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Top eight wheelchair rugby teams to battle

The world’s top eight ranked wheelchair rugby squads will all take part in this week’s 2013 Denmark Wheelchair Rugby Challenge. 04 Jun 2013
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Wheelchair rugby - London 2012

Australian wheelchair rugby team in action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

ⒸGetty Images
By Beau Greenway | For the IPC

This unique tournament offers some vital match time for the world’s best wheelchair rugby players and will act as crucial preparation for the nations competing in the European Championships this August.

The 2013 Denmark Wheelchair Rugby Challenge gets underway on Thursday (6 June) at the Stadium Arena Fyn in Odense.

The world’s top eight nations in the sport will be competing across four massive days in what looms as highly exciting tournament.

The teams will be split into two separate pools with the top two from each side of the draw qualifying for semi-finals.

After taking home gold at the London Paralympics last year, Australia hold the No. 1 ranking and are followed by Canada and USA, respectively.

Australia, USA, Sweden and host nation Denmark make up Pool A while Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and Belgium will face off in Pool B.

This unique tournament offers some vital match time for the world’s best wheelchair rugby players and will act as crucial preparation for the nations competing in the European Championships this August.

Denmark will get the tournament underway when they clash with Sweden and will be followed by Japan and Belgium to round out day one.

Friday (7 June) is set to be an enormous day of competition with all eight nations in action throughout across seven back-to-back games.

Saturday (8 June) features the clashes of the top seeds from both sides of the draw, in Pool A Australia line up against USA and in Pool B Canada clash with Japan with the top two from each group booking a finals berth.

The tournament will draw to a close on Sunday (9 June) with the final four games deciding the overall tournament standings.

Here’s breakdown of the teams taking part (world ranking in parenthesis):

1. Australia

Squad: Ben Newton, Cameron Carr, Chris Bond, Curtis Palmer, Jason Lees, Joshua Hose, Michael Ozanne, Naz Erdem, Ryan Scott, Ryley Batt

Coach: Brad Dubberley

2. Canada

Squad: Miranda Biletski, Ian Chan, Patrice Dagenais, Byron Green, Garrett Hickling, Trevor Hirschfield, Fabien Lavoie, Zak Madell, Cody Caldwell, Patrice Simard, Michael Whitehead, David Wilsie.

Coaches: Patrick Cote, Kevin Orr

3. USA

Squad: Andy Cohn, Chad Cohn, Chuck Aoki, Chuck Melton, Clayton Braun, Derrick Helton, Eric Chase, Eric Newby, Ernie Chun, Jeromy Brown, Joe Delgrave, Josh Wheeler

Coaches: James Gumbert, Sue Tucker

4. Japan

Squad: Daisuke Ikezaki, Hidefumi Wakayama, Kazuhiko Kanno, Kotaro Kishi, Masayuki Haga, Naoki Watanabe, Shin Nakazato, Shinichi Shimakawa, Takeshi Shoji, Tomoaki Imai, Yu Nagayasu, Yukinobu Ike.

Coaches: Adam Frost, Makiko Harada

5. Great Britain

Squad: Mohammed Islam, Jonathon Coggan, Myles Pearson, Mike Kerr, Alan Ash, Chris Ryan, Ayaz Bhuta, Mandip Sehmi, Ross Morrison, David Anthony, Jim Roberts, Luke White

Coaches: Paul Shaw, Darren Ransome

6. Sweden

Squad: Glenn Adaszak, Rickard Lofgren, Stefan Jansson, Alfredo Alvarez, Roger Lindberg, Andreas Collin, Tomas Hjert, Mikael Widlund, Tobias Sandberg

Coach: N/A

7. Belgium

Squad: Ludwig Budeners, Peter Genyn, Raf Hendrix, Ive Thuwissen, Bob Vanacker, Ronald Verhaegen, Frederik Windey

Coach: Bob Vanacker

8. Denmark

Squad: Kurt Busk, Martin Kaas Hansen, Thomas Pagh, Jesper Kruger, Mike Borgstrom, Thor Johansson, Jon Johanneson, Leon Jorgensen, Sebastian Frederiksen

Coaches: Thor Johansson, Torben Nygaard