Dragons favourites for wheelchair derby

While St George Illawarra's pre-season is just getting into full swing, the club's wheelchair rugby league team will continue their finals charge in Wollongong this weekend.

Sitting top of the table, the Dragons meet the Cronulla Sharks in a local derby at the University of Wollongong for the City and Country round of the NSW Wheelchair competition.

The match will be the competition's only visit to the region this season, but chairman for Wheelchair Rugby League Australia Laurie Lawira is hopeful of continuing the commitment as the sport grows.

"We are a fairly new competition and a fairly new sport, so we are looking to expand the game and get it out of just the Sydney area," Lawira said.

"It is a chance for us to go down to the Illawarra, where obviously St George have a strong following and we can try and get a bit of support."

With basketball's Rollerhawks already holding a solid standing in the Illawarra sporting community, Lawira believes there is a market in the future for wheelchair rugby league.

"We are trying to set up another competition around the Illawarra and Canberra region, to get more people with disabilities into the game of rugby league," Lawira said.

"We are hoping to go national, obviously we run our competition [at the moment] where the rugby league is on the eastern seaboard.

"Really it is a way for getting more people to be involved in rugby league. For people with disabilities to play beside people who don't."

That inclusive approach will be demonstrated after tomorrow's game with an open session for interested participants to try their hand at the sport.

"It is also an inclusive sport, so it is not just people with disabilities, so hopefully a few of their players can come and have a go at our sport," Lawira said.

Kick-off for the main game is 2pm.

The 'Come and Try' session will commence at 3pm.

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