World number one United States went winless at the 2014 Swiss Preparation Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. They wracked up two additional losses on the final day of competition, going down 57 – 42 against Belgium and getting crushed 35 – 61 in their game against Great Britain.
For United States fans, the hope is that national team coach Dave Ceruti used the event as an opportunity to try different line ups in advance of the world championships next month. Otherwise, the event is a depressing result for the US side. In June, a team statement said they were using the competition to see how they lined up against other international teams. At that time, Ceruti said, “This is a great group to work with. When building a team, or anything, it’s important to have a strong, solid foundation. And they have it, it’s a fundamentally sound team. […] It’s ironic that Coach Cook and I are going back to the same exact facility and gym that we won a gold medal in at the first rugby world championships in 1995.”
Great Britain, currently ranked fifth in the world, finished competition undefeated. Eleventh ranked Finland finished second. Ninth ranked Belgium finished third. Switzerland, who were 2 -3, finished fourth. Eighth ranked Germany, who went 2 – 3, finished fifth.
The Swiss Preparation Wheelchair Rugby Tournament is a warm up competition for the 2014 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship scheduled to be held from August 1 to 10 in Odense, Denmark. Belgium, Germany, the United States, Great Britain and Finland have all qualified for the event. Only Switzerland is not scheduled to participate in it, despite their participation in the warm up event. Australia and New Zealand, both qualified for the competition, had a warm up event last week with a test in New Zealand.