LANGFORD, BC – Nearly 40 of Canada’s top women’s fifteens athletes have landed at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island this week for a training camp ahead of next week’s Can-Am Series against USA in San Diego.
The Can-Am Series kicks off what is going to be a busy year for Canada’s senior women in the lead-in to the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland this August. Following their two test match series in California, Canada will travel to New Zealand for a three-game tour to face New Zealand, England and Australia.
Head coach Francois Ratier, along with his coaching staff of Gary Dukelow, Colette McAuley, Shaun Allen & analyst James Kent, are running two-a-day training sessions this week ahead of selecting a travelling roster to depart for San Diego on Saturday morning.
“They all have the skills and fitness to compete at this level, but now we need to reach another level in all aspect of the game to be the best in five months,” Ratier said before the camp began. “We want to play faster, read and execute better, increase the level of our physicality so we are able to play total and adaptive rugby.”
Canada is currently ranked third in the World Rugby rankings and will face Hong Kong, Wales and New Zealand in the pool stages of the tournament August 9th, 13th and 17th.
Canada and the USA last faced off in the 2016 Women’s Rugby Super Series where they secured a convincing 33-5 win en route to a perfect 3-0 tournament to claim the title. Canada is 16-18 all-time against the USA.
“Playing is always the best assessment and nothing replaces international rugby for a team in preparation for the World Cup,” Ratier said.
The first test match on March 28th will be streamed live on USA Rugby’s Facebook page, while the second will be available on The Rugby Channel.
Canada’s Can-Am Series Long-List Roster (Name, club, hometown):
Elissa Alarie, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC)
Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON)
Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON)
Latoya Blackwood, Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC)
Gillian Boag, Capilano RFC (Calgary, AB)
Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers (Mapledale, NB)
Julia Folk, Regina Rogues/Castaway Wanderers (Regina, SK)
Julia Goss, Leprechaun Tiger Rugby (Edmonton, AB)
Jacey Grusnick, Aurora Barbarians (Alliston, ON)
Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids (Edmonton, AB)
Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
Anais Holly, TMRRFC (Montreal, QC)
Lori Josephson, Aurora Barbarians (Beaverton, ON)
Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats (Guelph, ON)
Daria Keane, Guelph Redcoats (Sarnia, ON)
Jane Kirby, Highland Fergus Rugby Club (Brampton, ON)
Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby (Vancouver, BC)
Katie McNally, Castaway Wanderers (Guelph, ON)
DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets (Vulcan, AB)
Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON)
Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/ Westshore RFC (Pointe-Claire, QC)
Chelsey Minter, Westshore RFC (Victoria, BC)
Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs (Belleville, ON)
Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec/ Castaway Wanderers (Quebec City, QC)
Camile Provencal-Aube, Abénakiset CRQ/Castaway Wanderers (Sherbrooke, QC)
Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Montreal, QC)
Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads/ Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
Kelly Russell, Toronto Nomads/ Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON)
Kristy Sargent, Leprechaun Tigers (Edmonton, AB)
Natasha Smith, Barrhaven Scottish/ Cowichan RFC (Ottawa, ON)
Demi Stamatakis, SFU (Vancouver, BC)
Sara Svoboda, Belleville Bullldogs (Belleville, ON)
Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC)
Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC (Brandon, MB)
Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers (Vancouver, BC)
Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers (Montreal, QC)
Can-Am Series Schedule:
Canada vs. USA — March 28
Chula Vista, San Diego
Kick Off: 7pm ET/4pm PT
Watch LIVE: www.facebook.com/USARugby
Canada vs. USA — April 1
Chula Vista, San Diego
Kick Off: 6pm ET/3pm PT