Rollers Ready For European Tour

The Rollers have announced their squad of 15 who will travel to The Netherlands and Belgium later this month

The Rollers have announced their squad of 15 who will travel to The Netherlands and Belgium later this month, with two debutants eager to pull on the green and gold.

Crafty high-pointer Jaylen Brown and speedy mid-pointer Andrew Dewberry have been included in the squad along with teammates and Tokyo Paralympians, Tristan Knowles, Samuel White and Frank Pinder.

“Putting on the green and gold to represent my country means everything to me,” Brown said.

The two-week tour of the Netherlands and Belgium forms part of their preparations for the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation IWBF World Championships.

The European tour kicks off with a five-day training camp in The Netherlands where the hosts will challenge the Aussies to a round of friendlies ahead of the six-nations 2023 Easter Tournament in Belgium.

The Rollers will then make the short journey to Belgium and face-off between some of the heavy hitters that they can expect to take on in June at the World Championships.

Paralympic bronze medallists Great Britain will lead the contenders for the Easter Tournament, with The Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and Canada all looking to get the upper hand over Australia ahead of the World Championships.

Speaking ahead of the team's departure to The Netherlands on April 1, Rollers coach Grant Mizens expressed his excitement for the upcoming European tour.

“The Rollers European Tour will provide players another opportunity to make their case for World Championship selection against world class opposition,” he said.

“Being able to play against top tier international teams will provide players and coaches an opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses at both ends of the court, which will inform preparations through to the World Championships.

“This is a great opportunity to continue to solidify improvements made since Tokyo 2020, and we are all excited to test our hard work on the international stage.”

Mizens went on to describe the depth of the 15-strong extended squad, which boasts a diverse range of experience, from rising stars vying for their first major tournament, to five-time Paralympians, making the competition fierce for a spot in the final 12.

The 2022 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships (originally scheduled for November 2022) will take place in Dubai from June 9-20.

To keep up with the Rollers journey, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Australian Rollers Squad – European Tour
Michael Auprince Jannik Blair Jaylen Brown Andrew Dewberry Jake Kavanagh Tristan Knowles Bill Latham Eithen Leard Clarence McCarthy-Grogan Shaun Norris Tom O’Neill-Thorne Frank Pinder Kim Robins Shawn Russell Samuel White

Photo courtesy of Paralympics Australia

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