25 Aug 2021

Paralympics: NZ wheelchair rugby team starts today

From Morning Report, 8:39 am on 25 August 2021

The New Zealand Wheelchair rugby team makes its first appearance at the Paralympics since Beijing in 2008 with the aim of restoring some of the pride that made them Olympic Champions.

New Zealand won the gold medal in Athens in 2004, but failed to qualify for the last two Games.

A relatively young and inexperienced New Zealand team will lineup in Tokyo, lead by captain Cody Everson and three time Paralympic swimming gold medalist Cameron Leslie. Their first game is against the USA this afternoon.

New Zealand finished 11th at the 2018 World Championships and last played internationally in 2019.

Everson admits having to prepare for the games in New Zealand with a small pool of players has been tough.