England Wheelchair World Cup winner Tom Halliwell rejoices in praise from Rob Burrow after their 28-24 final win over France | Rugby League News


England captain Tom Halliwell, who plays for Leeds Rhinos in the Wheelchair Super League, received a congratulatory message from Rhinos icon Rob Burrow after playing a starring role in the final; France head coach Sylvain Crismanovich criticized lack of showers for players

Last update: 19/11/22 00:02

Tom Halliwell celebrates with the World Cup after guiding England to victory over France in the final

Tom Halliwell was overwhelmed with emotion after his hero Rob Burrow congratulated him on winning the Wheelchair Rugby World Cup.

The England captain spoke in the build-up to Friday’s 28-24 win over France in the final about the honor he had of wearing the No.7 shirt as Burrow had done during his illustrious career with the Betfred Super League team, Leeds Rhinos.

Burrow posted his congratulations to Halliwell, who scored the decisive try two minutes from time in England’s win over France, on his Twitter account after the final and the wheelchair-bound Rhinos star was overwhelmed to generate such a reaction.

“It’s special,” Halliwell said. “My essay was sort of recreating his from the [2011 Super League] Grand Final, except his was 40 yards and mine was probably four.

“Those are such kind words and it means a lot, but I can’t rest now. I still have a lot of work to do and it’s only the start of wheelchair rugby league, and I’m happy to be part of it.

“I’m very grateful to be a part of this sport, it’s amazing and I can’t wait to see what it can become.

“I’m probably forever indebted to rugby league and wheelchair rugby league has given me a platform to play with my family and friends.”

After winning the Rugby World Cup in wheelchairs, the English Tom Halliwell and Seb Bechara returned to the result and the atmosphere of the match against France.

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After winning the Rugby World Cup in wheelchairs, the English Tom Halliwell and Seb Bechara returned to the result and the atmosphere of the match against France.

After winning the Rugby World Cup in wheelchairs, the English Tom Halliwell and Seb Bechara returned to the result and the atmosphere of the match against France.

England had lost the last two Wheelchair World Cup finals to France, with the 2017 final seeing their rivals claim victory with a try on the final game of the match.

This time, however, it was the hosts who won an up and down game in which they trailed 14-12 at half-time before taking the initiative after the break.

“I’ve learned a lot of amazing lessons along the way and playing against France in close games was probably the biggest lesson, so thanks to them,” England head coach Tom Coyd said. .

“I said ‘believe in yourself’ [at half-time] because I thought we were playing with ourselves. Our defense was so solid that we were just a little afraid of making a mistake. I told them to believe in themselves and they came out and did that.”

Tom Halliwell's late try sealed England's win over France

Tom Halliwell’s late try sealed England’s win over France

Attention will soon turn to the next Rugby League World Cup in France just three years away, with the aim of capitalizing on the exposure the wheelchair version of the sport has enjoyed alongside racing competitions men’s and women’s walks.

Halliwell is optimistic he will only grow in the build-up to the 2025 tournament, but for now he just wants to enjoy the moment of leading England to glory on the sport’s biggest stage.

“It’s probably the best feeling in the world, lifting it with these players and staff,” Halliwell said.

“We’ve worked so hard over the past five years to be able to get to this point and it’s so good to know that all that hard work has paid off.”

Tom Halliwell lifts the trophy after winning the World Cup final

Tom Halliwell lifts the trophy after winning the World Cup final

Crismanovich criticizes the lack of showers

The Wheelchair World Cup has been widely acclaimed for taking the sport to a new level and for being inclusive, with the sport allowing male and female athletes with and without disabilities to compete on an equal footing.

But while France head coach Sylvain Crismanovich felt the action on the pitch had brought many positives over the past three weeks, he believes there were still areas behind the scenes where work needed to be done.

Crismanovich was particularly upset at the lack of showers for the players at the finals venue, Manchester Central.

“There were a lot of positives in front of the cameras, but behind the cameras I feel like there were oversights in this tournament,” Crismanovich said.

Reigning champions France were edged out by England in the final this time around

Reigning champions France were edged out by England in the final this time around

“There was no discrimination between the teams, but tonight we don’t have showers.

“All the players played, but didn’t have showers and I don’t think the women or the men would have put up with that.”

On the game itself, Crismanovich felt the outcome could have gone either way.

“It was a close game all the way and there was no reason for us to feel like we were in control,” Crismanovich said. “There were back and forths all the way, so it was a tight game.”




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