Quaycentre in Sydney Olympic Park will this week play host to what many are expecting to be the most hotly contested Wheelchair Rugby National Championship in recent memory.
The late inclusion of the New Zealand Wheel Blacks to the tournament complements the five committed Australian state teams, each hoping to leave Olympic Park crowned the 2019 GIO Wheelchair Rugby National Champions.
Having claimed gold in 2018, Queensland have entered two teams for the Championship seeking to continue their recent dominance in the national arena. NSW will be buoyed by a home crowd advantage and the welcome the inclusion of Australian Steelers Captain, Ryley Batt, who was missing through injury last year. The silver medallists in 2018, Victoria have named an experienced squad to be ably led by Australian representative, Jason Lees.
In a great sign for Australian wheelchair rugby, the 2019 National Championship will see the inclusion of the AAMI South Australia Sharks, who are competing for the first time since 2015.
Whilst most of the AAMI SA Sharks squad proudly originate from South Australia, the team have been boosted by the inclusion of a number of Western Australian-based players - a positive sign for the development of wheelchair rugby in Australia.
Wheelchair Rugby Australia’s General Manager, Chris Nay, is excited by what is shaping up to be an exceptional three days of competition.
“Looking at the competing teams, this event has the potential to be the closest Wheelchair Rugby National Championship that Australia has seen for a number of years.”
“This is the pinnacle competition for our sport domestically and the level of play will be exceptionally high. There are matches on Friday and right across the weekend, and I would encourage people to get behind this sport and see the National Championship live. Wheelchair rugby is truly one of the great spectator sports” Mr Nay continued.
Disability Sports Australia and Wheelchair Rugby Australia would like to thank Naming Rights sponsor, GIO, for their continuing support of wheelchair rugby in Australia.
Entry to the Championship is by gold coin and all games will be streamed live via www.wheelchairrugby.com.au!
Friday, 28 June
10:00 Opening Ceremony
11:00 GIO NSW Gladiators v Queensland Cyclones
12:45 AAMI SA Sharks v Suncorp Queensland Tornadoes
14:30 Victoria Protect Thunder v Vero New Zealand Wheel Blacks
16:15 Queensland Cyclones v Suncorp Queensland Tornadoes
18:00 Vero New Zealand Wheel Blacks v GIO NSW Gladiators
19:45 AAMI SA Sharks v Victoria Protect Thunder
Saturday, 29 June
09:30 Suncorp Queensland Tornadoes v Vero New Zealand Wheel Blacks
11:15 Queensland Cyclones v AAMI SA Sharks
13:00 Victoria Protect Thunder v GIO NSW Gladiators
14:45 Vero New Zealand Wheel Blacks v Queensland Cyclones
16:30 Suncorp Queensland Tornadoes v Victoria Protect Thunder
18:15 GIO NSW Gladiators v AAMI SA Sharks
Sunday, 30 June
09:00 Queensland Cyclones v Victoria Protect Thunder
10:30 GIO NSW Gladiators v Suncorp Queensland Tornadoes
12:00 AAMI SA Sharks v Vero New Zealand Wheel Blacks
14:00 Bronze Medal Match
15:30 Gold Medal Match
17:00 Medal Presentation
Further Information: Chris Nay, General Manager, Wheelchair Rugby Australia
M: 0405 036 727