Canada’s Women’s U20 head coach Jen Boyd has named 26 players to a squad that will face England U20 in a three-game series later this month.
Canada will face off against their English counterparts at Trent College in Nottingham on August 18, 22 and 26.
“This team is very athletic, fast, mobile and physically imposing,” Boyd said. “We have selected a versatile squad. We have athletes capable of playing several positions which will prove invaluable deep into tour.”
A vast majority of the players selected recently featured at the Canadian Rugby Championship U20 tournament at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, Ont., last month that was won by the Ontario Blues after posting a perfect 4-0 record.
The Blues’ Taejah Thompson, who led the tournament in scoring with 28 points is selected while teammate Tobi Owotomo, who scored a tournament high five tries, is also included.
The squad also includes Justine Pelletier and Gabrielle Senft, both of whom suited up for Canada’s Maple Leafs last month on their tour to Utah.
“The level is much higher than last year and this is a testament to the growing U18 Women’s program as well as the CIS,” Boyd said. “Coaches have recognized the need for a 12-month high performance environment for our elite athletes. It is paying off. Some very good rugby players were left off of the travelling squads. The coaching staff had to make difficult decisions.”
Trent College is the location of Canada’s incredible 2013 success where they claimed the U20 Nations Cup. Canada beat the USA 27-3 in the final after going 3-0 in the pool stages with wins over the USA, South Africa and England. They conceded just 33 points all tournament under head coach Sandro Fiorino.
Canada’s U20 team hasn’t played since last year’s Can-Am clash against the USA where they lost their two-game series by an aggregate score of 70-27 in Seattle.
“There is no greater test for an athlete’s skills, conditioning and mental fortitude than playing an international competition against the best rugby players in the world,” Boyd said. “These tours are pivotal for the next group of athletes interested in playing at the senior level.”
The games will not be streamed live but Rugby Canada’s twitter page will be providing updates. Highlights will be available shortly after each game.
Canada’s Women’s U20 Squad to face England U20 (Name, club, hometown):
Jennifer Appleby (Castaway Wanderers), Regina, SK
Emily Babcock (Ottawa Irish), Scarborough, ON
Shawna Brayton (Sainte-Ann de Bellevue), Chateauguay, QC
Mackenzie Carson (Abbotsford RFC), Abbotsford, BC
Savannah Dubien (Rockers Athletic Club), Edmonton, AB
Taylor Durham (Guelph Red Coats), Burford, ON
Alex Ellis (Barrhaven Scottish), Ottawa, ON
Zana Everett, Brockville, ON
Erin Geddes (Lindsay Gryphons), Lindsay, ON
Sasha Guedes (Ottawa Irish), Gatineau, QC
Veronica Harrigan, London,ON
McKinley Hunt (Aurora Barbarians), King City, ON
Kasselle Menin (Calgary Hornets), Vulcan, AB
Jordyn Orlando (Burlington Centaurs) Burlington, ON
Tobi Owotomo (Toronto Saracens), Mississauga, ON
Megan Pakulis (Toronto Saracens), Toronto, ON
Justine Pelletier (Club de Rugby de Quebec), Quebec City, QC
McKenzie Pusch (St. Albert RFC), Edmonton, AB
Julia Schell (Oshawa Vikings), Uxbridge, ON
Gabrielle Senft (Castaway Wanderers), Regina, SK
Kylie Shaughnessy (Guelph Red Coats), Peterborough, ON
Dana Silerova (Sainte-Ann de Bellevue), Montreal, QC
Karina Stevenson (Calgary Hornets), Rocky Mountain House, AB
Taejah Thompson, (CCIAC), Calgary, AB
Meggie Turgeon (Club de Rugby de Quebec) Sherbrooke, QC
Emily Tuttosi, Souris, MB
Jen Boyd – Head Coach
Kim Donaldson – Forwards Coach
Ricky Coombe – Backs Coach
Nicole Crowley – Manager
Amy Stefaniuk – Therapist
Josh Clayton – Analyst
August 18 – Canada U20 vs. England U20
August 22 – Canada U20 vs. England U20
August 26 – Canada U20 vs. England U20