The Australian squad for the 2017 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup was announced on Monday, alongside a generous commitment from the National Rugby League to aide their upcoming campaign.
A cheque on behalf of the NRL for $50,000 was delivered to representatives from Wheelchair Rugby League Australia, with majority of the funds being put towards the hefty transport costs associated with getting the team to France for the tournament in July.
The NRL’s Head of Football Brian Canavan was immensely pleased the governing body was able to assist the game’s elite wheelchair athletes.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand just how committed these men are to playing the game they love, so to be able to assist them in getting to a World Cup tournament is a wonderful thing,” Mr Canavan said.
“I’ll be a very keen observer and have no doubt they will do us all proud when the tournament kicks off in July.”
The financial support from the NRL is a welcomed boost for the organisation who continue to improve the lives of people with disabilities on and off the field via a number of positive health and wellbeing activities developed by the sport.
“I’d like to thank Brian and the NRL for this significant and very much welcomed contribution that will allow all of us to get where we need to go in France for the World Cup,” Australian Wheelchair Rugby League representative Yara Ryan said.
“We finished in fourth place four years ago in England, but are quietly confident of doing better this time around with the group of players selected.”
Australian Wheelchair World Cup squad:
Peter Arbuckle QLD
Jason Attard NSW#*
Davin Bretherton QLD
Craig Cannane NSW*
Fabian Castillo NSW*
William Derederenalagi NSW#
Brad Grove NSW*
Brett Henman NSW
Diab Karim NSW#
Stephan Rochecouste NSW
Yara Ryan NSW*
Mitchel Stone NSW*
* Denotes previous WRLWC experience
# Denotes able bodied athlete