Australia have won the International Wheelchair Rugby Cup (IWRC) after beating Canada 53-48 in the final at the Accor Arena in Paris on Sunday.
Australia, who lost to Canada 49-48 in the opening game of IWRC 2023, were dominant throughout the final, with Ryley Batt (pictured centre), considered the world’s best wheelchair rugby player, showing his class from the start, turning over the first ball of the game to send his team in for the opening try.
Batt was heavily involved as Australia took a two-try lead but Canada cut that to one as the first quarter finished 13-12.
Australian again stretched their lead to two tries in the second quarter but back came Canada once more to make it 26-25 at half-time.
The third quarter proved decisive, Batt combining repeatedly with captain Chris Bond to stretch Australia's lead to 40-36 and they never looked back.
Bond said: "We have learned a lot about our opposition countries, what other teams are doing. We have learned a lot about our own game, we have got some new players. It's been a great competition to play the best in the world and test ourselves but knowing that it all means nothing when the  Paralympic Games [also in Paris] come around."
In the bronze final earlier on Sunday, Japan beat hosts France 50-49.
The tournament, run by World Wheelchair Rugby, was in full partnership with World Rugby, Rugby World Cup, host organisers France 2023 and the Fédération Francaise Handisport for the first time.
Wheelchair rugby was created in Canada in 1977 and has evolved into a team sport for male and female athletes with a mobility-related disability in at least three limbs. It is played over four eight-minute quarters.
“We are really proud to have the International Wheelchair Rugby Cup as part of the Rugby World Cup," World Rugby's Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said. "It is really important to present rugby as an inclusive sport."