Halifax rugby league is back on the map and it’s thanks to the wheelchair team


In 2022 Halifax Panthers won the Wheelchair Super League in what was a fantastic year for the sport culminating in England’s success in the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.

Halifax used to be a big name in men’s rugby league, but has been out of the main picture for a very long time. However, as the wheelchair game rises, the town is now being recognised once more for something a little different.

Panthers player Rob Hawkins was part of that title winning team, whilst also being part of England’s squad that won the Wheelchair World Cup. He said this to ProstINT:

“The whole team had a lot of commitments, things they had to give up to play the sport and help the club, but it’s all worth it to put Halifax on the map.

“It was amazing to win the Grand Final but all the memories will soon have to go out the way as it’s back to business.”

“We just have to keep playing our game, keep playing consistently and just keep that level of respect to come out with the trophy again.”

Hawkins then added this:

“The World Cup hasn’t quite sunk in yet and I don’t think it will for quite a bit longer, it was my first and the first one I’ve won.

“We were all crying on the pitch and hugging each other once we had done it. It was just very emotional showing the hard work we have put it, and it was also redemption for the boys that just fell short in 2017.”

England’s triumph in the Wheelchair World Cup has really shone a light on the sport. It has brought media and TV attention, whilst largely increasing the number of people that are interested.

Hawkins has played a huge role in that development and he believe the sport can take more large steps in the future:

“It has grown phenomenally, and with the help of Sky Sports and the BBC or just anyone who wants to put their foot in the door to help the sport grow, things will just get better.

“I’m hoping that we can get to a semi-professional or professional level, following in the recent footsteps of the women’s game and getting paid.

“We’ve got more publicity now, we’ve got more people wanting to participate, it’s just going on the up from here to be honest.”


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