Top Women Sevens Rugby Players to Headline Vancouver Rugby Festival

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Rugby Canada’s Karen Paquin at the 2015 Canada Women’s Sevens Langford. Photo credit: Lorne Collicutt, courtesy of Rugby Canada.

Vancouver, BC – Thursday, November 12, 2015: Headlining the Elite Women’s Sevens Division of the Vancouver Rugby Festival will be Rugby Canada’s Women’s Sevens Squad as they prepare for final selection for Team Canada and the Rio2016 Olympic Games.BC Rugby’s Vancouver Rugby Festival will take place March 10 to 11, 2016, at several venues across Vancouver with top flight divisions being showcased at Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval and will provide top international and club competition to compliment HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament.“Hosting the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series is a great honour for Vancouver and an incredible opportunity for rugby fans across Canada, and it’s raising rugby’s profile even higher in our community,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We look forward to hosting the first-ever Vancouver Rugby Festival and welcoming the Women’s Sevens Squad to headline it, as we continue to build on Vancouver’s success as a world-class host city for local and international sporting events alike.”Rugby Canada will likely be joined by teams from South Africa, Australia, Europe, South America and the USA. “We’re excited by the opportunity to play at home against top competition hosted around the exciting new HSBC World Sevens Series stop in Vancouver,” said Meaghan Howat, National Women’s Program Manager for Rugby Canada.

“Quality invitational tournaments provide our athletes with minutes against other top countries and are invaluable to the development of a world-class team.”The multi-tiered tournament includes Sevens Rugby divisions for Open, U18 and U16 male and female teams, as well as XVs Rugby (fifteens) for masters teams and will be spread across Brockton Oval, the recently completed Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre at the University of British Columbia, and local Vancouver parks.BC Rugby has partnered with the City of Vancouver to ensure that grassroots opportunities were made available alongside the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament at BC Place. The City has said that it welcomes the variety and depth of the festival and the use of city facilities in partnership with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.“The Vancouver Park Board is excited to host the inaugural Vancouver Rugby Festival that will feature many of our great rugby facilities including Connaught Park, Jericho Park and the iconic Brockton Oval,” said John Coupar, Chair of Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

 “2016 marks the 125th anniversary of Brockton Oval, and we look forward to celebrating its rugby heritage with BC Rugby.”Vancouver Rugby Festival has also received support from BC businesses such as the Donnelly Group, Sandman Hotels and Langara Fishing Adventures, as well as support from the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament who has extended an exclusive discount to teams entered in the Vancouver Rugby Festival.“The BC Rugby community are thrilled to welcome the HSBC Canada Sevens to Vancouver but as much as we love to watch top rugby, we equally love playing and the Vancouver Rugby Festival aims to provide BC players, and teams from further afield, with that opportunity,” said Steve Cook, President of BC Rugby. “With the support from the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament, the BC Rugby community and BC businesses, we’re confident on providing a fun and exciting tournament for players and spectators.”

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