Twenty-seven-year-old Lisa Adams will be the first woman with a physical disability in the country and the world to play physical disability rugby league nines on the world stage this week at the Rugby League Commonwealth Championships with the New Zealand men's squad.
She might be the only women in her squad but Lisa Adams has the skills to match the men.
Adams says “It's amazing, it's quite humbling being a part of a team that's about to make history.”
Adams, who has cerebral palsy has been a member of NZ Physical Disability Rugby League for four months. The athlete was selected for the side's nines squad that will compete in the first-ever physical disability tri-series at the Rugby League Commonwealth Championships this week in Queensland.
“You don't really get recognition in your community unless you do something like this,” says Adams.
“I feel for the players in our team who have disabilities. They're about to get international recognition representing our country so it's a huge deal and everyone's really excited and really honoured to be a part of it.”
This week Adams, younger sibling to New Zealand sporting heroes Valerie and Steven Adams, was named as the official flag bearer for the event.
It will be her first time as well as for many in the 20-man squad to represent the country for league, something Adams hopes will create awareness and inspire more physically disabled athletes into the sport.
“I hope it will grow bigger. There’s Worlds later on in the year. England already has a PDRL established, Australia has already been established for about six years. Hopefully, everybody else can jump on board and get physically disabled people together who want to have a turn.”
The team departs on Wednesday for their two-match clash against Australia's PDRL side and Commonwealth All-Stars on Friday.