There is no danger of Australia taking their zonal championship for granted as the Steelers named their team for the Asia-Oceania Wheelchair Rugby Championships with the bulk of their world championships.
With no fear of not qualifying for the World Championships, which they are already qualified for as Paralympic Champions and hosts. Despite that Australia are determined to use the tournament, which starts in August, to prepare his squad for a big push for the World Championships.
Australian head coach Brad Dubberly has named a 12 man squad, with nine of them coming from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games squad. Just one member of the squad is in his first international squad, as Australia seek to continuetheir domination of the sport.
“With our world number one ranking on the line, we are not wanting to lose this, particularly leading into a home World Championships in 2018,”said Dubberly. “We won’t be too focused on the results, it will be all aboutthe process and making sure everything we do is at the level we expect. Results will take care of themselves if we play our game.”
The debutant is 32 year old Anthony Gray who will be joining thesquad as a 0.5 player as Australia looks to life after two of the strongest 0.5players in the world. Gray comes in after Ryan Scott and Naz Erdem are no longer in the squad.
As has been usual for over a decade, Australia will be lead by 3.5Ryley Batt, one of the strongest players of the sport of all time. Jason Lees,Andrew Harrison, and Cameron Carr also make up an experienced core of the side.Others appearing from the Rio squad are Chris Bond, Matt Lewis, Jayden Warn,Ben Fawcett, and Andrew Edmondson.
Australian wheelchair Rugby Squad:
Ryley Batt, Chris Bond, Matt Lewis
Cameron Carr, Andrew Edmondson, Andrew Harrison
Jake Howe, Jason Lees
Ben Fawcett, Anthony Gray, Michael Ozanne