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Three Roller Hawks have booked their tickets to the Tokyo Paralympics, but a month of COVID circumventing awaits as case numbers both here and in Japan surge.


Roller Hawks captain Brett Stibners along with Tristan Knowles have been named in the Australian Rollers team today with Luke Pople a shock omission from the final 12.


“I feel really good about being picked. Relieved, excited and a little bit nervous,” says Stibners.

The nerves come from the fact both the Rollers and Gliders are in camp in Darwin while Stibners is stuck in New South Wales lockdown.


It may mean Stibners may not get to train with the team again till they arrive in Tokyo. The Rollers are currently in camp in Darwin with a final camp in Cairns scheduled for August 13-20.


Stibners has been granted an exemption to keep training as he prepares for his fourth Paralympic campaign.


“It’ll be a smallish role. Could be big, but probably smallish, they’re hoping Aupie (Michael Auprince) who was fantastic at camp can continue that into the international games and mine will be more of a supportive role.”


Joining him in the final 12 will be Tristan Knowles who will contest his fifth Paralympics but after missing the final cut in 2016, Luke Pople has again been denied his Paralympic dream.


“Obviously a little bit disappointed, it would’ve been my first Paralympics. They were looking at taking different combinations which didn’t work in my favour,” says Pople.


Pople has been named as first reserve and has also been granted an exemption to stay fit and ready and help his club captain prepare.


“Now it’s my job to keep training, and help the guys that did make it from Wollongong to keep them in shape and keep them going and hopefully ready to go for when they leave.”


Today’s announcement follows the naming of the Australian Gliders’ squad last week which includes Hannah Dodd. 


“I’m really excited, it’s been a long journey. Longer than any of us really expected it to be but I’m super stoked to be going back to my second Paralympics,” says Dodd.


Dodd is already in Darwin and will use the extra preparation time to acclimatise to a new role. 


“We have had a couple of late withdrawals from our squad so we’ve got a very high number of lows, so I’ll probably step up into a bit of a mid-point role and do a bit of ball handling and point guard work as well.” 


“That was one of the main reasons why it was important to get to the camp to try and figure out those structures before we got to pre-staging.” 


The Paralympics begin August 24.


Jannik Blair Hannah Dodd
Samuel White Mary Friday
Matthew McShane Isabel Martin
Jeremy Tindall Taishar Ovens
John McPhail Ella Sabljak
Shaun Norris Sarah Vinci
Tom O'Neill-Thorne Shelley Cronau
Kim Robins Natalie Alexander
Michael Auprince Bree Mellberg
Tristan Knowles Jessica Cronje
Bill Latham Amber Merritt
Brett Stibners Georgia Munro-Cook