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Wheelchair Rugby

Tigers ready for Quad Nations 2020 challenge this weekend

LTWR players Nick Cummins, Jamie Stead, Gavin Walker and international debutant Jack Smith will represent Team GB squad in this weekend'sKing Power Quad Nations 2020 tournament.

Gavin Walker will take on a co-captaincy role alongside teammate Chris Ryan and is relishing another opportunity to pull on a Great Britain vest in Leicester.

Australia and the USA will provide Britain with a fresh challenge as they prepare for the Tokyo Paralympic Games later in the year. 

“To have this tournament based in Leicester is fantastic as a Tigers player and for our community,” he said.  “More importantly, it’s making the sport more accessible to our fans who follow the sport and others that want to see it for the first time. 

Walker has been playing wheelchair rugby for nine years and became a full-time athlete in 2013. He had worked for the fire service, but his life changed significantly in 2010 when he slipped on some wet decking and suffered a broken neck.

He explains: “Such a traumatic accident in front of most of my family was horrible and the following six months in hospital was equally tough. My career in the fire service came to an end after my injury and I still miss my time there and have many great memories. 

“Parts of the job I miss the most I find in wheelchair rugby - the professionalism, routine, hard work and team environment.”

Walker was selected for the national squad in 2013 and has since competed at the European and World Championships.

“I can say the change to my life has been dramatic,” he said.  “From a physical perspective it helped me regain my strength and in turn made my day to day life so much easier. 

“Finding a group of people with similar interests that have experienced a similar injury was the support I needed to fully rehabilitate and become independent after my accident.”

Earlier in the week, the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby were treated to an exclusive tour of Leicester City’s training ground at Belvoir Drive with the club's sponsor King Power backing the event for its third year.   

Tigers' Cummins and Stead were joined by head coach Paul Shaw, team manager Lee Stutely and players Chris Ryan and Jim Roberts who visited teh club's facilities by LCFC club ambassador Alan Birchenall. 

The King Power Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations will be broadcast live on the BBC Sport’s digital platforms this weekend with streams available on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app. 

Tickets are available for all three days. Simply click here and don't forget Tigers fans can take advantage of a 50% discount.

SCHEDULE 

Friday, February 21 
10.45-12.35 - USA v Australia 
14.45-16.35 - Great Britain v USA 
18.45-20.35 - Great Britain v Australia 

Saturday, February 22 
10.45-12.35 Australia v USA 
14.45-16.35 Australia v Great Britain 
18.45-20.35 USA v Great Britain 

Sunday, February 23  
10.45-12.35 2nd v 3rd – winner plays in the final 
14.45-16.35 Final