The eighth Wheelchair Rugby League Celtic Cup will take place on Sunday 18 June, at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, near Edinburgh. The hosts and Ireland will be looking to deny recent World Cup semi-finalists Wales a seventh consecutive title.
Alan Caron, who returns to the role of head coach of the Welsh having been in charge of their first side in 2012, said:
We are looking forward to the challenge. We had a first training camp over the weekend and introduced some new players to the squad. The Celtic Cup is key to the growth of the national team and to the pathway leading towards the next World Cup that will be fast approaching.
Caron earned heritage number one for his nation and gained 42 caps, his last this autumn.
First staged in 2015 between Scotland and Ireland – with Wales joining the following year – the Celtic Cup has become an annual fixture in the wheelchair calendar, missing only 2020 due to the global pandemic.
Ireland are aiming to host the competition in Ireland in 2024, and head coach Phil Roberts noted:
I’m really excited about the position that RLI Wheelchair are in and there’s been some excellent work on the ground to expand the player base in Ireland, which continues with a session in Dublin next month. We’ve got several new players on board who will make their debuts in the Celtic Cup and it’s a really good start towards France 2025.
All three nations will be looking to build on impressive World Cup performances, with Scotland aiming to take their first Celtic title. Their head coach, Mark Roughsedge, commented:
We have a hungry group of players. The competition will provide an opportunity for our senior ones to really step up in the absence of our captain Mike Mellon who is taking a year out of the game. We look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbours.
Celtic Cup 2023 – Sunday 18 June
Scotland v Ireland (kick off 12pm)
Ireland v Wales (2pm)
Scotland v Wales (4pm)