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England storm to victory in Wheelchair Rugby International vs France

For the second year running, the England Wheelchair Rugby 7s team faced France in “Le Crunch 2016” – a one off international clash. Wheelchair Rugby 7s is the Rugby Union style version of Wheelchair Rugby, which requires players to have a lot of upper body strength and a range of movement. Unlike the Paralympic version of the game, it is an inclusive sport and able-bodied players regularly compete alongside those with disabilities. Fish Insurance reports on the match…

If the France Wheelchair Rugby 7s team were hoping to win back some respect after a crushing 117-3 defeat at the hands of England in Paris 12 months ago, then they were about to be disappointed.

History repeated itself during “Le Crunch 2016” – which saw England take on France once again in the first full international game of the year.

It resulted in another convincing win for England, this time on home soil at Medway in Kent.

The England team went 5 nil up in the first few minutes alone and continued dominance, particularly when it came to scrums, winning all but one in the first half.

With experienced players from Gravesend Dynamite providing the power house in set plays, the pace of its Captain Martin Lane, combined with new blood and the experience of England’s most capped player – manager Martin Beddis – the half time score was 78-5.

England also had two new debutants in the starting line-up and a further one on the bench who all performed fantastically.

Half time saw changes to the side, with manager Martin Beddis subbing himself to get fresh faces into play. The pressure grew on France and the points against them began to mount. The French played some good flowing rugby and at times looked dangerous on the break, but England’s experienced defence held and the team continued to add to an already impressive score. Wally Salvan, the game’s founder and the French coach, made some tactical changes which resulted in points for France.

The game ended with a flurry. A breakaway try for France received a cheer from spectators and brought an end to the game with a final score of 117-17 to England.

Now the England team is looking to the World Alternative Games (WAG) on Saturday 13th August, which will feature an England development side along with newly formed Scotland and Wales teams. It will take place as part of the Games’ opening weekend event in Powys, mid Wales.

Next, England are looking to gain sponsors and funding to host a Six Nations event later in the year.

For manager Martin Beddis, league action beckons with his team Liverpool Lions, which Fish Insurance is proud to sponsor. The Lions’ pre-season tournament takes place the following week at the Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool. Liverpool Lions WRC (which is the Paralympic version of wheelchair rugby) will host Ulster Barbarians, Canterbury Hellfire and Gloucester WRC in a division 2 warm-up event.

The GBWR/BT league division 2 commences in October and Liverpool, having gained promotion from division 3 as league champions, still hold a 100% win record.

You can keep up to date with both teams’ seasons at:

Liverpool Lions on Twitter @LIVLIONSWRC and on Facebook.

England Wheelchair 7s Rugby on Twitter @ENGLAND7SWRU and on Facebook.

Fish Insurance is a proud sponsor of Liverpool Lions.

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