Rugby League


3 May 2024

Edinburgh Giants to face Wheelchair Rugby League heavyweights London Roosters this Saturday

Edinburgh Giants to face Wheelchair Rugby League heavyweights London Roosters this Saturday

Edinburgh Giants will play their very first Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup game this Saturday (May 4) when they face London Roosters at York Sports Centre (KO 2.10pm). 

The Giants were formed 12 months ago by former Leeds Rhinos and England Wheelchair Head Coach, Martyn Gill, and have qualified for a spot in the competition through their second-place finish at the Wheelchair Challenge Trophy in April. 

Martyn was introduced to the sport in 2013 and fell in love with the game and now he’s bringing Wheelchair Rugby League to a whole new audience.

"We’ve had a fantastic response; we’ve recruited 15 players into the club and Saturday will mark only our seventh game but there’s been a great demand since we formed - people in and around Edinburgh are really interested.

“There are pockets of interest around Scotland for Rugby League, but it is a predominantly Union," admitted Martyn. "But with wheelchair sports there’s a general interest and when people see us in action it opens their eyes and there’s nothing similar on offer in Edinburgh, so we are really cutting through.” 

Edinburgh topped their Challenge Trophy group - which included a win against eventual champions Hereford – before beating four-time winners Gravesend Dynamite to progress to the final. 

"We entered the Challenge Trophy with no expectations and the aim was to have some fun, enjoy the day and use it as a benchmark to see how we are developing. Once we got to the final it was a roller coaster of emotions, we were so close to winning it the first time of asking, but reaching the final is a massive achievement and one we are extremely proud of." 

That second-place finish now sees them just days away from a clash against Betfred Wheelchair Super League heavyweights - London Roosters. 

“It’s going to be a massive step up,” he confessed. “They’re a well-trained, well drilled team who finished second in the Super League last year. Whilst they didn’t make it to the Grand Final you have to be consistent to be finishing second in that competition so yes it will be tough, but we’ve earnt the right to be there.” 

Ultimately, Martyn and his team are aiming to reach the top of the competition tree and Saturday will be a useful learning opportunity no matter what the outcome. They have been training hard ahead of this cup tie.

"We want to get to the Wheelchair Super League eventually, but equally that will be a journey, so we’re working as hard off the pitch as we are on it to build a sustainable club over the next few years. The team are relishing the opportunity at the weekend - they know it's a step up and a steep learning curve. But equally they know that they’ve earned the right to play against some of the most experienced players in the sport as a result of our achievements in the Challenge Trophy.” 

Edinburgh Giants will face London Roosters on Saturday (KO 2.10pm) at York Sports Centre with Hull FC also facing current cup holders Catalans Dragons on Saturday 11 May at The Allam Sports Centre (KO 5pm). 

The semi-finals of the Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup will then take place on the weekend of May 18/19. 


Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup quarter finals: 

London Roosters v Edinburgh Giants (York Sports Centre, Saturday 4 May) 

Hull FC v Catalans Dragons (The Allam Sports Centre, Saturday 11 May) 


Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup semi-final ties (ties to be played on weekend of May 18/19): 

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors (The Allam Sports Centre, Saturday 18 May)

London Roosters or Edinburgh Giants v Hull FC or Catalans Dragons (TBC)