TOM HALLIWELL described the moment he scored the winning try in a World Cup Final as “the best feeling in the world”.
The England captain scored two tries in a player-of-the-match performance against France at Manchester Central to deliver his country their first wheelchair title since the inaugural competition in 2008.
That included the winning score with three minutes left when the match was locked at 24-24.
“If I’m honest, I was going to pass the ball,” said Halliwell of his dash to the line.
“We’ve been talking about giving early ball all tournament. But I saw (the defender) bite and thought ‘go straight forward’.
“I missed my next push and thought ‘please don’t do this’ but I managed to find a way over the try line. It was probably the best feeling in the world.
“We’ve been working so hard for the past five years to get to this point. It’s so good knowing that all that hard work has paid off.”
The wheelchair game has hit the mainstream during this World Cup and Leeds Rhinos star Halliwell described the tournament as “ground-breaking”.
“This is the first World Cup of its kind,” he said.
“It’s shown what Rugby League is all about. It’s about community and letting everyone play. We don’t put any boundaries in. It enables everyone to come together.
“For me, it’s a pleasure to play alongside the players I play with and play against. Hearing some of their stories, it’s inspiring.
“Wheelchair Rugby League is the best game in the world. Every player has a different story, and those stories are incredible.
“It’s just getting more people involved (now) and creating a legacy. We want the future generations to come and play this sport and take it to the next level. That’s what has happened with this World Cup.
“This is just the beginning for Wheelchair Rugby League and I’m happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see it grow into what it can be.”