Saints Wheelchair Rugby started their 2021/22 season in ideal fashion last weekend, as the side posted four wins from four matches to begin the WR5s Championship campaign.
After a restructuring of the leagues over the extended break caused by the pandemic saw the Premiership reduced to five sides, Saints Wheelchair Rugby find themselves tackling the Championship in 2021 – but coach Jamie Higgins is hoping to lead his charges to promotion at the end of this term.
On Sunday the team headed to Stoke Mandeville Stadium to get the campaign started; their season-opening tournament seeing them face-off with Northeast Barbarians, Endeavour Punishers, Team Solent Sharks and Coventry Stampede.
Led by skipper Gerry McCrory, the team – joined this season by former Team GB European gold medallist Danny Dawoud – kicked off with a 25-10 win over Barbarians, before toppling Punishers 19-7 in their second tie of the afternoon.
The side’s most convincing win of the day followed as they notched up an impressive 21-9 scoreline against Sharks, ahead of rounding off with a 19-12 victory against Coventry.
“It was incredibly pleasing to see the side get straight back to it,” said Higgins.
“Four wins from four was what we’d set our target as for the first outing, and it was great to get some pretty convincing scorelines along the way too. The team always play with so much passion and their constant drive to learn and improve is so enjoyable to see as a coach.
“We’re also very happy to welcome Danny aboard this year. He had some offers from other clubs, but we’re delighted he decided that Saints was the best place for him. The opportunity to work with him to help develop the team’s technical and tactical skills, as well as support the development of our pathway system, will be invaluable to us.”
Skipper McCrory added: “It’s always an honour to lead this team out. Everyone works so hard, especially under the guidance we’ve had to abide by over the last year or so.
“This season will provide a great opportunity for us to grow, especially with having Danny on board; for us to learn as a team from his vast experience will be hugely beneficial, and I’m excited to see if we can keep building this momentum into the rest of the tournament.”