Queensland wheelchairs gaining fast

The Australian Wheelchair Rugby League Interstate Challenge takes part on Saturday (June 18) and Sunday at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler.

The contest pits Queensland and NSW against each other in an intense two-match series over the two days, with both sides wanting to do their state proud in what is a passionate State of Origin-like battle.

The interstate concept began in 2015, with NSW winning the inaugural one-off match 49-4.

Joseph Chidiac, founder and director of the sport in Australia, said that although the concept was new, he hoped the interest would continue to grow as the sport progresses. 

"It's a concept we are trying to build alongside the State of Origin series to hopefully grow the interest in the wheelchair side of the game," Chidiac said.

"The Queensland team is still in a development stage.

"The players are from all over Queensland. They obviously know a bit about the game and have tried the game.

"We hope interest will continue to grow and people will come play the game, especially with the huge state rivalry."

NSW have a distinct advantage in the competition, with a domestic Wheelchair Rugby League competition being set up in the state in 2010.

Wheelchair Rugby League in Queensland is a very new side to the sport, with the first carnival being held in the region in 2014.

Chidiac said this wouldn’t stop the Queenslanders from giving it their all, with their never-say-die attitude ensuring this year's instalment would be a tight contest.

"It won't be long until Queensland challenge NSW," he said.

"There's something about the Queenslanders. Even if you look at State of Origin you can see that they will never give up and never take a backwards step.

"Even though they are still developing I still believe they will be pushing NSW this weekend."

This first appeared on NRL.com