Great Britain wheelchair rugby squad named for Euros

The wheelchair rugby squad features 12 players and is led by captain Chris Ryan. 11 Jul 2015
Mandip Sehmi

Mandip Sehmi

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By GB Wheelchair Rugby

Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby has announced the 12 players who have been selected to compete in the IWRF 2015 European Championships (13 to 20 September 2015) in Pajulahti, Finland.

Currently ranked fifth in the world, Great Britain will play against France, Belgium and Sweden in their opening matches.

Chris Ryan will captain the squad, which includes:

•Alan Ash

•Coral Batey

•Ayaz Bhuta

•Jonathan Coggan

•Bulbul Hussain

•Mike Kerr

•Ross Morrison

•Jim Roberts

•Chris Ryan (Captain)

•Mandip Sehmi

•Jamie Stead

•Gavin Walker (Vice Captain)

Performance Director for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, Lorraine Brown, said: “This is an important tournament for us as it is a qualifier for Rio 2016. Since London 2012 we’ve been honing our squad and introducing a number of younger players to the game who are playing alongside experienced players such as Mike Kerr, Alan Ash and Jonathan Coggan.

“We still have work to do but we are building a strong squad and tournaments such as the European Championships will only help strengthen the team further.”

David Pond, Chief Executive Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, added: “It is an exciting time for the game, our squad is maturing each day and, thanks to the funding support of UK Sport, the Lottery and Sport England, we’ve been able to focus on their development needs, as well as to open more clubs across the UK. In the last year alone we’ve seen three new clubs open and have plans for more over the next 12months. We are also delighted with our new partnership with BT which is already enabling us to further develop the sport.”

The European Championships are only one of many tournaments the squad will take part in ahead of Rio 2016. In October, Great Britain hosts the inaugural BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge which takes place from 12 to 16 October at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London - which will see London 2012 Paralympic gold medallists Australia; silver medallists Canada and bronze medallists USA battle it out for supremacy against hosts Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and France.