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Liam Luff in action for the NSW Wheelchair team

One debutant and four members of the Australian team from the World Cup semi-finals last November are among the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League side named to face Queensland in next month’s State Challenge.

The 14-player squad will be reduced to 10 ahead of the annual interstate match – this year being hosted by NSW at the Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park, on Saturday 8 July.

Wheelaroos captain Brad Grove is joined by Diab Karim, Liam Luff and Cory Cannane will try to wrestle back the State Challenge shield from the arms of the Queenslanders, who won both the 2021 and 2022 clashes.

Among the squad this year is debutant Zac Carl from Wests Tigers club.

“He’s quite raw but he just has no fear,” NSW coach Edie George told

“He’s willing to go out there and play at 100 miles an hour. He just has that aggression to back-up his playing style.”

The 14-strong NSW squad also has nine survivors from the 2022 Wheelchair State Challenge, which the Maroons won handsomely 49-24 last July in Townsville.

The squad is in camp this weekend at the Hawkesbury PCYC, before a second camp at Rose Hill on 17-18 June.

George will finalise his 10 after those training sessions.

Wheelchair Rugby League is played over two 40-minute halves, with the same points scoring as the running game. The ‘field of play’ is indoors, 50-metres in length and 25-metres wide.

Rules are similar – players must pass backwards, possession changes after six tackles. A ‘tackle’ is made by ripping off the Velcro shoulder tag of an opposition player, similar to Monarch Blues Tag.

Kicks downfield, conversions, penalties and field goals are hand-punted. A play-the-ball is made by tapping the football on the ground before passing.

NSW Wheelchair Rugby League squad

Jason Attard (Wests Tigers)

Cory Cannane (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Zac Carl (Wests Tigers)

William Derederenalagi (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Rick Engles (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Brad Grove (Wests Tigers)

Brett Henman (Parramatta Eels)

Edge Iole (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Diab Karim (Parramatta Eels)

Liam Luff (Parramatta Eels)

Eddie Morgan (Parramatta Eels)

Chris O’Brien  (Parramatta Eels)

Toby Popple (Wests Tigers)

Stephan Rochecouste (Wests Tigers)

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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