Thursday, 17 July 2014

Greg Mulholland Writes: The First MP To Play Rugby For GB

On Saturday 12th July I had the huge honour of becoming the first MP to pull on the famous Great Britain white shirt with the red and blue ‘V’, and play for his country at rugby league.


I was selected as part of the 20 man GB side who defeated Australia in the over 35s international in Warrington. We won one try to none at Crosfields, Warrington on Saturday – though in the spirit of Masters it was of course nil-nil!

To play against Australian in their iconic green and gold shirts is the ultimate challenge in rugby league and to beat them and indeed stop them scoring was a great result. The determination of the GB team was etched on all our faces and we pushed our bodies as hard as we could and together did our country proud! After the game I felt every one of my 43 years but every bruise and ache was worth it.

It was great to be joined by my Leeds Akkies team mate and fellow winger Keith Hill, who I play alongside at Old Modernians sports club in Cookridge, in my constituency. As Club Captain of the Political Animals, a team comprising Lords, MPs and Councillors and Chair of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, it was great to be able to represent Parliament, Leeds and Great Britain against Australia.

Masters rugby league is always played in a great spirit and Saturday was no different though at times it was uncompromising. Masters is a fantastic form of rugby league that enables us older players to carry on playing long after we thought we’d have hung up our boots. I am sure as a game it will go from strength to strength on both sides of the world and I thank the Australians for coming over here and hope the rest of their tour is an enjoyable one.