Halifax Panthers' Martin in Ireland squad for Wheelchair Celtic Cup

Halifax Panthers' Thomas Martin has been named in the Ireland squad for the Celtic Cup, which takes place at the Plas Madoc Leisure Centre in Wrexham, on Saturday.

By Mark Berry
Friday, 6th May 2022, 9:50 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 9:53 am

Ireland will take on holders Wales at 11.15am and Scotland two hours later, with the Wales versus Scotland match concluding proceedings at 3.15pm.

Following Ireland's recent addition to the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup, head coach Damian McCabe - who takes a player-coach role for the Celtic Cup - will be using the tournament to accelerate their preparation.

He welcomes back Joshua Gardner and experienced Wigan Warriors player-coach Phil Roberts, himself a World Cup winning coach with England in 2008, to the squad while Darran Dowey makes his second outing for Ireland and Peter Johnston Jr. plays his first game with the captain’s armband. Sheffield Eagles' Stephen Palin-Campbell is also in the squad.

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Wales are aiming to defend their crown.

“We have trained hard for this tournament and the improvements I have seen give me confidence that we can make this year’s event competitive,” McCabe said.

“Our squad is largely unchanged from last year but we do welcome former players Phil Roberts and Josh Gardner back into the side. We will get a marker of where we need to be to take on the likes of England and Australia in the World Cup.”

The Welsh squad features Jodie Boyd-Ward, 29, who since making her debut a decade ago has become the most successful female Wheelchair Rugby League player in history, having previously featured for England between 2014 and 2019, Boyd-Ward has also been a member of Leeds Rhinos’ 2018 Super League, 2019 Challenge Cup and 2021’s historic treble-winning squads.

Wales Squad: Alan Caron, Gary Preece (both Hereford Harriers), Jodie Boyd-Ward (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Jones, Lucie Roberts, Mason Baker, Ricki Davies, Scott Trigg-Turner, Stephen Halsey, Stuart Williams (all North Wales Crusaders), Mark Williams (Wigan Warriors).

Scotland Squad: David Birtles, Jay Anderson, Connor Blackmore, Michael Mellon, Graeme Stewart, Cadyn Thomson, John Willans, (Dundee Dragons), Neil Johnston (Glasgow Rugby League), Bex Parker (North Wales Crusaders), Paul Hartley, Pete Lauder (RAF), Callum Young (Warrington Wolves).

Ireland Squad: Toby Burton-Carter (Warrington Wolves), Darran Dowey (Torfaen Tigers), Peter Johnston Jnr, Rick Rodgers (both Argonauts), Thomas Martin (Halifax Panthers), Stephen Palin-Campbell (Sheffield Eagles), Phil Roberts (Wigan Warriors), Damian McCabe, Joshua Gardner, Scott Robertson (unattached)