Adam Hills Champions Physical Disability Rugby League

England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand will all be competing in the inaugural Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup. Australian comedian and presenter Adam Hills, who also plays, is championing the sport and is determined to show young people with physical disabilities that they can access rugby league. He spoke of his own experience as a young lad that, upon reaching around 13 to 14 years of age, found that he could not keep up with his peers, and rugby became off-limits for him. Hill was born with a physical defect that meant his right foot did not develop. The comedian uses his disability in his act and has no issue with his prosthetic foot, labelling himself as a mutant rather than being disabled. This alone has reassured and supported many others with physical disabilities, as he has shown them that differences do not have to impact lives.

Rugby League 

Physical disability rugby league has been running for many years, but this is the first time that there is a World Cup for the sport. As disability support workers here on the Gold Coast, we are delighted and thrilled to watch the games and support the Australian team even though they took rather beating from England in the first game. England won the game at Warrington 58-6, and Hill was interviewed after the match. He spoke of his delight at the games being offered on the BBC digital platforms, which broadens the audience. He was also thrilled to see an advertisement for the coverage running along one of the World Cup games. “What I really loved – someone sent me a photo of the screen of one of the World Cup games on the BBC yesterday, and at the bottom of the screen, it said ‘England v Australia PDRL’ and the way to watch it. That is enormous for this sport. How many kids are out there right now that now know they can play rugby league?

Warrington Wolves

Adam has played at the club level for Warrington Wolves for many years; he also hosts coverage of super league matches, which is shown on Channel 4. The fact that the Physical Disabilities Rugby League is now holding a World Cup makes him feel incredibly proud. He told BBC Sport: “To pull on an Australia shirt is a dream come true for all of us guys. None of us ever thought we’d ever represent Australia in anything, let alone rugby league.

The World Cup

As already mentioned, Australia lost their first match to England. Meanwhile, New Zealand took the win against Wales, finishing 28-26 in a much closer game. This means that each team now plays two other matches in a round-robin style, with Australia needing to play New Zealand and Wales. Whichever of the four nations finishes in the top two will face each other in the final, which will be held at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, which is Warrington’s home ground. Again, coverage will be shown on the BBC digital service.

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