The wait is finally over with the 2018 IWRF World Championship in Sydney, Australia, less than a day away.
Here is a rundown of the week’s key moments:
Day one (5 August)
Following the opening ceremony, host nation Australia goes head-to-head with Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at 14:00 local time. The Australians are expected to get their title defence off to a winning start, but stranger things have happened. New Zealand claimed a victory and took the Steelers to double-overtime in a five-match series last year.
Other key clashes on the opening day include Canada v France (16.30) and Sweden v Denmark (17:00). France can stamp its credentials as a team to watch in Pool B if it upsets a new-look Canadian outfit, while just one goal has separated Sweden and Denmark in their past two meetings at the IWRF European Championship, with Sweden prevailing on both occasions.
Day two (6 August)
Denmark and Ireland will be an interesting all-European clash to kick-start day two at 11:00.
Pool B favourites the USA won’t have it easy against the rapidly-improving Great Britain at 13.30. Is this Great Britain’s chance to finally reach the podium at a major world event?
Day three (7 August)
Great Britain and Canada have had plenty of epic battles in recent years and the opening game on court one (11:00) should continue that tradition. Victory for either side could be the difference between finishing second and third in the pool, and, with only the top-two from each pool in the hunt for the medals, it doesn’t get much more important for both nations.
Colombia and Poland open proceedings on court two at 10:00, meeting for the first time since their double-overtime thriller at the World Championship qualifying tournament in Switzerland in April.
New Zealand faces Ireland at 15.30 on court two in what will be another rematch from the qualifier. Ireland prevailed against the Wheel Blacks in the final in Switzerland to claim gold and book their place at the World Championship for the first time.
Day four (8 August)
The world’s top-four ranked teams lock horns on day four of competition.
Australia meets Japan with the winner likely to finish top of Pool A, while traditional rivals USA and Canada meet in Pool B, which could be a tournament-defining clash for the two of the powerhouses of wheelchair rugby.
Both games are played at 18.30 local time and will round out day four’s action.
Day five (9 August)
The fifth day of the competition will decide who will be playing for the medals.
Semi-finals will be played at 15.30 on court two and 16:00 on court one.
Day six (10 August)
Overall positions will be determined on the sixth and final day of competition.
Action begins at 09.30 for the minor placings, the bronze medal game will be staged at 13.45, before the World Championship gold medal showdown commences at 16:00.