FROM the Monaghans and the Duanes to the Andersons and the Gleesons, rugby league has always been a family affair in Warrington.

And nowhere is that more the case than in Warrington Wolves’ wheelchair team, whose squad currently boasts a son, mum and dad.

Meet Lenny, Julie and Alan Izzard – the Great Sankey family who turn out for the Wire together.

These are not the only familial links in the squad side though, with a second father and son partnership coming in the form of Martin and Declan Beddis.

Team captain Alan, 49, said: “There’s a strong family feel, but when we get on the pitch it’s down to business – all bets are off and it’s 100 per cent about the rugby.

“Wheelchair rugby league is all about this kind of inclusivity, it’s an incredibly inclusive sport.

“To some extent, the able-bodied players are actually at a disadvantage because they’re not used to being in a wheelchair.

“Everybody has different abilities and disabilities.

“We pushed on last year and we’re now in the Championship with seven other teams.

“We’re actually top of the league at the moment, because we managed to play two games before the lockdown came in.

“The other teams will have a battle on their hands to get us off the top, because we’re pushing for promotion to the Super League and I think we’ve got a really good chance of getting it.

“Hopefully we will be able to get back to playing in August or September, but because we play indoors everything is still up in the air.”

When hostilities do resume, Lenny is hoping to impress enough to be able to represent England’s wheelchair side during next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

The 20-year-old is one of Wolves’ two designated able-bodied players.

Alan said: “Lenny is one of our up-and-coming stars.

“He’s actually just made it into the England performance squad, and he could potentially be playing in the 2021 World Cup.

“Lenny has a really good rugby brain and he’s been worth his weight in gold over the past year.

“My rugby brain is geared towards rugby union – because that’s what I used to play – and my rugby league brain is still developing, so I still lean on him quite a bit for his knowledge.

“It would be absolutely amazing to see my lad roll out with England.”

Lenny added: “At the end of the day, when you’re in a wheelchair everyone’s the same.

“It’s very different, but I enjoy playing wheelchair rugby more than I enjoy playing normal rugby league now.”

Alan and Lenny are both ex-forces, and also play wheelchair rugby for the Army.

The former has keenly involved himself with disability sports such as basketball, archery and murderball since a spinal cord injury in 2016 impacted upon his mobility.

He added: “I try to keep as active as I can, because if you don’t use it then you’re going to lose it.

“It helps you upstairs as well, mentally.

“The whole movement around disability sports, especially since the 2012 Paralympics, has really taken off – the vibe around it at the moment is just massive.

“There’s so much support out there, but people need to be made aware of it and we’re trying to get that message out there as a club.

“Warrington Wolves have been absolutely amazing, and I can’t thank them enough.”