Leeds Rhinos' Tom Halliwell to captain England wheelchair rugby league side against France: Clubmates James Simpson and Nathan Collins also named in squad
Three players from treble-winners Leeds Rhinos have been named in the England wheelchair rugby league squad for next week’s two-Test series against France.
Leeds’ Tom Halliwell will captain the side for the second time, after leading England to victory over Wales in June.
He is joined in the squad by clubmates James Simpson and Nathan Collins.
England face France next Wednesday, November 19 (6.30pm) and on Saturday, November 13 (4pm) with both Tests being played at Medway, in Kent.
France are the reigning World Cup champions.
The second Test will be for the Fassolette-Kielty Trophy – named after pioneers of the sport on either side of the Channel.
Both games will be shown live on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app.
There will also be an England Knights versus France Espoirs fixture on Friday November 12.
England coach Tom Coyd said: “We have selected the best domestic English players for the toughest matches we have played since 2019.
“Our preparation has been excellent and we’re excited to measure ourselves against the best in the world.”
Wheelchair rugby league general manager Martin Coyd added: “Coming after a year of total inaction on the field in 2020 and a fragmented start to the 2021 season, all as a result of Covid restrictions, we have this great opportunity to end the year with a mouth-watering series.
“We have got over the disappointment of the World Cup postponement and are fully focused on the opportunities presented to raise the bar even higher.
“We have undergone a ground-breaking, science-based testing programme at Leeds Beckett University and are developing our on-field performance with innovative data analysis which is giving us a valuable insight into our play.
“We have invested a huge amount into building our capability in football, sports science, medicine and equipment and this is a timely opportunity to benchmark ourselves against the French a year out from the World Cup.”
England Wheelchair RL National Performance Squad: Joe Coyd (Argonauts),
James Simpson (Leeds Rhinos), Seb Bechara (Catalans Dragons), Lewis King (Argonauts), Nathan Collins, Tom Halliwell (both Leeds), Adam Rigby (Leyland Warriors), Rob Hawkins (Halifax Panthers), Declan Roberts (Wigan Warriors), Nathan Mulhall (Halifax), Fred Nye (Argonauts), Martin Norris (Leyland), Freya Levy (Argonauts).
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