The Rugby League World Cup last year was a celebration of the sport with the men’s, women’ and wheelchair tournaments all running at the same time and creating a festival of rugby league.
Another World Cup ran in tandem as well and that was the Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup, with England lifting the trophy on the first time it was competed for.
Plenty of Super League teams have PDRL sides with Warrington Wolves being one of those and comedian Adam Hills represents both the Wire and Australia.
The man who hosts Channel 4’s coverage of Super League is understandably a big fan of the sport but he’s an Aussie international at PDRL and he recently explained how impactful that game can be.
“I guess I played touch rugby at primary school and then I played rugby league at high school for a couple of years. I wasn’t the best, and especially having a prosthetic, you know, I’ve only got one foot.
“I’ve now started playing disability rugby league and what I’ve found is most of the guys that were born with a disability, it was about the age of 12, 13, 14, they kind of went, ‘oh, I can’t keep up’.
“There’s a level where you go, yeah, ‘we’re okay’, and then you go, ‘I can’t keep up with the other kids’. So I ended up playing tennis, I coached tennis. I played A grade, I played pretty competitively.”
Hills was making these comments whilst on a podcast with former Scotland rugby union international, Jim Hamilton, on his podcast ‘The Big Jim Show’.
He continued: “But then about, I think in 2017, six years ago, I found out that there was Disability Rugby League in Sydney and kind of contacted them and said, can I help, can I play, can I support?
“Just at that time Warrington, the Warrington Wolves, had contacted them and said oh, we’d like to set up England’s first disability rugby league team, so I contacted Warrington and turned up for an open trial day.
“I’ve become very obsessed with it to the point where my comedy notebook has got rugby league plays in it now. Like instead of writing down jokes, I’d be like, ‘oh yeah, but what if this person ran that way’?
“So I’ve kind of put comedy on hold, like stand-up comedy on hold for the last seven years. I’ve said to my managers, let’s not tour. You know, I’ve turned down gigs because it’s training. I was invited to Prince Charles’ 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace and I said, no, it’s a Tuesday, we’ve got training that night.
“But it was because that’s what I would prefer to do. I wanted to go to Warrington and train. I didn’t want to go to Buckingham Palace.”
Since then Hills has continued to grow the game of rugby league whilst Prince Charles is now King.
Hills is a superb advocate for the sport of rugby league as seen by his presenting on Channel 4 and he does even more for the disabled community having significantly helped raise the profile of the game.