All to play for as Celtic Wheelchair Cup beckons

The three squads have been confirmed for Saturday’s Celtic Cup, which will be fought out by the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Wheelchair teams.

The event, at the Plas Madoc Leisure Centre, Wrexham, kicks off at 11.15am and will be contested on a round-robin basis.

Ireland have named Toby Burton-Carter (Warrington), Darran Dowey (Torfaen), Josh Gardner (unattached, previously Leeds Rhinos), Peter Johnston Jnr (Argonauts/North West Crusaders), Thomas Martin (Halifax Panthers), Damian McCabe (player/coach), Stephen Palin-Campbell (Sheffield), Philip Roberts (Wigan), Scott Robertson (unattached), Rick Rodgers (Argonauts). Burton-Carter, Dowey and Palin-Campbell are all on debut, while Roberts is a former England coach.

Scotland’s line-up comprises: Jay Anderson, David Birtles, Connor Blackmore, Midge Hartley, Neil Johnston, Bex Parker, Pete Lauder, Mike Mellon, Graeme Stewart, Cadyn Thomson, John Willans, Callum Young. Parker is set to make his first international appearance.

Head Coach Mark Roughsedge has made three changes from the side that met Wales in Wrexham last autumn, with Stewart having recovered from an injury that sidelined him throughout last year, and Lauder and Anderson being recalled. Ryan Mellon, however, is unavailable because of commitments with the Army.

Roughsedge said: “It’s a real pleasure to see how this group of players and staff are really starting to develop and grow as a team.

“I have witnessed a marked change in mindset that continues to drive a desire to keep getting better. The Celtic Cup will give us an indication of just how far we are along our journey towards the World Cup in November.”

Wales’ head coach Stephen Jones, who is defending the title, has selected Alan Caron, Gary Preece (both Hereford Harriers), Jodie Boyd-Ward (Leeds Rhinos), Mason Baker, Ricki Davies, Stephen Halsey, Harry Jones, Lucie Roberts, Scott Trigg-Turner, Stuart Williams (captain) (all North Wales Crusaders) and Mark Williams (Wigan Warriors/Hereford Harriers).