Pete Altham selected for England Deaf XV

Date: 21 January 2014

Pete Altham selected for England Deaf XV vs Wales

Recent signing Pete Altham has again been selected at prop for the England Deaf XV for their match against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park this coming Sunday January 26th at Cardiff Arms Park (kick off 1.30pm). Pete has been a regular member of the squad for the last few seasons although games have been infrequent for the side in recent seasons.

The England Deaf Rugby Union was formed in 2003 to provide opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing rugby players to play for their country. Players are eligible to play for England Deaf and the England Deaf Rugby Union for Women if they have a combined hearing loss of 25db or more in both ears. This roughly translates to a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear but with normal hearing in the other. Not all of the players wear hearing aids or only communicate by sign language and this has never stopped all the players communicating and playing rugby as a squad.

England have lost a number of senior players through retirement since they beat Wales at Fylde in their last international two years ago and only three members of this season’s squad – openside flanker Ian Collins and replacements Brett Bruce and Nick Todd – have ten or more caps.

The newcomers in the squad are full-back Max Thorne, centre Tom Bridgeman, fly-half Sam Scadeng, loose head prop Joshua Sprules, hooker Oliver Evans, lock Grant Reynolds and blindside flanker Luke Cheyne in the starting side, plus replacements Sam Taylor, Richard Browne, Jack Hunt and Aaron Beesley. The Cardiff match will take place on a 4G rubber crumb pitch at the home of the Cardiff Blues, next door to the Millennium Stadium. The team is:-

15 Max Thorne (Dunstablians), 14 Lee Woollard (Sidcup), 13 Jack Haddock (Harpenden), 12 Tom Bridgeman (Kettering), 11 Adam Faulkner (Cheddar), 10 Sam Scadeng (Sutton Coldfield), 9 Graham Sage (Cleve); 1 Joshua Sprules (Bletchley), 2 Oliver Evans (Hartpury College), 3 Peter Altham (Grasshoppers), 4 Ryan Arbon (Hitchin), 5 Grant Reynolds (Wolverhampton), 6 Luke Cheyne (Sale FC), 7 Ian Collins (Sevenoaks), 8 Barney Reed (Shoreham).

Replacements: Brett Pruce (Aylestone St James), Sam Taylor (Oxford University), Paul Cooper (Romford & Gidea Park), Nick Todd (Aylesbury), Richard Browne (Thatcham), Jack Hunt (Northampton Old Scouts), Aaron Beesley (Southsea Nomads), Liam Rowe (Swindon)

Director or Rugby Gareth Dyer said “Pete has fitted in really well in the short time since he made the move to Lightfoot Green. I know he is really looking forward to playing at the Arms Park and is proud to represent the England Deaf XV. He has been a regular in the side over the last few years and this is a great reward for Pete’s tenacity and determination to continue playing the sport he loves despite his hearing difficulties. His story is an inspiring one and he is a great example to all as to what can be achieved when you won’t let anything stand in your way from realising your ambitions”.

Good luck Pete!!

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