The Irish Wheelchair Rugby team will make history next week as they compete at the IWRF World Championships in Sydney, Australia for the first time ever. The game was first introduced to Ireland in 1997 and is played in Cork, Laois, Dublin and Belfast currently.
The Irish team secured qualification to the upcoming World Championships by winning the IWRF Qualifying competition last April. Beginning the tournament ranked 19th in the World, this was their first major international competition win and a huge achievement in its own right as the team beat higher ranking teams including Brazil 12th and New Zealand 8th on their road to glory.
The GIO 2018 IWRF WRWC will see the world’s best twelve (12) nations compete for the title of World Champion. Competing nations include: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden and USA. The matches will be held at the Quaycentre (formerly the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre) and Genea Netball Centre and will include the Australian Steelers who are the reigning Paralympic and world champions.
The Irish team comprises of 8 players representing the 4 Clubs in Ireland and one from London.
Will Doggart Belfast Ulster Barbarians.
John McCarthy Cork Munster Wheelchair Rugby
Shane Delaney, Tipperary Laois Lions
Ciara Staunton Wicklow Laois Lions
Alan Dineen Cork Munster Wheelchair Rugby
Stephen Aylmer Dublin Gaelic Warriors
Michael O Hanlon Wexford London Wheelchair Rugby
Thomas Moylan Wicklow Gaelic Warriors
The Irish schedule is as follows;
Sunday August 5th Ireland V Japan 5.30am Irish time
Monday Aug 6th Ireland V Denmark 2.00am Irish time
Monday Aug 6th Ireland V Sweden 8.30am Irish time
Tuesday Aug 7th Ireland V New Zealand 6.30am Irish time
Wednesday Aug 8th Ireland V Australia 1.00am Irish time
The livestream will be available here.
Facts about the game…
- This is the first time the IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship has been held in Australia
- Wheelchair rugby is a mixed sport, with both males and females playing on the same team
- The GIO 2018 IWRF WRWC will be the biggest disability sporting event to be held in Sydney since the 2000 Paralympic Games
- Wheelchair Rugby is a full medal Paralympic Sport
- The Australian Wheelchair Rugby Team – The Steelers are the reigning World and Paralympic Champions.
Sun 5 August: Opening Ceremony
Sun 5 – Thu 9 August: Competition
Fri 10 August: Finals Day and Closing Ceremony & Medal Presentation
The full competition schedule can be found here!