With the rugby season now underway, Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby team are also preparing for a new campaign, which this year sees the introduction of a second team for the first time ever.
Since launching back in 2013, LTWR have achieved huge success, leading to an undefeated league title in the top division for the first time in their history last season.
Much like their counterparts in rugby union, Leicester Tigers have always had a strong representation on the international stage with players and coaches included in the Great Britain squad year after year.
And the club’s growth has continued at such a pace, that Tigers have introduced a second-string side to help support the first team alongside developing youth and providing opportunities for all to take part in the sport.
The second team will make their debut in Division Three of the national Super Series league – which involve three weekends of tournaments throughout the season – with the first-choice side looking to retain their Division One title.
Ahead of the team’s trip to Stoke Mandeville for their first-ever competitive matches, second team coach and former Tigers player David Needham shared the club’s need to grow.
“Although we are currently very successful on the court, we’ve been well-aware for some time now that our development structure wasn’t what it needed to be if we wished to continue in the same vein”, he explained.
“The second team squad is made up of new and existing members. Currently there’s a nice balance between youth and experience. My hope over the next couple of seasons is to bring the younger players through and have them start to catch the eye of our head coach, Darren Matthews.”
With wheelchair rugby growing popularity on both a domestic and international stage, Needham hopes that Leicester will continue to be at the centre of the sport.
“In short, continued success on the domestic front is our main focus but where possible, we want to continue to be the place to be for producing future international players.”
Anyone interested in training, becoming a player or becoming part of the volunteer staff can contact David Needham on 0784 5809 340 or email [email protected]