Leeds Rhinos: Wheelchair Grand Final clash with Leyland Warriors is chance to complete unbeaten season and historic treble

Challenge Cup holders and Super League leaders Leeds Rhinos will aim to complete an unbeaten season when they face Leyland Warriors in the Wheelchair Rugby League Grand on Sunday (3.15pm).

Friday, 17th September 2021, 6:18 pm

In a first for the code, the final - at Medway in Kent - will be televised live on Sky Sports Arena.

Rhinos are aiming to go one better than two years ago when they were beaten by Halifax in the title decider.

It is the first Roses showdown in a Grand Final and though Rhinos will be hot favourites, player James Simpson is wary of the threat Leyland will pose.

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Rhinos' James Simpson with the Wheelchair Challenge Cup. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Leyland stunned Cup runners-up Argonauts in their semi-final and Simpson warned: “I was there to watch it and it was brutal, a really good game.

“We have been in this situation before, in 2019. That year we didn’t go undefeated all year, but we did get the league leaders’ and the Challenge Cup and we lost in the Grand Final.

“The difference this year is we are fully undefeated so the pressure is definitely on us.

“Leyland have nothing to lose and they are a class team.

“Adam Rigby [of Leyland] played in the Test in June and is a great player.

“He is one of the few left in the game who won the Wheelchair World Cup in 2008 so he has been around the game longer than most.

“He is definitely going to be a threat, but for us it’s just about learning from 2019 and making sure we don’t make the same mistakes or let the pressure get to us.

“We’ve just got to go out and do what we do.”

Rhinos’ Cup win over Argonauts earlier in the season was broadcast on the BBC’s red button and player Simpson said that attracted new fans to Rhinos’ league semi-final against Halifax at Morley.

“It is amazing,” he said of the television coverage. “Considering we had all last year cancelled, the Australia tour cancelled, the World Cup postponed and the season starting four months late, being on the BBC and Sky, I can’t believe the levels we’ve reached this year while still having to deal with all that adversity and all those hurdles. It’s unbelievable to see how huge we’ve gone and how many people are getting to see the game now.”

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