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Warrington makes rugby league history with first PDRL match

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History was made at Victoria Park on Sunday as Warrington were defeated 22-10 by Leeds in the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League match played in the UK.

A vibrant crowd, including celebrities and rugby league personalities, enjoyed a groundbreaking contest which it is hoped will lead to increased inclusion and participation in PDRL.

The Wolves took advantage of one of the main rules of PDRL, which allows two able bodied players in the team of nine, to field former star Toa Kohe-Love and ex-England full-back Shaun Briscoe, who now works for the club’s foundation, the driving force behind the PDRL team.

Able bodied players, who play wearing bibs, are not permitted to score, kick or run more than 10 metres. The game is played over two 25 minute halves with unlimited subs, no scrums and no drop goals. It is full contact, with the exception of two players on each side wearing red shorts who are tag only.

Australian comedian Adam Hills earned the honour of scoring Warrington’s first ever PDRL try, but the Wolves trailed 16-4 at half time following tries from Chris Hall, Josh Butler and Simon Brown.

Captain Jason Elkaleh and Craig Jensen caught the eye in front of a packed crowd, while keen rugby league fans may have spotted BBC Radio Manchester presenter Jack Dearden turn out off the bench for the Wolves.

But just as was the case in Super League on Thursday night, the Rhinos proved too strong and came away with the win, despite a late try from Chris Whittle.

All in all though, rugby league and the community was the winner – and PDRL looks to have an exciting future.

Warrington: Shaun Briscoe, Christopher Whittle, Joshua Whipday, Toa Kohe-Love, Craig Jensen, Jason Elkaleh, Adam Hills, Dan Phillips, Jamie Barnett. Subs: Jack Dearden, Leon Hoey, Will Maudsley, Andrew Norton.

Leeds: Chris Hall, Tom Sheridan, Jordan Stott, Josh Butler, Owen Britton, Owen Lockwood, Tom Lockett, Ashley Lockwood, Alex Brooker. Subs: Simon Brown, Dylan Hughes, Dan Roberts, Tom Pouncey, Nathan Collins, Chris Young.

CLICK here for all the action pictures from EDDIE WHITHAM

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About Author

Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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