James Simpson with his medal after Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final 18112022 CREDIT James Simpson, BFBS
The former soldier likened the selflessness of the England side to how he would feel in the military.
Sport

Wheelchair rugby league World Cup: Veteran praises 'selflessness' of his cup-winning England side

James Simpson with his medal after Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final 18112022 CREDIT James Simpson, BFBS
The former soldier likened the selflessness of the England side to how he would feel in the military.

England are the wheelchair rugby league world champions.

Former British Army soldier James Simpson said "there was no panic" as he watched his England side beat the reigning champions France 28-24 in a thrilling final in Manchester on Friday. 

The England and Leeds Rhino wheelchair rugby star told BFBS Sport: "We knew our processes, we knew what we had to do, we knew what our aims were and what we wanted to get, and we stuck to it."

He added: "I know it might seem like it was tricky to sit there and watch but I had full confidence in the guys on the pitch to get the job done".

France scored early on and took a decisive lead but England stepped up and  it was a tight 12-14 scoreline at halftime 

It was a sea-saw of penalties in the second half but England kept ahead of the score and a tense final ten minutes saw the man of the match Tom Halliwell score his second try of the game and England hold on to win 28-24.

"The players out there did the job"

The former soldier James Simpson was not able to get any time in the final but he has been an integral part of the team's success and has worked tirelessly as the wheelchair rugby league World Cup ambassador since the tournament was launched in early 2020.

He highlighted the "selflessness" of his squad.

"If they had come to me with 10 minutes left and been like you're going on the pitch, I would have probably refused because the guys out there were getting the job done...it shows you the selflessness of this team, and that's something I love about it, and think that's something you get from sport that I used to get in the military as well is that selfnesses in a group.

"The players out there did the job, I knew they would, we all knew they would".