There are two great days in a person's life. The day they are born and the day they discover why. Many of the players in the Physical Disability Rugby League Association haven’t seen the land of the long white cloud or even got a passport. Come the first of November, all that will change.
The PDRLA has come a long way since the days of the Outlaws and Stingrays. The association now has the opportunity to fulfil dreams and desires of the players by going on its first sojourn overseas to New Zealand. The association has opened doors for players that were considered to be welded shut by offering the physically disabled the chance to play the game they play in heaven.
The tour goes from the 1st of November until the 7th. It will be a time for the players to spread the message of PDRL, enjoy each others company and I think I’m forgetting something…… Oh yes, play a bit of football along the way.
The teams taking part are the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Wests Tigers, Manly Sea Eagles and Auckland.
The squad lists are as follows: (subject to change. NZ are getting new players and those named may change)
The Wests Tigers squad is being led by skipper Geoff Clarke. He’ll be joined by Garry Endacott, son of former Warriors coach, both Wigan and Auckland, Frank Endacott. Mitch Gleeson joins the side with Brett Cross, Marco Quintao Jr, Todd Phillpott, Jono Day, Taetakerongo Richard Brooking and Evans Jones. They’ll team up with able bods Clifford Cutmore and Grant Stringer. The manager is Shaun Spence.
The Auckland Warriors side is being captained by Brad Vaer. Joining him are Leatuu Lee Ngauama, Bruce Cross, Garry Kingi, Bill Bussell, Nick Riches, George Tonna, Matthew Williams, Todd Dorward and Shannon Turia. Teaming up with them will be able bods Freeman Hickey and Andrew Mycock. The manager is Sandra Hickey.
The Manly Sea Eagles are being led by “have-a-chat” Kyle Schaberg. Kyle is teaming up with Che Fornusek, Allan Ross, Michael Kulene, Jeremy Hendrix Harris, Terry Litton, Andrew Saliba, Byron Daley, Ben Brooker and Joshua Dench. Joining them are able bods Phil Milne and Richard Korboe. The manager is Bernie Flint.
The South Sydney team will be led out by captain Pete Mitchell. He’ll be ably supported by Tristan Gibbs, Eddie Sharp, Marco Spennati, Bow Lennon, Joshua McQuillan, Joel Pragnell, Caan Hiko and Leah Hickey. They will get help from able bods Troy Day and Drew Gibbs. The manager is Brent McQuillan.
Those are the brave men and women chosen for this wonderful tournament. To the victor will go the spoils but Rugby League will be the winner regardless of whose name is on the trophy. As William Shakespeare said “Its not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”