Sydney 2018: Four storylines to watch

Expect big things from Australia, Great Britain and Japan at Worlds 03 Aug 2018
wheelchair rugby players from Australia, Japan, Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden in action on the court

Australia, Japan, Great Britain and Sweden could all feature in key storylines at Sydney 2018

ⒸGetty Images/IWRF
By Beau Greenway | For the IPC

With the wheelchair rugby World Championship just two days away, what are the key storylines you should be looking out for in Sydney, Australia?


Australia out to make more history

A win on home soil at the Worlds will create another slice of history for Australia. The Steelers will become the first team in wheelchair rugby to hold two Paralympic and two World Championship titles at the same time. The USA won the first two editions of the Worlds in 1995 and 1998, as well as claiming gold at the first official Paralympic medal event at Sydney 2000. A win for Australia would also see them become the first team to win the world title on home soil.


Japan or Great Britain to break through

Both teams have been so close as Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand fought it out for the major medals. Japan are in Pool A alongside defending champions Australia but should have enough quality to get through to the semi-finals, where a potential match-up against USA awaits. The teams were separated by just one goal at Rio 2016. The same goes for Great Britain in Pool B, who have finished fourth at the Worlds on two occasions. If they can topple Canada in the pool phase and finish second behind group favourites USA, they could set up a potential showdown with the Australians, who only got them by two goals in their opening match at Rio 2016.


Everyone is beatable

This year’s World Championship is regarded as the most evenly matched in the sport’s history. It is quite possible all 12 teams at the event will finish with at least one victory. Poland enter the tournament as the lowest-ranked side but beat Pool B rivals Colombia in the qualification event in April. Ireland (world No.19) are behind every other team at the tournament in the rankings, but heads to Sydney in excellent form after winning gold at the same qualifying event, beating New Zealand and Colombia along the way.


Danish delight

Denmark would love nothing more than to exact revenge against European rivals Sweden. They meet in their opening game of the tournament on 5 August, after both were drawn in Pool A. Sweden have denied Denmark by the smallest of margins in the semi-finals at the past two IWRF European Championships, 57-56 in 2017 and 58-57 in 2015. Denmark got the better of Sweden in the classification round at their home Worlds in 2014 before going on to finish the tournament in sixth place. With former US star Jason Regier taking over as head coach and building a strong squad, the Danes will have a good chance to get another victory under their belts.