Wheelchair Rugby League trends on Twitter as legends, comedians and Rugby Union players hail the sport

‘Wheelchair Rugby League has broken Twitter’ – BBC commentator Mark Wilson summed up last night as the tournament kicked off and received rave reviews online.

Those not familiar with the sport got a taste of its brutality, skill and technique yesterday as the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup started at the Copper Box Arena in London in front of a world record crowd of 3,033.

Those there and on TV were treated to a marvellous spectacle as Spain defeated Ireland 55-32 and England put on a classy show to beat Australia 38-8 to the delight of the home crowd.

But it was the moments within those games that caught the attention of people watching, as Twitter went mad for the pace of the game, the big hits and the fearless nature of the players.

It was rugby league as we know it – win at all costs, bodies on the line and that burning passion to represent you country at the forefront of it all.

After Spain’s superb showing against a plucky Ireland, England and Australia put on show live on BBC 2 as Nathan Collins and Tom Coyd were the standouts in the big win.

Throughout the match the hundreds of thousands watching on TV took to their social media accounts to show their appreciation to a sport that is amazing to watch, but incredibly hard to play.

Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow tweeted: Wow. First time of watching wheelchair rugby league. I’m such a fan. It is so physical and dangerous. I love it. I’m a fan of Collins and coyd. What a fantastic game!

Wheelchair Rugby League ambassador and comedian Adam Hills followed: “You better be watching the Wheelchair Rugby League game on BBC2 right now. Australia v England. @RLWC2021”

BBC commentator Dave Woods said: “Wheelchair Rugby League is going to be main event sport. If TV execs not fighting for the rights to this version of RL, then they’re missing something big. Awesome!!”

His colleague, Mark Wilson added: “I think Wheelchair Rugby League @RLWC2021 has broken Twitter! 100% unanimous feedback. The sport is amazing! Everyone loves it and rightly so. It’s fast, skilful, full of big hits and collisions. All the reasons many people fell in love with RL in the first place. Tremendous!”

Sky Sports Jenna Brooks highlighted: “Wheelchair Rugby League is currently trending 4th in the UK”

England Rugby Union legend Austin Healey then got involved: “Watching wheelchair Rugby League for the first time. Great game so fast and skill levels immense #newfan #brutal”

At full-time, former Super League and NRL great Gareth Ellis concluded: “What a game that was. First full game of wheelchair rugby league I’ve watched and absolutely loved it.”

One Rugby Union fan accepted defeat: “Wheelchair Rugby League is FAR better than wheelchair rugby (MurderBall) – and I’m a passionate Union fan. 1) use a rugby ball 2) have to pass backwards 3) have to touch the ball down and 4) they have kicks”

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