5 August 2019
GB enter European Championships on top form
GB are embracing their favourites tag as they aim for a seventh gold medal at the Wheelchair Rugby European Championships.
Paul Shaw’s side, who open against Switzerland on Wednesday, are highly fancied to claim a third successive continental crown in Velje, Denmark.
And with qualification for next year’s Paralympics on offer for the nations winning gold and silver, 1.5 classification player Nick Cummins says nothing less than gold will do.
“Winning the last European Championships was a massive moment for us and the goal is to win a third in a row,” he said.
“The Europeans have a slightly different feel. We tend to play the European teams a bit more than other international teams and know each other a bit better.
“There’s a bit more familiarity, but they’re all really competitive teams. It’s going to be an exciting tournament.”
It's going to be an exciting tournament
Great Britain are the highest-ranked European team in the IWRF world rankings, placed fourth, with France the next highest in sixth and hosts Denmark sitting seventh.
Eight of Shaw’s ten-strong squad have represented their country at a Paralympic Games, and both Cummins and Stuart Robinson have featured at World and European Championships.
GB are in buoyant mood having claimed gold and slayed two titans of the sport at the recent Lakeshore Quad Nations tournament.
Double European champion Jamie Stead will once again feature
They claimed the scalps of both Australia and USA, who have won five of the six Paralympic titles between them since the sport was introduced in 1996, at the event in Alabama, laying down a marker for Tokyo.
And there were a host of outstanding individual displays at the Quad Nations as Johnny Coggan, Ryan Cowling, Jamie Stead and Jim Robe were all awarded best in class.
They have been drawn in Pool B, starting their campaign against the Swiss who are making their first appearance at the European Championships since 2013.
They face Poland, who bested Canada at the 2018 World Championship, on Thursday before rounding off the group stage against the hosts on Friday.
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Head coach Shaw targets European Championships for Paralympics spot
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Great Britain through to Wheelchair Rugby World Championships semi-final
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Great Britain step up medal chase at Wheelchair Rugby World Championships
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