Learning Disability Super League takes centre stage in Newcastle

Craig Thomason's inspiration to create learning disability rugby league came from a desire to give opportunities to play to those who otherwise would not have them. This weekend, they will have the chance to star on one of the sport's biggest stages of all.

The Betfred Super League's Magic Weekend in Newcastle will see the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League take centre stage as well, with matches involving the teams affiliated to 16 professional clubs taking place at half time of the second game of each day.

Being embraced by so many of rugby league's big clubs has helped the rapid growth of LDRL and Thomason, who helped develop the sport during his time as the Warrington Wolves Foundation disability development manager, is in no doubt as to why that is.

"It sounds cheesy, but I think it does give people a platform to live their dreams," Thomason, now partnership and communities manager at Community Integrated Care, told Sky Sports.

"We're going to see nearly 300 people with a learning disability and/or autism play at St James' Park and I'm going to have to find a way of sneaking on the pitch as a referee or putting cones out because it's one of the iconic stadiums in the world.