Cody Everson named Wheel Blacks captain for Paralympics, 10 years on from life-changing accident

It’s been 12 years since the Wheel Blacks featured at the Paralympics so this afternoon’s team naming for this year’s Tokyo Games already had plenty of gravitas to it.

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Cody Everson's All Blacks dream ended when he was 15 in a freak accident so he adjusted his goals and hasn't looked back since. Source: 1 NEWS

However, the reveal also had extra meaning for one player in particular who will now add another chapter to his already-inspiring story.

It's one thing to wear the silver fern but to do it after overcoming trauma like Wheel Black captain Cody Everson has is a whole different achievement.

“I was going to be an All Black,” Everson told 1 NEWS with a grin.

“And no one could have told me I wouldn't have been!”

The 25-year-old’s All Black dreams were right on track as a teenager where he was a school star for Christchurch's Shirley Boys High First XV.

But then, Everson’s life changed forever in a match in June 2011.

“It was the first two minutes of the game and someone tackled me from behind,” he said.

“It was a crazy feeling. As soon as it happened, I lost all movement.

“I was trying to yell for help and I couldn't yell - it was actually our manager who looked on the field and he said he saw fear in my eyes, like he knew something was wrong.”

Everson was just 15-years-old when his All Black dream ended but the following year, he had a new goal of becoming a Wheel Black.

With the new dream came a new life motto too – “Keep rolling on”.

Everson joked he could still give some All Blacks – including school rugby teammate Anton Lienert-Brown  - a run for their money though.

“Don't tell him but I was better than him!”

The Wheel Blacks hope that kind of confidence will help them to take down the world's best in Tokyo.

“I’m the leader of the team, those are my cubs,” Everson said.

“The goal is to medal. We don't want to go there and just take part.”

If his record of achieving goals is anything to go by, the competition will have plenty on their hands come August.