Sixways hosts International Mixed Ability tournament

Warriors hosted an International Mixed Ability tournament earlier this month as an England team, Wales team and a combined Warriors and army team battled it out on the Sixways pitch.

The day started with the Swansea-based Wales team taking on the Warriors and army side in a game refereed by former Warrior Tom Biggs as a whole host of players were given their first taste of Mixed Ability rugby.

The Warriors team included the Club’s Chief Executive Jim O’Toole, who made a series of crunching tackles before leaving the field with a rib injury. 

The second game of the day saw the Warriors and army team facing the England side, which included players from Stafford, Shropshire Stags and Castleford.

This game also included guests from the Sale Sharks Foundation, who had made the trip to Sixways. 

The England team boasted the oldest known Mixed Ability player, who pulled on the shirt at the age of 72, while 75 per cent of the team were made up of players living with mental illness or injury, physical disability or learning difficulties.

The England and Wales teams went head-to-head in the final match of the day and an entertaining game ensued as the lead changed hands on a number of occasions throughout the match. 

Wales led in the second-half but following an injury to England’s Craig Till, which resulted in a long delay, the referee decided to bring the game to an early conclusion as a draw. 

Warriors BME and Disability Lead Simon Northcott said: “The first ever international fixture between England and Wales was a huge success and a fantastic advert for the Mixed Ability movement.  

“This tournament was the culmination of months of work within the Mixed Ability rugby world and I would like to thank all the players, coaches and supporters for making the day a resounding success.  

“A big thank you must also go to England shirt sponsor Martin Lennon and Elm Group and to Gentlemen and Players for their support in providing the players with the international caps.”

In the last year Warriors have hosted a Mixed Ability festival, organised a trip to BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight show and taken a group of players to compete at half-time during Warriors’ Premiership clash with Sale Sharks. 

The Club are working closely with other Premiership Rugby teams to ensure growth and sustainability of the sport.

Potential sponsors for next season’s International Mixed Ability tournament can contact Simon Northcott by emailing simon.northcott@warriors.co.uk.