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The New Zealand team taking part in this week's Physical Disability Rugby League Nines will play in the Vodafone Warriors strip.

The players were today gifted the jerseys as well as Vodafone Warriors socks by the club's community coordinator Georgia Hala and development officer Keanu Laumatia-Paki.

The Physical Disability Rugby League New Zealand (PDRLNZ) is competing in the inaugural Physical Disability Rugby League Nines – the first international event of its kind – in conjunction with NSW Physical Disability Rugby League (NSWPDRL) at Waitemata Rugby League Club.

Teams from both sides of the ditch will come together to participate in the tournament starting on Friday and will go head-to-head to claim the PDRL Nines title.

Chair and co-founder of PDRLNZ Sandra Hickey says it’s an exciting time for all involved.

“It’s a dream come true for a lot of these players,” she said.

“Many of them have never held a passport [and] to travel to New Zealand to play rugby league is something truly special.”

The New Zealand and New South Wales teams got together for a training session today before the official opening and day one games tomorrow.

Four PDRL teams will take part in the competition with six games being played on each of the days. Teams will have a free day on the Saturday and return for the final day of the tournament on Sunday November 5.

PDRLNZ ambassador and Vodafone Warriors prop James Gavet has been supportive of both the players and the event.

Gavet, who broke his arm late in the season, said his admiration for those playing with a physical disability increased ten-fold following his injury.

"To keep fit and to excel in a sport on top of your daily struggles is admirable,” he said.   

Hickey says James has been working hard to ensure the PDRL Nines is an event to be remembered for the players, their families and the fans of our great game.

"There are so many people who have been getting behind the Nines,” she said.

“Without them, we would not be able to achieve this massive feat.

“I’d like to give a special thanks to Sir Peter Leitch for his overwhelming generosity to this tournament. He has gone above and beyond and we can’t thank him enough for all that he has done to ensure this event is a success.

“For us, the PDRL Nines isn’t about winning but it’s a chance for players to spread the message of PDRL while making lifelong friendships.

“It’s going to be a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you all there backing our physically disabled athletes.”


What: Inaugural 2017 Physical Disability Rugby League Nines

When: Friday, November 3 and Sunday, November 5

Where: Waitemata Seagulls Rugby League Club, Ranui Domain

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