Dartford wheelchair rugby league star on 'massive' clash between world's top sides

  • Watch: Both England and France warm up ahead of the match

A wheelchair rugby league winger has spoken of his love for the game as England's team take on France in the second of a two match test series against.

England and France, are the world's top two teams and are coming face to face at Medway Park.

Lewis King from Dartford forms part of the 10 strong team competing in the competition which marks the final time both sides will meet before the Wheelchair Rugby World Cup in 2022.

"It's massive, England v France at an international level it don't get much bigger than that. It's an important test for us to measure ourselves and prepare for the World Cup in 12 months."

Lewis, who is from Dartford, has taken to the sport after suffering a spinal injury in 2009,

"I have always been a sporty person and since my disability I touched a few sports here and there but nothing quite grasped my enthusiasm like wheelchair rugby league does.

"I just love the aggression, the pace and how inclusive it is and most importantly how much it’s like the running game. Straight away any rugby league fan will notice how there are six tackles, big hits, plays we do, the structures so that’s why I fell in love the game."When I first started out, it started out as a bit of fun and the big hits you feel it on the body. Especially us older players now we’ve got some bandages underneath these tops holding us together, it’s just the adrenaline that gets us through it. It’s rugby league in a wheelchair and that’s what you expect."

Wheelchair rugby league is a five a-side version of the game where participants compete against different genders, some who are disabled and others who are not.

There must be three disabled players for each side on the pitch at one time.

England lost their previous test match on Wednesday against France so will be looking for a win.

The squad has been training for two years traveling around the country in Leeds, Hull and Medway.

England head coach Tom Coyd, said,"I’m very confident, the team is also confident, we lost twice this week so we’re looking to right those wrongs."It’s a violent, clashing sport, it’s just like rugby league but in a wheelchair and the floor is made of wood so when you full down it hurts. When the players fall down the floor is made of wood but they just get up and carry on."Their effort and their talent is finally being appreciated and I am so proud because they are all fantastic people."

Lewis King added,

"It would mean everything. Win loose or draw we are gonna take a lot away from this game and if we win we know we are doing things right. Importantly we just hope we give spectators here a lot of entertainment ahead of the World Cup next year."