With 76 points in the series standings, Canada is tied for second-most with Australia. Both teams sit 20 points behind three-time series champions New Zealand, who already clinched the season title last weekend at the London Sevens.
With the top-four teams qualifying automatically for Rio, it would take a historically bad performance this weekend for Canada not to secure qualification, and even then the team could be helped out by other results. France and England are tied for fourth with 62 points, while England is sixth with 60 and Russia is seventh with 52.
Those are the only seven teams that can mathematically qualify this weekend.
“We are just trying to focus on improving again from last weekend, if we do that then qualifying will look after itself,” said head coach John Tait. “The team is fully recovered and ready to take on another challenge, it will be an intense competition with the table behind us so tight and teams fighting for the last qualifying positions.”
Last weekend in London, Tait’s side finished runners-up after holding a comfortable second-half lead in the Cup Final against Australia before the Wallaroos staged a late comeback. While much of the focus is on Olympic qualification this weekend, Tait is also hoping to end the year on a high note.
“It would be fantastic to finish the season with winning an event or being in another final but all we can control is the process and our own execution of our game plan,” said Tait. “I would love to see this team and our staff rewarded with a Cup Final because they have put in a tremendous amount of energy and work to get to where we are. Our number one goal this season has been to take a top-four qualifying spot and we are on the cusp of it. Getting some wins on day one is all we are driving towards right now.”
On day one Canada will face Spain, hosts Netherlands and France as all four teams are grouped together in Pool C. While they haven’t had many recent encounters on the series, Tait says his team is pretty familiar with all three opponents.
“France and Spain are solid teams with good rugby skills but we feel if we play at our pace and with width we can open up the space we need to score on them both and keep their possession time limited,” said Tait.
Netherlands will be playing in their first series event of the season after failing to secure core team status last year.
“We will need to respect them by making sure we execute right from the start and keep them under a lot of pressure the whole way,” said Tait. “I believe we have a lot more team speed then all three of them but to make use of that we will need to be sharp on our sets, accurate in our passing and supports lines.”
Hannah Darling will replace Elissa Alarie on the 12-player roster after Alarie suffered an injury in London.
To view the series standings, click here: http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series/standings
All matches from the Amsterdam Sevens will be streamed LIVE at http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series
Amsterdam Sevens Schedule
Day One – May 22, 2015
Canada vs Spain at 7:48 am ET / 4:48 am PT
Canada vs Netherlands at 10:32 am ET / 7:32 am PT
Canada vs France 1:16 pm ET / 10:16 am PT
Day Two – May 23, 2015
Canada’s Roster for Amsterdam Sevens – Name, (Club) Hometown
Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mount Royal) Montreal, QC
Magali Harvey – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Sara Kaljuvee – (Toronto Scottish) Ajax, ON
Jennifer Kish – (Edmonton Rockers RFC) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Mandy Marchak – (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Ashley Steacy – (Lethbridge Rugby Club) Lethbridge, AB
Natasha Watcham-Roy – (Hull Volant) Gatineau, QC
Canada’s Coaching Staff
Head Coach: John Tait
Assistant Coach: Sandro Fiorino
Therapist: Sandeep Nandhra
Strength and Conditioning: Dana Agar-Newman
Manager: Meg Howat
Analyst: Callum Morris