLC will now support us in the delivery of a revamped Interstate Wheelchair Rugby League program and or National Carnival that allows our elite athletes involved in high-level competitive Wheelchair Rugby League to showcase their talents.
“Australia is the only country in the Southern Hemisphere that plays Wheelchair Rugby League, and our athletes are extremely disappointed that they will now miss out on the international opportunities that our Northern Hemisphere counterparts enjoy.”
Wheelchair Rugby League Australia will seek the assistance of the ARLC to investigate future opportunities for our athletes to participate at the highest level while ensuring their safety and wellbeing.
For further information contact:
Martin Meredith – 0413 656 769
Joanne Ryan – 0421 059 866