Julianne Zussman Rugby Canada
July 31,2014(ISN) – MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE – Canada Women’s Head Coach Francois Ratier has announced his
starting roster to take on Spain to open the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in
France on Friday, August 1st.
Friday’s contest marks the first of five games to be played in 17 days, with Canada
set to face Samoa on August 5 and England on August 9 during the pool play. The top
team from each of the three pools will advance to the semi-finals – along with the
team with the next highest match points – on the 13th and the finals on the 17th.
Spain will be a relatively unknown opponent for Ratier’s side, having last faced off
at the World Cup in St. Albert, Albert in 2006 and in Glamorgan, Wales in 1991;
Canada was victorious 19-4 and 79-0 respectively.
“We’re expecting Spain to play a lot of rugby tomorrow with a lot of ball in play,
fast pace and a lot of running, similar to the style we play and they play with no
fear,” added Ratier.
“This is the World Cup. And it’s important for us to set the tone tomorrow with a
big effort against Spain. We need to focus on our game and don’t change our style or
philosophy because it’s been working – just push up the intensity.”
Ratier’s side has benefitted from strong opposition in the last 12 months, having
played each of the top women’s rugby nations since last year’s Nations Cup campaign,
including New Zealand, Australia, England, France, South Africa and USA.
Thus far in 2014, Canada defeated USA on a 48-point aggregate during their two-game
CANAM Series on Vancouver Island in April, before defeating Australia and losing
twice to the defending World Champion Black Ferns in June in New Zealand.
Canada arrived in France last Monday and spent last week on the coast of France in
Concarneau, before arriving in Marcoussis earlier in the week.
“The training since we arrived in France has been going really well and I think
we’re going in the right direction and the team is exactly how we were when we
returned home from New Zealand in June: connected, strong and excited,” said
Canada finished the last World Cup in a disappointing sixth place four years ago in
England, and ended the 2006, 2002 and 1998 campaigns in fourth place.
Kick off is schedule for 3pm local time (9am ET/6am PT) and LIVE coverage begins on
TSN 15 minutes before the match gets underway.