Huge opportunity for England women's and wheelchair squads as Sky and BBC commit to live coverage

England's women and wheelchair teams will be in the spotlight when they finally return to action this summer.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 6:00 am
Craig Richards, coach of England's women's team. Picture by SpiderTekPNG/Duco/

The women will play Wales at HJ Stadium, Warrington, on Friday, June 25, in a curtain-raiser to England men’s World Cup warm-up against Combined Nations All Stars.

The following day, the wheelchair team will be in action, also against Wales, at the English Institute of Sport, in Sheffield.

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In a coup for both codes, the women’s fixture will be televised live by Sky Sports and the BBC have committed to featuring the wheelchair game on their digital platforms.

The entire 2020 Betfred Women’s Super League season and most wheelchair fixtures were wiped out because of the coronavirus pandemic, so this summer’s games will be crucial to both teams’ World Cup preparations.

Craig Richards, coach of England women and a former Hunslet Hawks player, said: “We have trained for so long, but as much as you try and replicate game demands, there’s nothing like actually playing and seeing the players under pressure and the coaching staff being under a bit of pressure as well.

“For us, it is absolutely fantastic we finally have something to aim for to get us in a place where we need to be.”

England’s wheelchair squad are coached by Tom Coyd, of Medway Dragons.

“The last time we saw any of our players play was at the end of 2019, on our tour of Australia,” he recalled.

“That was the last meaningful football any of our guys played.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity for them to show what they can do.

“We will see who has been keeping up with their skills and their fitness for the last 18 months and who hasn’t.”

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