Atlanta Sevens preparation includes series with Japan

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January 30, 2014 (ISN) – Rugby Canada and Shawnigan Lake School are hosting Japan’s National Women’s Sevens team for the time between the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens Tournament last weekend and the next IRB Women’s Seven World Series (WSWS) stop in Atlanta.

The team arrived in Victoria on Monday and will be staying at Shawnigan Lake School (SLS) until leave for Atlanta.

They will split their practices between Shawnigan Lake, the Canadian Rugby Center of Excellence (COE), and the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE). Here they will have the opportunity to scrimmage and train along side the Canadian Women Sevens squad.

“Its really great to be able to get more competition in practice and have a chance to test out plays you have been working on against another team,” said Canada National Sevens Team member Kayla Moleschi.

After Atlanta, both teams will go straight to the next round of the IRB Women’s Seven Series in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For Japan this will conclude a month long journey away from home.

The Japanese squad is excited about the opportunity to train along side the Canadian women. With Canada sitting in fourth position after the Dubai opener – and having excelled in last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow – the Japanese team feels privileged to be able to train the great facilities at Shawnigan Lake against a talented opponent.

“Being here gives us the opportunity to play a highly ranked team, and we hope that it gives us the confidence we will need going forward in the Sevens Series,” said the National Team General Manager Ken Iwabuchi.

They scrimmaged together on Monday on Shawnigan Lake’s top field, where both teams were able to work through some kinks and test themselves in preparation for the next two WSWS events.

“Atlanta is going to be a big tournament for us and we are looking to push forward in São Paulo after that,” said the Williams Lake Native, Moleschi.

“We’re looking to build off our fourth place finish and Dubai and push for the top of the Women’s Sevens Series standings this season.”

The teams will train together at PISE on Wednesday and are set to face off again at Shawnigan Lake School on Saturday at 10am, 11am and 2pm.

A big thanks goes out to Shawnigan Lake School for housing Japan and all they do for Rugby Canada’s National Programs.