Wigan Warriors Rugby League World Champion Declan Roberts says National Disability Day will be a huge boost to wheelchair rugby. Only weeks after England beat France to lift the World Cup trophy, multiple clubs have already started their own initiatives.

National Disability Day took place last weekend, hard on the heels of the dramatic world cup victory. Wigan Warriors had their first wheelchair session this week a, a proud moment for Roberts: “I feel hugely proud of what Wigan are doing on the back of the World Cup and being able to turn that into so many people coming to have a go and get involved is amazing to see.”

“I know a few other clubs have already had some ‘try it’ sessions and I am hoping others will join in as well as it is such a great opportunity for the sport to grow to wider audiences.”

Having won the pinnacle of wheelchair rugby twice, Roberts is passionate for England’s success to inspire the next generation: “I am hoping this will massively increase participation and viewership for the sport and we are already seeing signs of this with new teams looking to form and so many new people at different sessions throughout the country.”

Now he hopes more people who do not already know about the sport can use the initiative to get involved.

He said: “I believe this well shed a massive light onto the sport for people who did not already know about it and that is why I am so happy there are so many opportunities for anybody at all to be able to come and get involved at both new and existing clubs nationwide.”


He says World Cup success has already had an impact: “There has been a lot of hype around the sport on social media as well as at the games and training sessions since. Seeing this and all the newcomers to the sport, whether it be Wheelchair Rugby League or Rugby League in General, and being able to be a part of it and the impact the sport has had has been truly surreal for us (the England squad).

Given his experiences, the world champion wants as many people to be part of a team as possible: “Being part of that team is something I will never forget, all the work we have put in over the last few years and be able to win the World Cup, in front of a sold-out home crowd. It is incredible.”