Gillingham, Kent, is the next stop for the Betfred Wheelchair Super League as the six sides hit the road again for the latest ‘Magic’ round on Sunday 30 July.
Magic and Central Inclusion Rounds are new features of Wheelchair, Physical Disability and Learning Disability Rugby League in 2023, building on the success of last autumn’s World Cup. Many of England’s World Cup-winning Wheelchair squad will be brothers in arms or facing each other on an action-packed afternoon at Medway Park, following hugely successful ‘Magic’ events in Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester.
Current league leaders, Leeds Rhinos, suffered their first defeat of the season against London Roosters in the competition’s most recent round – and they’ll be looking to bounce back when they face Hull FC (KO 12.30pm.) The sides last met at Hull’s Allam Sports Centre in May, where the Rhinos were convincing 78-28 winners, with England international Josh Butler scoring an impressive five tries.
London Roosters versus Halifax Panthers is the day’s standout fixture (KO 2.30pm). The Roosters currently sit four points ahead of the reigning champions and defeated their opponents at Medway Park back in March. Led by England’s Rob Hawkins and including fellow World Cup winner Seb Bechara alongside French international Jeremy Bourson, the Panthers will be looking for revenge and a chance to close the gap at the top of the table.
Opening Medway Magic at 10.30am are Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves, in a contest that is likely to see England’s Adam Rigby and Jack Heggie face their new international teammate Tristan Norfolk.
Martin Coyd OBE, the General Manager of England Wheelchair Rugby League, says: “We’re now almost halfway through the season and looking forward to our fourth ‘Magic’ round and we are hoping to make the event at Medway Park our biggest yet.
“The venue is already home to the London Roosters and has hosted many important Wheelchair fixtures, including the Super League Grand Final and several matches in last year’s World Cup – so I am sure that it is going to be another fantastic event.
“Results at Medway Park could have a big impact on the current Super League table, so I’m expecting some ferocious battles on the pitch. The event is free of charge and a great day out for all of the family as the summer holidays get underway, so I’d encourage everyone to come and witness the wonder of Wheelchair Rugby League.”
Cllr Harinder Mahil, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Leisure, said: “Medway Park is the home of England Wheelchair Rugby League so we are delighted to be hosting the Super League teams in a ‘Magic’ round this Sunday. Wheelchair Rugby League is an incredibly exciting sport to watch, and I am pleased that we are continuing to play a role in raising the profile of the sport. I would encourage all residents to come along and watch – you won’t be disappointed!”
Magic and Central Inclusion Rounds bring teams together in the same city to celebrate the diversity of the game. Events have already been held in Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester and all of the action on Sunday will be broadcast live and exclusively on The Sportsman from 10.30am. A full list of Betfred Wheelchair Super League fixtures can be found here.
Medway ‘Magic’ Round
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves, KO 10.30am
Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC, KO 12.30pm
London Roosters v Halifax Panthers, 2.30pm