29th November 2017, 11:27 | community

England stars amongst contenders for Leeds Sports Awards

England stars amongst contenders for Leeds Sports Awards

Awards will be handed out in at the First Direct Arena on March 1, 2017.

England international and Bradford Bulls star Lois Forsell is set to come up against the likes of boxer Nicola Adams OBE and stars from the world of athletics and cricket.

Forsell, who has played for England since she was 17, is one of seven contenders for the Senior Achiever Award (over 18).

The Leeds Rhinos Foundation Development Officer has enjoyed a stellar 2017.

As Bradford Bulls vice captain, she scored in both the Challenge Cup final and inaugural Women's Super League Grand Final as the Bulls collected every trophy possible, while winning every one of their matches throughout the year.

She went on to be an integral part of England's run to the semi-finals of the Women's Rugby League World Cup earlier this month.

Lois Forsell scored a crucial try in the inaugural Women's Super League Grand Final

Leeds Rhinos' Jodie Boyd-Ward was the only female player at the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup

Fellow England international Jodie Boyd-Ward is also up for the female disability award - up against Olympians Hannah Cockroft MBE and Kadeena Cox MBE

Boyd-Ward plays Wheelchair Rugby League for Leeds Rhinos and represented England at the World Cup in July.

The Leeds-based law student overcame injury to take her place as the only female player in the entire tournament as England came agonisingly close to defeating reigning champions, France, in the final.

And, in June, Jodie and her Leeds Rhinos team became the first side to beat reigning Challenge Cup and Grand Final champions Halifax in over two years.

Her England and Leeds team mate Ryan Richardson is also nominated for the Sportsman - Disability Award.

The able-bodied Leeds Rhinos star took up the sport so he could play alongside his brother and played a huge role as England recorded group wins against Wales and Australia, with the Wheelaroos also beaten 78-36 in the semi-final.

That set up a mouth-watering clash against reigning world champions France who had thrashed England 71-31 in the group stages. Trailing by 2 points in the dying minutes, France scored a late try to snatch the title but England's young squad will look back on the tournament with immense pride and ahead to 2021 with real optimism.

James Simpson (right) has overcome life-changing injuries to succeed

Ryan Richardson is a crucial part of the England WhRL set-up

A third Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair RL star is also nominated in James Simpson.

His legs were blown off during an Army patrol in Afghanistan eight years ago, but he refused to let the life-changing injury break his spirit.

Now he's one of the stars of the England Wheelchair Rugby League side which so narrowly missed out on World Cup glory in France in the summer.

After returning to his home city of Leeds, the former Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion – The Yorkshire Regiment, hooked up with the Leeds Rhinos wheelchair team for a couple of training sessions and was soon a regular in the side.

Elsewhere, Rugby League is represented in the senior sportsman award with Stevie Ward - who shook off a dislocated shoulder to play a crucial role in Leeds Rhinos' Betfred Super League Grand Final win over Castleford Tigers.

Meanwhile, Rhinos boss Brian McDermott is a contender for the Coach Performance Award after steering his side to the title after a challenging 2016.

Find out more and vote for your winners at leedssportsawards.co.uk.