Matt Mitchell (SA Sharks)

Matt first began playing wheelchair rugby for the SA Sharks in 2001. After a period of ‘semi-retirement’ from state wheelchair rugby in 2005 and 2006 to complete a thesis, Matt returned to the Sharks in 2007.

Matt works as a registered psychologist and away from the office has an interest in all things kustom kulture from rockabilly and swing to lowbrow art. Matt notes his career highlight as playing in the NWRL Grand Final after a season without a substitute available in 2010. 

Matt’s real story is one of persistence and a renewed interest after some time away from the game.

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Jason Lees (Victorian 'Coloplast' Thunder)

Jason began playing wheelchair rugby socially in 2002. It was only in 2009 that he began to play for his state and in the same year debut for the Australian Steelers. 

Jason’s career highlight is being named as part of the 2010 Australian Steelers second placed World Championships Team. Jason is now workingtowards a spot in the team to represent Australia at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Away from rugby Jason loves AFL, Cricket and travelling and spending time with friends. His sporting heroes are Glen Archer and Adam Gilchrist.

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Ben Newton (Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Squad)

Ben was first introduced to wheelchair rugby when living in Coffs Harbour. Ben use to watch the NSW wheelchair rugby team train and decided he wanted to give it a go. Ben started competing in wheelchair rugby locally in 2004 and has since represented his state (QLD) and country for six years. Ben says that being selected for the Australian Steelers Team in 2010; awarded as one of the ‘All Star Four’ in the 2010 NWRL; and being awarded the ‘Most Valuable Player’ at the 2010 Queensland Wheelchair Rugby State Championships – the BASH 2010 were his personal highlights.

Ben is currently working towards being selected in the Australian Steelers team to compete in the 2012 Paralympics. Away from wheelchair rugby, Ben is a qualified psychologist and is studying a Certificate III and IV in Fitness.


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Ryley Batt (GIO NSW Gladiators)

Ryley started playing at 12 years old, with his first taste of competition coming in 2002. In 2003, Ryley made his international debut against Japan and a year later became the youngest ever Paralympian in wheelchair rugby aged 15.  

In his first year in the Telstra National Wheelchair Rugby League, he was recognised as the best 2.5 player in Australia, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Ryley has also been recognised as the Most Valued Player (MVP) for the past five seasons. 

2010 shaped up to be another big year for the“Batt Man” who claimed the MVP award as the Australian Steelers finished second at the 2010 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships.


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