Canada’s Women’s Team has made history


Aug 16,2014(ISN) – MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE – Canada’s Women’s Head Coach Francois Ratier has announced his starting roster for Sunday’s historic Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) Final against England in Paris, France.

Canada’s Women’s Team has made history during their campaign in France, being the only Canadian Team – Men or Women’s – ever to advance to the Finals of a Rugby World Cup in Fifteens.

Canada opened their World Cup campaign with victories over Spain and Samoa, before drawing with England to end the pool stages to narrowly advance to the Semi-Finals against France. In front of a sold-out crowd of 20,000 fans at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on Wedneday, Elissa Alarie and Magali Harvey scored exciting tries to defeat the hosts and advance to Sunday’s finale.

Canada’s starting XV includes two changes from Wednesday’s 18-16 victory over France, as Elissa Alarie moves to scrumhalf for the injured Stephanie Bernier and Jessica Dovanne replaces Brittany Waters on the left wing. Bernier, who has been a stalwart on Canada’s Team since Nations Cup last August, left the Semi-Finals with a knee injury and will be supporting her team from the sidelines.

Each of the 12 teams competing for the WRWC Trophy in Paris have had to play five games in 17 days between August 1-17 and with only three days in between games, attrition because an important part of preparation.

Canada and England have played four times in the last 12 months, with Canada winning on two occasions during last year’s Nations Cup tournament in Denver, Colorado. England followed that up with a decisive victory last November in the final game of Canada’s November Tour.

Most recently, these two teams met in the final game of the WRWC pool stages on August 9, which ended in a 13-13 draw in Marcoussis, France.

England advanced to the Finals with a convincing 40-7 victory on Wednesday over Ireland, who was fresh off their exciting victory over the New Zealand Black Ferns in the pool stages.

“We know that England is a very strong team and they showed that in the Semi-Finals against Ireland on Wednesday,” said Canada Head Coach, Francois Ratier.

“Sunday is an incredible opportunity for us to show how far Canadian Women’s Rugby has come and that we belong in the Finals of the World Cup. Our athletes have spent years preparing for this moment and we’re all looking forward to the challenge,” added Ratier.

Also in contention to make headlines tomorrow are Harvey and Captain Kelly Russell, who are both in the running for the IRB’s Player of the Year for Women’s Rugby. The official announcement will be made after the game.

Coverage of the WRWC Final can be seen on TSN 2 with the pre-game show starting at 12pm ET/9am PT and kick off 45 minutes later. Below you will find a list of places coast-to-coast in Canada that will be showing the game.


Canada’s Women’s Roster to face England on August 17:

1. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
2. Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
3. Hilary Leith, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
4. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
5. Maria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
6. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
7. Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
8. Kelly Russell, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
9. Elissa Alarie, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
11. Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
14. Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
15. Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
16. Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
19. Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, ON
20. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
21. Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
22. Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC

Non-Dressing Players:

Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec – Injured
Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Cindy Nelles, (Oakville Crusaders/McMaster University) Belleville, ON
Amanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB

Canada’s Women’s Team Staff:

Head Coach: Francois Ratier
Forwards Coach: Gary Dukelow
Backs Coach: Colette McAuley
Strength and Conditioning: Steve Mackinnon
Physiotherapist: Adrienne Stinson
Manager: Meaghan Howat
Analyst: James Kent
Media Manager: Bryan Kelly


Canada vs. Spain – Aug. 1 at 8:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. Samoa – Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. England – Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET on TSN2
Ireland vs. England – Aug. 13 at 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. France – Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Finals – Aug. 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET on TSN2

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