A PREMIERSHIP-level sports team for people with a disability is looking for new players.

Bournemouth Lions wheelchair rugby club is on the lookout for new people to come and join the team.

The club competes against teams including Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints in the fives format of the game, but also provides a community for people to come and play the sport.

It is looking for anyone who wants to give the sport a try and is the only wheelchair rugby club in Dorset.

Head coach Rob Emery said he has seen the sport change people’s lives.

Bournemouth Echo: Head coach Rob Emery.

“For me, rugby in this game levels the playing field for a lot of people,” he said.

“Because of the different levels of the games we have, we have different opportunities for different levels of disability to play.

“Some people might be quadriplegics or tetraplegics, thinking I can’t really play a wheelchair sport but wheelchair rugby was actually designed for quadriplegics and tetraplegics.

“I’ve seen personally how many lives have been changed by people coming down to play wheelchair rugby. It’s all about how much impact we can have on the local community and growth.”

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Lions wheelchair rugby club in training.

Becky Hill, chair and treasurer of the club, said the club aims to compete in both the fours and fives forms of the game.

“We just haven’t got enough players and where we’ve had longstanding members of the club who want to move on, do other things, retire, we’re struggling to attract new players and retain the ones that do come,” she said.

“It can help people where they don’t have access to a lot of sports or fitness if you’ve got a disability.

“It’s a great way to get fit, and be active, be a part of a social group, play a team sport. Anyone with any form of physical disability we can include in our teams.”

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Lions wheelchair rugby club in training.

Becky said many people may be put off because they see the big hits on TV, but she said it is a very safe sport, with no human-on-human contact, with all impacts being taken by the reinforced chairs.

The club also relies on volunteers for coaching, refereeing and sports therapy and physiotherapy.

To find out more about the club and how to join, visit the Bournemouth Rugby website.