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If You Don't Know About The Quidditch World Cup Yet, You Must Be A Muggle

And it turns out our Aussie team are defending champs.

While the nation watches the Socceroos and their campaign for World Cup glory in Russia, another Australian team are hopping on their broomsticks in Italy for a World Cup with a magic twist.

The fourth ever Quidditch World Cup is being held in Italy this month with 29 teams from around the world competing for the title.

And as it turns out, we Aussies are a big deal in the Quidditch world -- as our National team will be looking to defend the title this year.

The Dropbears (yes, that is the best Aussie team name ever) took out the previous championship beating long-time rivals the U.S.A, and remain firm favourites of the tournament this year.

Quidditch was of course made famous by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and years later in 2005 muggles begun to play the full-contact, mixed-gender sport in Vermont, and it's since become recognised globally.

Of course the Dropbears' broomsticks don't fly (yet) but many of the key elements of Rowling's magical game remain.

Dropbears Team 1
Dropbears Team 1 Source: Quidditch Australia

Each game can have a maximum of seven players with three Chasers passing the Quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) and attempting to score through three hoops, which are guarded by a Keeper. Meanwhile two beaters throw bludgers (slightly deflated dodgeballs) at opposition players, and of course there is a seeker who has the important role of catching the Snitch -- or in this case, a velcro tag attached to the back of a player.

Image: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

Team Vice Captain Luke Derrick says the mood going into the World Cup is much more confident than in 2016. He believes his team has the talent to win with this year's squad split between new and seasoned players.

"We are a lot more established, a lot more confident going in," Derrick, whose been playing the game since 2012, told ten daily.

He says their fiercest competition is likely to come from the U.S., who'll be looking to take home their third title.

"They still believe that they're the best Quidditch country in the world," Derrick said.

"I think our top level of players are equal to theirs, but they have a lot more people at that upper level because they have so many more teams."

As the President of Quidditch Australia, Derrick said he knows that it's still considered a relatively "out there sport."

And despite having over 30 competitive teams across the country, Derrick said the sport is expanding at a slower rate than before.

Most national players start their Quidditch careers at university, where the sport has flourished and the rivalry between university teams in local and national competitions is fierce.

The Dropbears will be looking to claim their second World Cup title. Image: Facebook (Quidditch Australia)

Derrik said the next step for Quidditch Australia will be to introduce the sport in high schools, so that it doesn't seem so "out there" to join Quidditch societies when students reach university.

"It's quite a tactical sport," Derrick added.

'It's not just physically taxing, but mentally taxing as well, and if you're not fully awake for the game it's a huge element on how well you play, and that's something that's really overlooked."

The Dropbears will lead a 29 player team at the World Cup this month, with the Aussies taking on Vietnam, Austria, The Netherlands and the U.S. in the pool stage.

The week-long competition is set to kick-off on the 27th June.