By Jimmy Meiklejohn
For Toby Popple, it was a trip to the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League Country vs City match in October last year that got him hooked on the sport.
It was the first time he had seen a live Wheelchair Rugby League match and it had an immediate impact.
“I had a friend who I used to referee with at State level, and he reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come along,” Popple said.
“I just want to play now, get me in a chair”.
Popple was a popular rugby league referee in Wagga Wagga who tragically lost his lower leg after complications following a car crash in 2018. However, he has hardly let that stand in his way of staying involved in sport.
Although not completely ruling out refereeing in the future, for now Popple is focused on becoming the best wheelchair rugby league player he can be.
“If I could get to a certain representative level, whether it be Country, New South Wales or Australia, that would be good”, Popple said.
This weekend, he is one of a few Wagga residents who will be heading up to Queanbeyan for Canberra Region Wheelchair Rugby League’s (CRWRL) second come and try day of the year, which looks to gather interest for the upcoming Autumn season competition.
The inaugural CRWRL autumn season will run from Sunday 28th March to Sunday 6th June, with six fortnightly games scheduled to play.
The Come and Try Day is a chance for people interested to come and see what the game is all about and learn some new skills in the process. Wheelchair rugby league is for all ages, genders, and abilities, where regular wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users compete and play with each other.
The CRWRL Come and Try Day will be held at the Queanbeyan Indoor Sports Centre this Sunday 14th March from 9:30am to 11:30am. Interested players are encouraged to register their interest on Eventbrite.