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Leicester Tigers launch wheelchair rugby team

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The name of Leicester Tigers will be a new addition to wheelchair rugby tournaments in the UK and Europe this season.

Teaming up with the Matt Hampson Foundation, the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club will play in the UK league and join forces with the existing Marauders club to play as Leicester Tigers in European competition.

The team will be based at De Montfort University in Leicester which will host a Super Series event of the season on the weekend of October 12/13 featuring all of the UK League teams.

The Tigers wheelchair rugby team will be presented to supporters during a forthcoming Aviva Premiership fixture at Welford Road and the team will have their own section on the Leicester Tigers official club website.

Leicester Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen said: “This is an exciting development for the Tigers, for wheelchair rugby and for the sport in general in this country.

“The successful coverage and support of wheelchair rugby at London 2012 has raised awareness of the sport to a new audience and we’re delighted that the Leicester Tigers name will be a feature of competition both domestically and in Europe.

“I’m sure our supporters will be interested in the progress of the team and the link can help to promote the sport and encourage more people to get involved.

“Rugby prides itself on being a totally inclusive sport and we’re proud to be part of it.”

Team captain James Price is an experienced wheelchair rugby player, representing Great Britain at the World Championships, and was development director for the sport for four years.

He says: “I’ve always worked hard to get recognition and support for wheelchair rugby and the teams that Leicester Tigers and the Matt Hampson Foundation are now providing. This is a first for the sport and simply amazing.

“It’s a great honour for me to be able to represent the Leicester Tigers as captain of their wheelchair rugby team and I fully intend to see this club through to being the biggest and best.”

The team will start in Division Two of the national league but have high hopes of promotion after finishing sixth in the National Championships in May.

Matt Hampson is also excited about the new venture and said: “Wheelchair rugby is an up-and-coming sport and, with the backing of the biggest rugby club in the country, it will give the sport a great boost and impetus moving forward for years to come.

"It will be a privilege for the team to play wheelchair rugby with the Leicester Tigers name and support. "