Murder on Caroline Springs centre court

Queensland’s Chris Bond tips on one wheel as he chases Victoria’s Jason Lees. Photo: Shawn Smits

Caroline Springs was home to an action-packed wheelchair rugby competition at the weekend.

Teams from across Australia and Canada flew in to take part in the Fierce 4 Rugby Challenge, pitting the Canadian national side and Victorian Queensland, Western Australian and New South Wales state teams against each other.

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The Canadians took on the tournament as part of their training for the Paralympics next year.

Wheelchair rugby, also known as murderball, is practised in more than 20 countries and played by athletes with a disability.

The game was originally called murderball due to the intensity of the physical contact between wheelchairs.

Paralympian and Victoria Protect Thunder coach Bryce Alman says the sport is fast-paced and full of energy. “Wheelchair rugby is a fast, full-contact sport. It’s not called murderball for nothing,” he said. “You have to be fearless and willing to put your body on the line.”

Despite its intensity, wheelchair rugby is family-friendly. Australia is currently ranked world number one by the International Rugby Federation.

Players did their best at the weekend to show they’ve got what it takes to wear the green and gold at the Paralympics next year.