Cas PDRL players Nick Kennedy and Mark Gummerson were part of the England team that won the World Cup in Warrington on Sunday night.
The games being shown live on the BBC, more and more people had been able to watch this growing format of Rugby League, and the tournament as a whole has been an eye-opener.
Speaking to castigers.com straight after the game, Nick Kennedy could not contain his joy, and excitement that he and Mark were World Cup winners.
“Magic, It’s absolute magic. We’ve waited years for this to come, years for this moment. With COVID, we thought it might not come but we’ve grafted as a team and worked for each other, and that is what it’s all about. We’ve set a standard as the first team to win the PDRL World Cup, England. That’s our names on that trophy forever.”
Mark didn’t feature in the final, however, he played his part in two of the three group games that got England to the final. He too was elated at the fact that his name was now in the history books as part of the team to win the first edition of this tournament.
“It’s unreal. I never expected to be living this day and being a part of it. It’s stuff dreams are made of. I wasn’t expecting it at all. It’s been great to have been a part of. Not just the games, but just being around all the team having the banter with them. It’s been everything for me. It’s something I never thought I’d live.”
Kennedy scored six tries in the tournament and has been outstanding throughout. He picked up the man of the match award in his first appearance for England as they beat Australia in their opening game.
The selfless nature of Nick, saw him go over the line last night, and pass the ball to somebody who hadn’t scored, to gift them their try, even when Nick could have put the ball down himself. The referee sadly brought play back and disallowed the try, but the following play, Nick struck gold again and this time, he wasn’t letting it pass him by.
“I gave a pass just before to try and let someone else have a try, but that one I scored was mine. I wasn’t letting anyone take that away from me. I saw a gap and it’s my job to get over. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. The lads set it up and I get to finish it. Amazing.”
Mark has paid homage to having a fellow Castleford PDRL player in the camp with him, and believes Nick’s support has been vital to his success and enjoyment within the squad.
“Nick has helped me massively. There’s been times when I haven’t really known what to do, and Nick has been there to guide me and support me. It’s been a massive help having him in the camp with me.”
Hopefully, this encourages more people to take up PDRL, and in particular at Castleford Tigers. Mark has set his eyes on the next tournament and hopes for bigger and better competition and more teams competing in it.
“I hope it reaches out to a global audience. I hope people see this from other countries and not just the three on display at this tournament. Let’s get a bigger tournament going with a high skill level.”
For anyone who perhaps, hasn’t even thought of playing Physical Disability Rugby League, or maybe thinks that they can’t, Nick had this to say and would love to emulate this success at the Tigers.
“Get down to Cas PDRL, get to training, come and be our team mates. Let’s get some more people on the pitch. We want Castleford winning trophies like this next year. No matter what your ability, get down and you’ll love it.”