The concept of the Physical Disability Rugby League was born in October 2010 when George Tonna, Paralympian for ‘seven-a-side’ football, had the idea of setting up a modified form of Rugby League for people with all types of physical disability. Within a short period, the concept had attracted enough attention to form a registered association: the NSWDRLA, affiliated with the NSWRL.

The association’s current main focus is to increase its player base so that they can form a permanent and robust competition comprising of teams from the North, South, East and West of Sydney.

Once this has been achieved the association would like to see the game expand and have fully-formed clubs fall under its banner. Currently the association runs its own teams in the way a club would do, however it is hoped that individual clubs will eventually emerge and govern themselves under the guidance and infrastructure created by NSWPDRLA.

One of the main aims of the association is to conduct, encourage, promote, advance and administer Physical Disability Rugby League throughout New South Wales.

In the longer term, the Association looks forward to:

  • Moving into a national forum by becoming Australian Physical Disability Rugby League (APDRL)
  • Expanding into other states to establish our national status
  • Attracting a major sponsor, after which the entire competition would be named
  • Making Physical Disability Rugby League a World Cup sport in which Australia will be a major force

These longer-term goals currently have no associated timelines as it is important that the NSWPDRLA initially focuses on its short-term goals to give the association a solid foundation to be able to build on in the future.

Founded: 2012
Clubs: 5
Most Successful Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles (two premierships each)
Current Premiers: Newtown Jets
Twitter: @NSWPDRLA
Facebook: /NSWPDRLA


Year Premiers Runners-Up 
2012  Northern Sydney Pirates (now Manly Sea Eagles) Southern Sydney Cavaliers (now South Sydney Rabbitohs)
2013  South Sydney Rabbitohs Manly Sea Eagles
2014  Sydney Roosters  Newtown Jets 
2015  Manly Sea Eagles Newtown Jets 
2016 South Sydney Rabbitohs Manly Sea Eagles
2017  Newtown Jets  Manly Sea Eagles 

NSWPDRLA Player of the Year

Year Player Club Points 
2012 Kyle Schaberg Southern Sydney Cavaliers 6
Josh Nohra Southern Sydney Cavaliers 6
2013  Dylan Jobson Manly Sea Eagles 25
2014  Che Fornusek  Newtown Jets 17
2015  George Tonna  South Sydney Rabbitohs 16
2016  Kyle Schaberg  Manly Sea Eagles 10
2017  Marco Spennati  Sydney Roosters 9

KARI Heritage Shield Records

The KARI Heritage Shield has been held annually since 2014 and is competed by the Indigenous Combined Nations and NSWPDRLA All Stars side. In the four matches to date, the All Stars remain undefeated having most recently drawn with the Indigenous Combined Nations.

2014 KARI Heritage Shield
All Stars 28 def Indigenous Combined Nations 16
All Stars Man of the Match: Nick Riches
Indigenous Combined Nations Man of the Match: Kyle Schaberg

2015 KARI Heritage Shield
All Stars 10 def Indigenous Combined Nations 8
All Stars Man of the Match: Mitch Gleeson
Indigenous Combined Nations Man of the Match: Tristan Gibbs

2016 KARI Heritage Shield
All Stars 22 def Indigenous Combined Nations 16
All Stars Man of the Match: Marco Spennati
Indigenous Combined Nations Man of the Match: Jim Doolan

2017 KARI Heritage Shield
All Stars 20 drew with Indigenous Combined Nations 20
All Stars Man of the Match: Rylee Lowe
Indigenous Combined Nations Man of the Match: Brad Hardman

NSWPDRLA Country v City

Since 2014, the NSWPDRLA has also annually held a Country v City clash in regional NSW as a curtain-raiser for the NRL's now-discontinued Country-City fixture. City is undefeated, having won the first three matches and most recently drawn with Country in Mudgee.

2014 NSWPDRLA Country v City
Apex Oval, Dubbo
City 14 def Country 4
City Man of the Match: Billy Bussell
Country Man of the Match: David Grech

2015 NSWPDRLA Country v City
McDonald Park, Wagga Wagga
City 28 def Country 12
Man of the Match: Johnathan Day (Country)

2016 NSWPDRLA Country v City
Shillington Park, Tamworth
City 16 def Country 12
Man of the Match: Mitch Gleeson (Country)

2017 NSWPDRLA Country v City
Glen Willow Sports Complex, Mudgee
City 12 def Country 12
Man of the Match: Bow Lennon (City)

List of 50-Game Players

Player Name Registered Team Games Played Years Played 
Kyle Schaberg Manly Sea Eagles 63 2012-2016
Dylan Jobson Manly Sea Eagles 55 2012-2016
Geoff Clarke Manly Sea Eagles 53 2012-2016
Jono Smith South Sydney Rabbitohs 60 2012-2016
Nick Riches South Sydney Rabbitohs 52 2012-2016
George Tonna South Sydney Rabbitohs 55 2012-2016
Bill Bussell Sydney Roosters 52 2012-2016
Che Fornusek Newtown Jets 56 2012-2016
Eddie Sharp Newtown Jets 56 2012-2016
Marco Spennati Sydney Roosters 53 2012-2017