Both England Wheelchair internationals against World Cup holders France next week will be shown live on BBC iPlayer the BBC Sport website and app, completing a breakthrough year for Wheelchair Rugby League.
The matches, which were arranged following the postponement of the 2021 World Cup, will be played at the Medway Sports Park in Kent on Wednesday November 10 (630pm kick-off) and Saturday November 13 (4pm kick-off) – with a few hundred tickets still available.
The BBC’s coverage means all three of England’s home games in 2021 will have been shown live by BBC Sport, following their live red button coverage of the mid-season victory against Wales in Sheffield in June.
Tom Coyd, the England Wheelchair Head Coach, said: “This is a real boost for everyone involved in Wheelchair Rugby League as we build up to two tough Tests against France in Medway.
“We’ve had fantastic media coverage this season since we resumed after losing the 2020 campaign to the Covid pandemic, with the England team on the BBC and the Grand Final on Sky.
“Our players made so many sacrifices through the pandemic to maintain our preparations for the World Cup, and it’s great that so many more people are now able to see the quality of Wheelchair Rugby League.”
Coyd will name his England squad on Wednesday, seven days before the first Test – and they will assemble in Kent next week.
The increased coverage of Wheelchair Rugby League has been mirrored by the introduction of a number of new teams, often because of the provision of new chairs funded by the CreatedBy facilities investment programme linked to RLWC2021.
Newcastle Thunder, Wakefield Trinity, Halifax Panthers, Hull FC and Swindon St George are among the clubs to have benefited from that funding, while Wigan Warriors recently announced that they will join other Betfred Super League heavyweights such as Leeds Rhinos in the Wheelchair game next season.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL’s Chief Executive, said: “Since the postponement of the World Cup we have prioritised securing quality international fixtures and broadcast coverage for our England teams.
“We were delighted that the BBC provided live coverage of both the Men’s and Women’s teams in their respective victories against France last weekend, and we are equally pleased that they will also cover both Wheelchair Test against France in Medway – following the historic coverage of the Mid-Season International against Wales.”
Tickets are available for each match at only £5 Adults, £2 U16s or £12 for a Family (2 Adults and up to 4 U16s). Carers can go for free. Tickets can be purchased online at medwayticketslive.co.uk or in person at the venue on matchday.