France retained the European Wheelchair Rugby Championship title with victory over Britain in Cardiff ©wreuro23

France have beaten Paralympic gold medallists Britain 55-49 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to win the European Wheelchair Rugby Championship for the second time in succession to give them a perfect springboard for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The final had been closely fought and the sides were locked at 39-39 when the French crossed the line three times in the last minute of the third quarter.

"We were goal for goal the entire time and they just got a tiny momentum swung on us," Britain’s Aaron Phipps admitted.

In the final quarter of the match the French extended their advantage and eventually scored six tries in all to secure victory.

Last year, France had beaten Britain 44-43 to lift the title in Paris and repeated the feat against a side including seven Paralympic gold medallists.

"I couldn’t be prouder than I am now," France head coach Bob Vanacker said.

"We had the pressure on us to regain the title and we knew that against Team GB on their home soil was going to be hard, they showed this week that they’re so strong, and they showed it in the final as well, they put a lot of pressure on us, but we kept our calm and stuck to our game plan."

Vanacker admitted that playing a tournament in Japan earlier this year had helped his team progress.

"Its just by playing the top teams that you get better - we try to do it as much as possible, we had a tournament in Japan that helped us a lot," Vanacker added.

In the bronze-medal match, Denmark defeated Germany 53-50 to secure qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The decisive Danish score came with only four minutes of the match remaining.

Earlier in the day, Switzerland defeated the Netherlands 46-42 to make sure of fifth place.

At the Paris 2024 Paralympics, wheelchair rugby is scheduled to run from August 29 to September 2 at the Champ de Mars Arena.

The sport is known in France as rugby fauteuil.