DECLAN Roberts is ready for a house division when he takes on his own father at a world championship.
Mind you, he’s used to getting earaches from Phil – he’s his coach at Wigan!
The father and son will be on opposite sides as England take on Ireland at London’s Copper Box today.
Phil qualifies for Ireland as his grandparents were from the Emerald Isle, a generation too far for his boy.
And there won’t be any let-up, even if it means one of the giant metal-on-metal chair collisions that made the wheelchair game the star of the show.
“I’ve never played him competitively,” Roberts said. “I’m pretty confident it will be a first.
“We saw each other a few times as our hotels are not far apart. At the moment everything is quite normal, but I’m sure that will have changed with the first whistle today.
“And 100 percent we will be ready to crash into each other. There will be no holding back and we will treat each other like normal opponents.
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“It will be foe versus foe throughout the game and then back to normal afterwards. He’s been my coach for 15-20 years, he also coached me in running rugby with the Leyland Warriors.
“And because of Dad, I started playing wheelchair rugby. Since he was disabled we could play games together that way, from then on it was removed.
“A few family members will be there. They will try to remain neutral and support both of us.”
So far England’s campaign has played two games, won two, scored 142 points, conceded 20 goals and set two world attendance records.
And Sunday’s 3,268 for the second game against Spain came as more of a shock than the 3,033 for the opener against Australia.
The 25-year-old added: “We were told there would be a lot of spectators for the first game but we weren’t sure for the second.
“It was more of a shock, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. Usually we get 10-100 people!
“Now we have to yell at each other because we can’t hear each other speak. It’s not something we’re used to, but we make sure to feed off of it.
“And logging into social media is surreal, wheelchair rugby league is everywhere! Bringing it to a wider audience is great.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6634553/declan-roberts-world-cup-england-ireland-father/ Declan Roberts meets a well-known opponent in the World Wheelchair Championship fight – his father!