Having visited Gravesend to watch a local training session prior to this historic day I was unable to go due to being in Paris to watch France play Australia – oh, to visit my lovely daughter!  (the tickets for the rugby came first :-)) Here’s a short report from the Wheelchair Rugby 7’s organisation.  This really is a great, physical version of the game – and yes it does look like rugby union!
Rugby in Warwickshire is world famous for William Webb-Ellis, the Rugby School and the legend of how rugby started. Well, more history is being made in the ovoid ball capital of the world with wheelchair rugby 7’s – the game that anyone can play!You’ve probably heard of wheelchair rugby aka murderball, an exciting smash ’em and crash ’em paralympic sport that uses a round ball – incredibly exciting but it’s not really rugby is it? However, wheelchair rugby 7’s uses a rugby ball and replicates the game of running rugby union with line outs, conversions, drop goals, mauls, scrums, tries, passing backwards plus lots of hard hitting smashing tackles. Plus anyone can play. It’s so inclusive: men, women, youths, adults, disabled and able bodied all participating together.
And so 16th November with less than a year to go to RWC2015, wheelchair rugby 7’s came to Rugby for a public taster session and an exhibition match England versus the Barbarians. England recent winners of the home nations after beating ireland in the final game, fielded a strong squad of experienced internationals from all over the country and raced in to a 42-0 lead in the first half with six tries all converted by player manager Martin Beddis from Liverpool.
The Barbarians rallied and got a huge cheer from the crowd when they went over for a try but the final score of 76-5 showed England’s dominance.
Wally Salvan from France, W7’s creator was guest referee and stated, ” Rugby is the perfect home for wheelchair rugby 7’s. A fantastic day and we’ll be back. There was action, excitement, thrills and a few spills – a real replication of rugby union. Webb-Ellis would love this!”