VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby season is just around the corner and head coach Brittany Waters is taking an untraditional approach to her preparations. As one of the youngest varsity head coaches on the Vikes staff list, Waters has not yet said good bye to her playing days. Waters will lace up for Canada at the women’s rugby World Cup being played in Ireland, Aug. 9-26, alongside former Vikes rugby player Chelsea Minter and Canadian players Barbara Mervin, Laura Russell and Julianne Zussman – all of whom have been a member of the Vikes coaching staff alongside Waters.
On Jul. 26 the 28-member roster was given a memorable send off at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto. Over 400 people were there, including host and TSN personality Kate Beirness, to give the team the most deserving celebration and good luck. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even sent his wishes in via video. (click here to watch)
In the lead up to the World Cup, Waters, who started playing when she was 19, reflected back on her first try for Rugby Canada.
“I was playing for UVic at the time and there was a touring side from Japan and they dropped the ball near our try line and I kicked it, kicked it up and scored the whole length,” said Waters. “I remember writing in my diary saying I played the national Japanese team, which isn’t true, and I scored my first try today and it’s still there in my diary!”
Waters has been a member of the national 15s program since 2008 and was a member of the centralized 7s program. She has participated in two 7s World Cups (2009, 2013) earning a silver medal in 2013 in Moscow. Water has also previously been in two 15s World Cups winning silver in Paris in 2014.
Minter, who returned to the Vikes last season (2016-17) after a brief hiatus from the program was a Canada West All-Star as she helped the Vikes finish second in the conference and seventh at the Victoria-hosted national championship. This will be Minter’s first World Cup appearance for Canada.
Ranked third in the world, Canada’s national senior women’s rugby team includes several veteran players who were part of the Canadian squad that captured silver at the tournament in 2014, including team captain Kelly Russell, and 2014 IRB Women’s Player of the Year Magali Harvey. Also donning the red and white for their Women’s Rugby World Cup debuts are Chelsea Guthrie, Lori Josephson, Brianna Miller, Brittany Kassil, Carolyn McEwen, DaLeaka Menin, Chelsey Minter, Frederique Rajotte, Kristy Sargent, and Alex Tessier.
Wednesday, Aug. 9
- 12 noon ET – Canada vs. Hong Kong on TSN
Sunday, Aug. 13
- 11:55 a.m. ET – Canada vs. Wales on TSN5
Thursday, Aug. 17
- 6:55 a.m. ET – Canada vs. New Zealand on TSN
Tuesday, Aug. 22
- 11:55 a.m. ET – Semifinal #1 on TSN2
- 2:30 p.m. ET – Semifinal #2 on TSN2
Saturday, Aug. 26
- 2:30 p.m. ET – Final on TSN2
*Schedule subject to change