The morning after they were locked in compelling combat in the first of this autumn’s Wheelchair Rugby League Internationals, England’s James Simpson and France’s Gilles Clausells were united in paying tribute to the fallen on a moving occasion at the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent.
They each laid a wreath as part of the Service of Remembrance at one of the UK’s three naval memorials, conducted by the Reverend Paul Matthias SCC/RNS, and watched by the full England squad.
“It is important for the nation to recognise the sacrifices that have been made by so many, and important for Rugby League as a sport to play our part in that,” said Simpson, a Wheelchair RL double winner with Leeds Rhinos this season who suffered life-changing injuries serving in Afghanistan.
“We are relishing these Tests against France, who are always such tough opponents in Wheelchair Rugby League. But to stand with Gilles and for us each to lay a wreath was a reminder of what unites us. It was an honour to be part of the ceremony.”