Naz Erdem (right) is eyeing success for Australia at the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, which begins in London today ©Getty Images

Australia’s Naz Erdem is hopeful his country can make a successful return to the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the scene of their 2012 Paralympic triumph and where the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge (WWRC) is set to begin today.

The five-day WWRC is the first of its kind and is being held to coincide with the Rugby World Cup currently taking place in England. 

The WWRC features seven of the top-10 teams in the world, including London 2012 Paralympic silver and bronze Canada and the United States.

Australia have already qualified for Rio 2016 following their win at the 2014 World Championships in Danish city Odense, but that will not affect their approach to the competition, according to Erdem.

"There were great memories for us and it showed all our hard work had paid off," he said.

"However, at the same time, that hard work doesn’t stop and we hope to win in London again."

The line-up is completed by hosts Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and France.

Action is due to begin today as Canada take on the US in Pool A looking to replicate their victory from the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games final, while Britain face France in Pool B.

The top two teams from each group will reach the semi-finals with the winners contesting the gold medal match on Friday (October 16).

The World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge will be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Australia captured the Paralympic title during London 2012
The World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge will be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Australia captured the Paralympic title during London 2012 ©Getty Images

Following the WWRC, Australia will have a further opportunity to justify their world number one ranking at the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) Asia-Oceania Championships in Japan, where they will be aiming to defend their crown from October 26 to November 1.

"The goal is still to win every competition we play in and we’re going to try different things when we go to London and Japan," said Erden, who has been to four Paralympics, starting at Sydney 2000 before appearing at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

"We’ve been training hard, but we’re sure all the other teams have been doing the same and will be trying to work out how to beat us."

Host nation and number four ranked Japan are expected to push Australia all the way in the battle for regional supremacy.

"They’ve been a threat for many years and have come a long way," Erdem said.

"They’re a really strong team and have some new members that will be gaining experience.

"We’re expecting they will come out hard against us, but we’ll be doing the same against them."

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