Tommy Pouncey has issued a rallying call to his Leeds Rhinos teammates ahead of the first ever PDRL Finals Day this weekend.
The vice-captain has insisted the side must ‘play to win’ when they take to the field at the inaugural finals series on Sunday, hosted by Leeds Rhinos Foundation at Selby RUFC’s Sandhill Lane ground.
An ever-present this season, Pouncey says they must ignore the occasion and focus solely on putting in a strong performance.
“It’s all about winning, that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“What matters is that we go out there and play the best we can. When we went to Anfield earlier in the season it didn’t make a difference having 30,000 there watching us, if anything we rose to the occasion and played quicker and stronger.
“Let’s be honest, we all play to win and there’s no joy in coming second. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to build something special together, so winning would be a great reward at the end of a tough season and would mean an awful lot to us all.”
Pouncey is one of the longest-serving members of the Rhinos team, having featured in the UK’s first Physical Disability Rugby League game when Leeds faced Warrington Wolves back in February 2018.
Since then the side has been a pioneering force for the PDRL game, welcoming players from all backgrounds and with varying conditions, including muscular, sight and mental, to get involved and refuse to let their disabilities stop them from playing the sport they love.
Despite an up-and-down 2019 season and suffering a second defeat of the campaign to league leaders’ Warrington in the final festival of the league season, the forward insists spirits are still high in the camp ahead of Finals Day.
“This is probably one of the best teams I’ve ever been in for morale. All these boys play for each other, fighting tooth and nail.
“There’s a lot of considerable challenges to playing, both personally and as a team, but when people put that amount of effort in, it lifts everyone up around you. We know the challenges we’ve got, but we forget them all on gameday and we become something incredibly strong and unified.”
Come see Pouncey and the rest of the Leeds Rhinos PDRL team battle it out with Warrington Wolves, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers at the first ever PDRL Finals Day on Sunday 29 September!
Entry is FREE for all spectators, with gates opening at 1pm. Car parking is available onsite at Selby RUFC’s Sandhill Lane ground, along with food and drink facilities including a licensed bar. For more information, click HERE.