13th December 2022
Fixtures have now been confirmed for next May! Our host nation and Paralympic gold medallists Great Britain will face off against first-time competitors Israel in the tournament opening game – on behalf of the GB team, head coach Paul Shaw MBE selected pool B to play against Israel, Denmark and Switzerland. As reigning champions, France completed the final pool A line up, meaning they will face Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic.
Yesterday evening, key representatives and players gathered at the historic Cardiff Castle for the official draw, with Josh Navidi, current Welsh rugby international, and Wynne Evans, Welsh singer performing the draw. GB wheelchair rugby player Stuart Robinson MBE and Welsh Government Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt also watched the draw, with representatives from local Welsh wheelchair rugby clubs acting as flagbearers at the event.
Commenting after the draw, Paul Shaw MBE said: “There was always going to be a transitional period after Tokyo – we didn’t win gold at the European Championship in Paris earlier this year but we’re ready for 2023 now, looking forward to it and really excited to be playing here in Wales. We’re looking forward to getting our own back against France!
“European teams are getting stronger and stronger not only on the European stage but also the world stage now, so we’re not taking anything for granted. We have to go into the tournament with confidence and get the result we need to qualify for Paris 2024.”
Adding to this, Stuart Robinson MBE said: “No matter the pool, this was always going to be a tough draw – after Paris earlier in the year, we’re raring to go and hopefully we’ll come away with a win next year.
“The Principality is such an iconic venue to play in too, for us to have the opportunity to go out there and perform in front of such a massive stadium and to bring some amazing teams over is incredible.
“After Tokyo, we have the eyes of the world on us as Paralympic champions – now we’ll be back on home soil with home support so hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to right some wrongs!”
David Pond, Chair of the WREURO23 Board added: “We’re tremendously excited. This event is everything I could have dreamed of, after a very competitive bid a couple of years ago. I always wanted to bring this event to Wales, so it’s going to be special, never been done before and the first time in a venue like this. I know the magic of the Principality and the magic of being in Wales will shine through.”
For anyone keen to catch up, you can go back and watch the live stream of the draw on Channel 4’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkwXtAdFsA.
Grab your tickets today!
Now the competition fixtures are in place, there’s no better time to bag your tickets. The sale opens today, Tuesday 13 December, at 2pm here – don’t forget that email subscribers will enjoy an early bird offer of 10% off ticket prices!