Story by Wheelchair Rugby Canada
Wheelchair Rugby Canada (WRC) confirmed on Tuesday the 12 athletes headed to Vejle, Denmark to compete at the Wheelchair Rugby World Championship from October 10-16. Led by co-captains Patrice Dagenais and Trevor Hirschfield, Team Canada is equipped with an experienced roster.
“There’s a lot of excitement around this team heading into Worlds,” said Dagenais. “We have worked very hard in the past years to improve our game and we’re looking forward to show everyone how well we can perform when we hit the court in Denmark.”
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
- 3.5 – Zak Madell
- 3.0 – Fabien Lavoie
- 3.0 – Mike Whitehead
- 3.0 – Matt Debly
- 2.5 – Shayne Smith
- 2.0 – Cody Caldwell
- 2.0 – Anthony Létourneau
- 2.0 – Travis Murao
- 1.0 – Patrice Dagenais
- 1.0 – Trevor Hirschfield
- 0.5 – Eric Rodrigues
- 0.5 – Byron Green
Team Canada features 11 athletes returning from Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Squad.
“Very excited to see the team put together for World Championships, said Assistant Coach David Willsie. “It was hard fought for every single spot on the squad. We have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young hungry guys, hopefully that powers us through to a gold medal.”
Ranked sixth internationally, Canada is coming off a silver Medal finish at 2022 Canada Cup in June, having been narrowly defeated by Japan in overtime.
“We’re at the point where there’s no days off when you go to a World Championships, I don’t get to hung up on who’s in what division,” continued Willsie. “If we’re going to go all the way, we got to beat all the teams anyway. With the quarterfinal added this year, it makes for an extra elimination game, so I think there’s going to be a lot of great games and possibilities for us along the way.”
Team Canada opens their tournament against Australia in Group B.
“I very pleased with the team's progression since our season start in March in Colombia, said Coach Patrick Côté. “We played a lot of games against top competition to prepare for Worlds this year, and I'm proud of how the team did. The confidence is there, which will be essential to thrive in what will be a very competitive event.”
Canada had finished sixth at the previous 2018 World Championships held in Sydney.
Hirschfield reflects on his fifth appearance at World Championships: “As I sit back and remember the stories we still tell from my first world championships, it’s hard to believe that my name will be on the worlds roster for the 5th time. I love it, how could it ever get old?”
Group A: Great Britain (2), United States (3), France (5), New Zealand (8), Germany (10) Switzerland (12)
Group B: Japan (1), Australia (4), Canada (6), Denmark (7), Brazil (9) Colombia (11)
GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE
Match 1 – Canada vs. Australia
October 11, 9:45am ET, 6:45am PT
Match 2 – Japan vs. Canada
October 12, 3:00am ET, 12:00am PT
Match 3 – Colombia vs. Canada
October 12, 11:00am ET, 8:00am PT
Match 4 – Brazil vs. Canada
October 13, 4:00am ET, 1:00am PT
Match 5 – Canada vs. Denmark
October 13, 12:00pm ET, 9:00am PT
The complete tournament schedule can be found here.
Streaming will be available via the Paralympic Super Series. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.