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12 October 2018

Ahead of this weekend’s game against Workington Town, Lions’ prop forward Paul Wood spoke to swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk to explain how important the game is to the club.

Swinton Lions prop forward Paul Wood has expressed the importance of this weekend’s fixture for the Heywood Road side and believes it will be the biggest game of anybody’s career within the squad.

The former England international and Warrington Wolves forward joined the Lions in a mid-season transfer, with the goal of helping to secure a Championship spot for the side in 2019.

This Sunday, the Lions face League One’s Workington Town for the last place in an expanded 14-team Championship League in 2019.

Leon Pryce’s side missed out on their first chance of promotion, falling 27-8 to Bradford Bulls, but they will travel to Heywood Road with the aim of taking the final spot in the second division.

The Lions were confirmed a home fixture following a coin toss, with Andy Mazey and Stuart Littler present for the flip.


“When I watched it on the internet, I felt sorry for Stuart Littler as he didn’t have a clue how to flip the coin,” Wood joked.

“Stuart did a decent job in the end after they told him how to flip a coin.

“It’s good to get the home game as it gets the Swinton fans down, it’s the biggest game of the year and with the Grand Final offer, people around the North West, Lancashire and Cheshire can all get down hopefully and support Swinton.

“I’m sure Workington will bring a strong following too, as Cumbria is rugby mad. It should be a good atmosphere down there.”

The Lions involvement in the play-off game was confirmed following a 40-6 defeat to Batley Bulldogs at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, which saw forward Aaron Hall score his second try of the season.

“It’s a shame we’re involved in this game,” Wood explained.

“I’ve come in and the situation from the beginning was all about staying in the Championship. After we beat Rochdale, it was looking like we were going to manage to achieve the goal but we couldn’t pick up another win.

“At the end of the day, results dictate where we play and unfortunately it comes down to this one. It’s not a game we want to be involved in, but we must make sure we turn up this weekend and play because we all know the consequences if we don’t. There’s massive pressure, but we’ve got to make sure it’s not taken into the game. We need to go out and play like we know how to play.”


Wood has made four appearances for the Lions since joining the squad, in a move he believes helped bring the passion for rugby league back to his life.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s been a good experience,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Stuart and obviously played against him quite a lot during my career, it’s been really good. I lost a bit of passion for rugby league towards the end of my career and that’s why I came out of rugby. I wanted to see if I still had a bit of fire in my belly for the game and coming back to Swinton has enlightened it. Speaking to Andy Mazey and all the directors, it’s been really refreshing to see the future for the club.”

Tickets were recently announced from Swinton Lions (click HERE to find out more), with Chairman Andy Mazey promoting the game across all platforms. Most recently, he appeared on That’s TV Manchester and the League One Show.


“You only have to speak to Andy once to see that he’s passionate,” explained Wood.

“He loves rugby league and he loves Swinton Lions. He’s a very smart guy and he’s doing all the right things to promote this game and get Swinton fans through the door. The offer they’ve put on with the Grand Final tickets is an amazing thing to do and hopefully it will get as many people as they can to Swinton. It’s the also the last professional game of the year, so it would be fantastic if people could get themselves down and watch it.”


The squad enjoyed a weekend off last week, as Bradford hosted Workington, but preparations have been well underway explained the forward.

“Training has been focusing on this week. We keep saying it every week about leaving nothing in the tank and pushing ourselves and making sure we’re doing all the little things right and nothing will change in that respect.

“Being involved this last couple of months, it’s clear the lads are ready every week. I’ve said this to the lads in the video sessions, you can never question the commitment and the effort that they put in. They try their best every single week. This week we must make the right decisions and be smart.

“You can never question the effort from the boys, they put 100% effort into the shirt and play for Stuart. We just need to be relaxed and bring the best performance of the year and get the win this week.

“We’re saying the right things in training and practising but it all comes down to what happens on the field and this week has to be the biggest game of anybody’s career. We can’t afford to not do the little things. Someone once told me when I was younger, don’t tell me show me, and that’s basically what it’s got to be this week. We’ve got to go out and do it. Its’ going to be practise this week as much as we can.”

Swinton Lions’ Josh McAllister was speaking to Paul Wood.


Swinton Lions welcome all rugby league fans as well as those coming to support Workington on Sunday.

Ahead of the game, the club would like to confirm the following ticket prices.


Sunday 14th October


Adults: £18 (17 to 64 years)

Concessionaires: £13 (over 65s and Student Card Holders)

Juniors: £2

This allows access to any part of the ground, including the main stand seating area.

Going to the Grand Final at Old Trafford? Come and join us at Heywood Road on Sunday for just £10. Just bring your valid ticket stub to secure this special price.

Grand Final Ticket Holders:  £10


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