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Wheelchair Rugby Nationals. Two players are reaching up to a ball in the air. Standing in front of them is an unpire with a whistle in their mouth.

Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Competition

Melbourne Unicorns crowned champions in 2023 Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Grand Final!

The Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Competition is presented by Disability Sport & Recreation through our Wheelchair Rugby Victoria program. 

 

This is Australia's highest quality local wheelchair rugby competition featuring some of the best wheelchair rugby players in the country.

 

The 2023 season featured ten rounds which were played at Aqualink, Box Hill on Monday evenings.

 

Thanks to the generous support of Clublinks, the 2023 Final Series took place at Narrandjeri Stadium in Thornbury on Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd September. The Grand Final event on 23rd September also featured the first ever Junior Showcase Match, following the launch of our Junior Wheelchair Rugby Program in July 2023.

 

Stay tuned for information on the 2024 season shortly.

Grand Final Day of the 2023 Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Competition certainly lived up to the hype, featuring a thrilling Bronze Medal Match, the first ever Junior Showcase Match and an upset in the highly anticipated Grand Final!


Bronze Medal – Harlequins 33 defeated Box Hill 31
This exciting encounter could have gone either way, with Harlequins narrowly edging out Box Hill for ultimate bragging rights after finishing on equal points in the regular season. Despite Box Hill combining well and keeping up the fight until the final buzzer, Harlequins proved too strong, with key player Josh Hose putting in a strong perfor
mance to lead his team to victory.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Image ID:  Shae Graham from Box Hill is about to catch the ball, surrounded by two other Box

Hill players. Shae has a Harlequins opposition player behind her, and another one wheeling

towards her. They are playing wheelchair rugby on a light coloured wooden floor, with a

Disability Sport & Recreation banner displayed in the background. Box Hill players are wearing

navy blue jerseys, with Harlequins players wearing sky blue and maroon.]

Grand Final – Unicorns 35 defeated Power House 29 
The Grand Final match-up did not disappoint, as both teams came out firing in an attempt to get some early points on the board. With high-quality wheelchair rugby on show from both teams, it was an entertaining afternoon for spectators as neither team shied away from a physical battle. In the end, Unicorns managed to extend the gap on the scoreboard and maintain their discipline against an experienced Power House outfit, ensuring they could bring home the trophy for 2023!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Image ID: Melbourne Unicorns player, Jayden Warn has the ball in his lap, with two Power House players

approaching him. Jayden is wearing a green jersey with yellow trim, and the Power House athletes are

wearing black and green striped jerseys with white trim. They are playing wheelchair rugby on a light

coloured wooden floor.]

Wheelchair Rugby Victoria would like to thank the Melbourne Rebels for coming along to support the Junior Showcase Match, and congratulate the following 2023 award recipients:

MVP, Jayden Warn (Unicorns)

Best Low Pointer, Jason Lees (Power House)

Best Mid Pointer, Antonio Vecchio (Box Hill)

Best High Pointer, Brad Dubberley (Power House)

Semi Final Results | Saturday 16th September

2nd v 3rd - Unicorns 34 defeated Harlequins 20

1st v 4th - Power House 36 defeated Box Hill 26

2023 Final Series Overview

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Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup Grand Final_027-.jpg
Fixture

2023 Protect Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Competition Ladder

Position
Team
Team Name
P
W
L
D
F
A
%
Pts
1
Power House
10
9
1
0
315
274
115%
18
2
Unicorns
10
5
5
0
294
257
114%
10
3
Harlequins
10
3
7
0
275
304
90%
6
4
Box Hill
10
3
7
0
248
297
83%
6
Ladder

2023 Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup Teams

Box Hill Rugby Union logo

Player

Class

Jack Watson

3

Antonio Vecchio (Captain)

2

Shae Graham

2

Matt Ingram

2

Shane Brand

1.5

Brydee Moore

1

Ben Fawcett

0.5

Power House Rugby Union Melbourne logo

Power House

Player

Class

Brad Dubberley

3

Andrew Harrison (Captain)

2

Nathan Bell

2

Justin Goh

2

Jason Lees

1

Scott Mackay

1

James McQuillan

0.5

Harlequins logo

Player

Class

Josh Hose

3

Lenny Redrose

3

Jason Ellery (Captain)

2

Dillan Strella

2

Bryce Alman

2

Shaun Harper

1.5

Anthony Gray

0.5

Unicorns Rugby Union logo

Player

Class

Jayden Warn

3

Ben Owens

3

Percy Aides

2.5

Khadir Faki

2

Rhys Morton

2

Naz Erdem (Captain)

0.5

Christian Brackley

0.5

Teams

2022 Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup Captains’ Profiles 

Antonio Vecchio is smiling towards the camera, has short dark hair and is wearing a blue and purple Protect jersey.
Antonio Vecchio

Team: Box Hill
Date of birth: August 1985
Classification: 2.0

Taking up the sport in 2006, it didn’t take long for Antonio to grab the Victorian selectors’ eyes, earning a spot in the state squad in 2007. The next step for Antonio was the green and gold which he donned for the first time in 2010.

Andrew Harrison is smiling towards the camera, has short blonde hair and is wearing a yellow jersey.
Andrew Harrison

Team: Power House
Date of birth: June 1987
Classification: 2.0

Picking up wheelchair rugby in 2005, Andrew was selected for the Victorian state side in 2007. The same year, he was named rookie of the year. He is now a dual gold medal Paralympian, taking home the top prize at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Jason Ellery is holding a trophy and smiling, he has short brown hair and is wearing a blue, maroon, green and black Protect jersey.
Jason Ellery

Team: Harlequins
Date of birth: May 1986
Classification: 2.0

After a snowboarding accident in 2011 left Jason in a wheelchair, he took up wheelchair rugby as part of his rehab and hasn’t looked back. Debuting for the Steelers in 2013, Jason was a part of the Australian team that won its first world championship gold medal at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Denmark.

Nazim Erdem at Rio 2016, he is smiling towards the camera proudly holding up a gold medal and is wearing and green and yellow Australia jacket.
Nazim Erdem

Team: Unicorns
Date of birth: August 1970
Classification: 2.0

A veteran of the sport, Naz began playing in 1992 and debuted for Australia in 1999. Naz has competed at five Paralympic Games, winning two gold (London 2012, Rio 2016) and two silver medals (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008). A daredevil off the court, Naz was the first person with a spinal cord injury to paraglide solo and participate in the Targa Tasmania car rally.

Captain's Profiles

Supported by

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Victoria Government

The Wheelchair Rugby Victoria program is supported through Together More Active funding.

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Rugby Victoria is the state sporting association for rugby union in Victoria, our competition teams are aligned to rugby union clubs.

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Sponsor of the Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Competition and Victoria Protect Thunder Wheelchair Rugby Team.

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Supporting the development of grassroots wheelchair rugby in Victoria.

Supported by
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