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May30,2014(ISN) – LANGFORD, BC – On Friday evening Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Team will depart for New Zealand for a three-game tour in preparation for the IRB Women’s Rugby Cup (WRWC) in August in Paris.

Coach Francois Ratier’s team will play their first-ever test match against Australia before back-to-back games against the defending WRWC champion Black Ferns from New Zealand.

“I think it’s important for us to benchmark ourselves against the best teams in the world and we’re expecting to have three physical, hard games against Australia and New Zealand on tour,” said Canada captain, Kelly Russell.

In the 12 months leading into the Women’s World Cup in August, Canada will have played against each of the top rugby unions in the world.

Last August, Russell and her teammates lifted the Nations Cup Trophy for the first time in Denver, Colorado after defeating England on two occasions and South Africa. Their Nations Cup campaign was the first international games for Canada since 2011.

In the fall, Canada split a two-game series against France overseas before falling to England at the Twickenham Stoop to end their November Tour.

Canada then opened 2014 in a two-game ‘CAN-AM’ series against USA at Shawnigan Lake School and Westhills Stadium on Vancouver Island. After a dominant 51-7 victory in game one, Canada came from behind to defeat their North American rivals 14-10 at the home of Canadian Rugby.

“The CAN-AM Series was a great way to start 2014 for us and I think we have some confidence leading into this tour to New Zealand,” said the Bolton, Ontario native.

“However, having never played Australia and lost all 11 games against New Zealand on record, we know that all three games are going to be a battle.”

The NZRU has not confirmed if the games will be streamed LIVE or not.

Make sure to follow Rugby Canada on Social Media for up-to-the-minute information.

Canada’s Roster for New Zealand Tour– Name, (Club) Hometown

Elissa Alarie, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec
Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
Sammy Crandell, (Hornets RFC) Calgary, AB
Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC
Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Mary Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
Hilary Leith, (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
Cindy Nelles (Oakville Crusaders/McMaster University) Belleville, ON
Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Maria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
Amanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB
Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC
Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC

Non-Travelling Reserves
Asya Bartley, (Barrhaven Scottish RFC) Ottawa, ON
Arielle Dubissette-Borrice, (Toronto Scottish RFC) Toronto, ON
Ashley Macdonald, (Halifax Tars) Corran Ban, PEI
Katie McNally, (Guelph RFC) Guelph, ON
Natasha Watcham-Roy, (University of Ottawa) Gatineau, QC

RUGBY CANADA WOMEN’S FIFTEENS 2014 FIXTURES

CANADA 51 – 7 USA
April 15, 2014
Shawnigan Lake School, Mill Bay, BC

CANADA 14 – 10 USA
April 19, 2014
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC

CANADA VS. AUSTRALIA
June 6, 2014
New Zealand, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Kickoff 2:30pm local time
Thursday June 5 at 7:30pm PT
Thursaday June 5 at 10:30pm ET

CANADA VS. NEW ZEALAND BLACK FERNS
June 10, 2014
New Zealand, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Kickoff 2:30pm local time
Monday June 9 at 7:30pm PT
Monday June 9 at 10:30pm ET

CANADA VS. NEW ZEALAND BLACK FERNS
June 14, 2014
New Zealand, Whakatane, Rugby Park
Kickoff 2:30pm local time
Friday June 13 at 7:30pm PT
Friday June 13 at 10:30pm ET

WOMEN’S RWC POOL GAME #1
August 1, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

WOMEN’S RWC POOL GAME #2
August 5, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

WOMEN’S RWC POOL GAME #3
August 9, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

WOMEN’S RWC SEMI-FINALS
(If Qualify)
August 13, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

WOMEN’S RWC FINALS
(If Qualify)
August 17, 2014
Paris, France
Kickoff TBD

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