Headingley will be the venue for a new Wheelchair Rugby League awards dinner on 31 January, which will include the crowning of the first winner of the International Rugby League Wheelchair Golden Boot.

The IRL and RFL will combine to recognise a year of outstanding progress and achievement for the Wheelchair game in 2019 in a dedicated awards night.

The introduction of the IRL Wheelchair Golden Boot will provide the game with a trio of global award winners.

Eight contenders for the inaugural Wheelchair award have been nominated by the newly-formed International Rugby League Wheelchair Steering Group after a busy international season, in which England toured France and Australia as well as playing in a Tri Nations tournament in Wales.

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The eight nominees are:

  • Jack Brown (England)
  • Nathan Collins (England)
  • James Simpson (England)
  • Gilles Clausells (France)
  • Kevin Pastor (France)
  • Cory Cannane (Australia)
  • Jay Anderson (Scotland)
  • Stuart Williams (Wales)

Seven domestic awards will also be presented, based on performances in the Wheelchair Super League and Wheelchair Challenge Cup in 2019:

  • Player of the Year
  • Young Player of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Club of the Year
  • Match Official of the Year
  • The Chair’s Award

Martin Coyd OBE, the Chair of England Wheelchair Rugby League, said: “2019 was a year of improvement, progress and achievement for Wheelchair Rugby League, both domestically and internationally – ending with our England team excelling in Australia on their groundbreaking Ashes tour.

!The introduction of this awards night provides us with the opportunity to recognise and celebrate those achievements – and also to look forward to an exciting year of growth domestically in 2020, with an incoming Wheelaroo Tour to crown the season in October and with Rugby League World Cup 2021 coming fast over the horizon.”

Nigel Wood, the IRL’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted to announce the addition of a third Golden Boot award for Rugby League.

“We are keen to recognise the rapid progress of Wheelchair Rugby League over recent times, and the outstanding skill, athleticism and courage of those involved.

!It is without doubt, one of the greatest undiscovered aspects of Rugby League but that will all change as Wheelchair Rugby League continues to excite, thrill and enthral up to, and beyond the World Cup.

“The award of the Golden Boot will attract more eyeballs to this magnificent version of Rugby League and that can only be welcomed.”