1st December 2022
We’re excited to announce that the official competition draw for the 2023 Wheelchair Rugby European Championship will be held at the iconic Cardiff Castle! The draw is set to go ahead at 5.30pm, Monday 12 December, with tickets going on sale on Tuesday 13 December. As one of Wales’s leading heritage attractions, Cardiff Castle will provide a spectacular backdrop for the draw that determines which of our teams will go head-to-head in the opening pool stages of the tournament.
Performing the official draw for the event in the Cardiff Castle undercroft will be Richard Allcroft, World Wheelchair Rugby President, and a current Welsh Rugby Union international player. Also in attendance will be Great Britain’s Stuart Robinson MBE and Great Britain Head Coach Paul Shaw MBE, as well as Justin Frishberg, representing the French team as current defending European champions and Jane Hutt, Welsh Minister for Social Justice. Players from local wheelchair rugby clubs will also act as flagbearers for each of our eight countries competing at the event; Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Israel and Czech Republic.
The format of the draw will consist of the eight competing nations being drawn into two pools. Nations will be paired based on their world rankings, with the lowest ranked pair being drawn first into separate pools. This continues until the final pair, when host nation Great Britain, represented by GB Head Coach Paul Shaw, selects the pool they wish to join.
Our Event Director Chris Walker comments: “We’re delighted that Cardiff Castle is the venue to host the official competition draw for our event. As an instantly recognisable Welsh location with over 2000 years of history, it is fitting that we start our European Championship story here before heading to the Principality Stadium next May, an equally iconic location that we feel privileged to bring wheelchair rugby to.
“We really hope that this is just the start – that rugby-loving Welsh fans will really get behind this spectacular sport for what is set to be an incredible event held for the first time in Wales.”
Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, added: “It is fantastic that the 2023 Wheelchair Rugby European Championship will be held in Wales and the official draw brings us one step closer to the showpiece event.
“We have given our full backing to this tournament and wish it the best of success. Fans will be in for a treat when the action starts and we hope it encourages many to take up the sport.”
The competition draw will be live streamed via the Channel 4 YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkwXtAdFsA.