Golden Rollers Return To Tournament Action

Golden Rollers Return To Tournament Action

After their IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship gold medal triumph in July, the Australian Rollers return to action this week at the Kitakyushu Champions Cup in Japan.

The three-day tournament will see the Rollers face Great Britain and Japan on the opening days of the competition, before playing in either the gold or bronze-medal game in the finale.

The event marks the first tournament for the Rollers since they claimed the gold medal at the 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in July, whilst serving as the next step for the Rollers in preparation for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

“It’s always great to travel with the team and be a part of the Rollers,” explained Head Coach Ben Ettridge.

“It’s really exciting to be taking pretty much a brand new team. We’ve got three guys that competed in the World Cup in the team and then we selected three players that have who have never represented the Australian Men’s team at a senior level.

“To be able to put eleven guys out there that we know are going to compete and represent the Rollers at the highest level is pretty exciting.”

The eleven-man squad includes experienced stars including Jannik Blair and Luke Pople, whilst also including faces familiar to the Rollers program such as Shawn Russell, Josh Allison and Michael Auprince.

Veterans including Justin Eveson, Brad Ness, Tristan Knowles, Michael Hartnett and Nick Taylor have all been omitted from selection, as the Rollers look to provide opportunities for its emerging stars.

“Blooding young players is vital to our success. We’re starved of opportunities due to our location and the limited abilities to participate in international competition,” Ettridge continued.

“We’ve put the boys that have been selected through a solid ten-week Paralympic preparation program. We’ve prepared them the exactly the same way we would if they were travelling to a Worlds or Paralympics.”

Other notable omissions from the squad include Shaun Norris and Jordan Bartley (injury) and Tom O’Niell-Thorne (exams).

Each game will be live-streamed and can be accessed via this link.


Friday 14th November         Australia vs. Great Britain, 3PM AEST.

Saturday 15th November     Australia vs. Japan, 1PM AEST.

Sunday 16th November        Australia vs. Korea, 11AM AEST. Bronze Medal Game, 2PM AEST. Gold Medal Game, 4PM AEST.


Shawn Russell

Adam Deans

Matt McShane

Andrew Liddawi

Ryan Morich

Jannik Blair

Samuel White

Michael D’Amelio

Luke Pople

Joshua Allison

Michael Auprince


Ben Ettridge – Head Coach

Luke Brennan – Assistant Coach

Ryan Campbell – Physiotherapist