Ayaz Bhuta was in top form for Great Britain ©Getty Images

Canada and hosts Great Britain were victorious on the opening day of the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The five-day tournament is taking place for the first time and coincides with the Rugby World Cup which is also ongoing in England.

An anticipated clash between the Canadians and the United States kicked things off in Pool A with the match pitting two of the London Paralympics medallists against each other.

Canada claimed silver in the Copper Box back in 2012, ahead of their neighbours who took bronze, and they were to pip their rivals again with a 58-57 victory.

London 2012 silver medallists Canada began with a victory
London 2012 silver medallists Canada began with a victory ©Getty Images

The tight contest was level at 29-all at half-time after some huge opening hits, which included Canada's Patrice Simard sending American Josh Wheeler to the floor.

In the end the Canadians edged ahead, taking a four-point advantage into the final period, and they held on to win despite a late US rally.

Great Britain were more comfortable in victory as they beat France 55-45 in Pool B. 

Ayaz Bhuta played a starring role in front of his home fans and nine out of the 12 players managed to get on the scoresheet.

Tomorrow, New Zealand face South Africa in Pool A, while Paralympic champions Australia will meet Japan in Pool B.

The New Zealanders will then return to the court to face the US, with Great Britain meeting Australia and South Africa playing the Americans in the evening.

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

Related stories
October 2015:
 Australia return to the scene of London 2012 triumph for BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge
October 2015: Hosts Britain announce 12-man squad for BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge
July 2015: British wheelchair rugby players signed-up as BT Ambassadors
July 2015: ITV to broadcast BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge
May 2015: London Wheelchair Rugby Club Storm take inaugural BT Wheelchair Rugby National Championships title on Olympic Park