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June 26,2014(ISN) – TORONTO – Rugby Canada is proud to announce the 12 athletes who have been nominated to represent Canada at this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

1. Moanda Anglo – Wilcox, SK
2. Catherine Boudreault – Montreal, QC
3. Pamphinette Buisa -Gatineau, QC
4. Hannah Darling Warsaw, ON
5. Chanelle Edwards-Challenger Calgary, AB
6. Ashley Gordon – Brampton, ON
7. Lauren Kerr – Abbotsford, BC
8. Jenna Morrison Okotoks, AB
9. Kaitlyn Richard Milton, ON
10. Cassidy Schmidt Wilcox,SK
11. Maddy Seatle Oakville, ON
12. Charity Williams Toronto, ON

Following the recent success of Canada’s Women’s Sevens, coach John Tait will be looking for good results from his young squad. He had this to say:

“Anytime one of our Sevens’ programs compete, seniors or Maple Leafs, we believe we can win. Now, with our youngest National squad to date, U18s, getting a chance to compete internationally, our goal will be no different. We will strive to finish top of our pool and give ourselves the best position to win all of the knockout rounds.”

Tait added: “The girls who’ve been selected are all super keen to represent Canada and continue the legacy the seniors have built over the past few years. In fact, some girls are already matching senior players in terms of physical metrics and tournaments of this magnitude help fast track their growth and development towards being Olympic Sevens athletes.”

International rugby is familiar territory for Hannah Darling, Charity Williams and Chanelle Challenger who have been a part of Canada’s development team, the Maple Leafs, over the past year. Coaching staff will look to them as group leaders both on and off the field.

The Canada coaching staff will use the Youth Olympic Games as a tool for assessing and developing young athletes who have been identified over recent years. Players who play on this year’s squad have the potential to be members of Canada’s Olympic Team in 2020, and some may even be considered for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Canada qualified for the Youth Olympic Games tournament by finishing 2nd at the 2013 Women’s Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia. This outstanding finish made Canada the highest qualifying team from the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA).