Paul Shaw will continue in his role as head coach of the Great Britain wheelchair rugby team ©GBWR

Paul Shaw will continue as head coach of the Great Britain wheelchair rugby team for this year's International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) European Championships.

Shaw, initially named head coach in 2013, led the British team through the Rio 2016 cycle which saw the team become European champions in 2015 and narrowly miss out on a semi-final place at the Paralympic Games.

The news comes after wheelchair rugby had its funding for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic cycle withdrawn by UK Sport, despite being ranked fifth in the world.

It has prompted a furious reaction with the sport appealing the decision. 

Despite competing at three consecutive Paralympic Games at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 in his playing days, Shaw narrowly missed out on a medal on all three occasions as Britain finished sixth in Sydney and fourth at both Athens and Beijing.

Following Beijing 2008, Shaw began his coaching career in 2009, working with the wheelchair rugby club Crash in Southport.

He coached the Irish national team from November 2010 through to the European Championships in 2011 and was selected to take part in the UK Sport Paralympic coach development programme, from which he graduated in 2011.

Later that year he took up the position of development coach for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, where he has been responsible for identifying and nurturing new talent - many of whom are likely to form the basis of the next GB squad.

Appointed as Shaw's assistant coaches are Rob Tarr and Darren Matthews.

Tarr represented Great Britain in every major tournament between 1996 and 2005, including three Paralympic Games, three World Championships and four European Championships.

Following his retirement from international wheelchair rugby he coached the British development squad between 2006 and 2009, with many of his charges going on to be selected for the senior team.

In 2012 he joined Leicester Tigers wheelchair rugby club as head coach and has led the team to silver and bronze medals in both national and international competition.

Paul Shaw led Great Britain to the quarter finals of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ©Getty Images
Paul Shaw led Great Britain to the quarter finals of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Darren Matthews also joins the coaching staff with extensive playing and coaching experience.

As a player he has won league, national and European titles before making the full transition to coaching with Leicester before becoming Britain's lead northern talent coach and eventually assistant coach in the talent development programme.

"I am delighted that Paul Shaw will continue as head coach," said Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby chief executive David Pond.

"Over the last four years he has built a strong squad blending new talent alongside the established faces.

"The appointments of Rob Tarr and Darren Matthews as assistant coaches really makes this a powerful coaching team.

"Rob and Darren bring subtly different skills to the mix but what I really like about all three men is their belief in the squad’s ability to medal and their selfless commitment to the development of our athletes at a very challenging time."

The Conlog Arena in Koblenz in Germany has been announced as the host venue of the 2017 European Championship Division A tournament.

Due to be held between June 24 and July 1, the Championships will bring together the top eight teams from the IWRF European Zone.

Host country Germany will be joined by reigning champions Britain, Denmark, France, Ireland and Sweden, all of which finished in the top six at the 2015 Championships A Division.

Completing the draw will be Finland and Poland.