VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby 7s team will start their journey towards defending their 2018 Canada West title at the first of three tournaments hosted this weekend in Edmonton, Alta.

Last year the Vikes ran the table going 18-0 and winning all three tournaments hosted at Alberta, Fraser Valley and Victoria. During their 18-game run, the Vikes outscored their opponents by a combined total of 627-124.

Renee Gonzalez
The Vikes will once again rely on the play of leaders Paige Farries, Chanelle Edwards-Challenger and Maddy Aberg in the upcoming 7s season. Farries and Edwards-Challenger both represented Canada on the senior 15s side last fall during Rugby Canada’s fall tour to the United Kingdom. Fourth-year Vike Aberg also has experience playing with the senior Prairie WolfPack as part of the Canadian Rugby Championships.

The Vikes will also have first year dynamos Jordyn Myers, Linnea Dalvi, McKenzie Pusch and Nicola Smith in the mix. All four were part of the Vikes 15s squad that finished fifth at the U SPORTS National Championships last November in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and are set to make a big impact in the 7s season.

Paige Farries

The Alberta Pandas, UBC Thunderbirds, Calgary Dinos, Fraser Valley Cascades and Victoria will welcome a new, full time opponent this year. After competing at two tournaments in 2018, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack will enter the fold to bring the total team count to seven.

The Regina Cougars and UBC Okanagan Heat will also join the fold but only part time. The Cougars will make their debut in Edmonton on Jan. 19-20, while the Heat will compete in Abbotsford on Feb.2-3 and in Vancouver on Mar. 2-3.

Canada West teams will go on to compete at the Rugby Canada University 7s National Championship in late March in Kingston, Ont.

Tournament 1: January 19-20
VENUE: Foote Field Dome
LOCATION: Edmonton, Alta.
HOST: University of Alberta Pandas
COMPETING TEAMS (8): Alberta Pandas, UBC Thunderbirds, Calgary Dinos, Fraser Valley Cascades, Lethbridge Pronghorns, Regina Cougars, Thompson Rivers WolfPack, Victoria Vikes

Ashah Payson
Brooke Bazion
Callie Harder
Chanelle Edwards-Challenger
Emily Belchos
Gurpreet Dhaliwal
Jordyn Myers
Linnea Dalvi
Maddy Aberg
McKenzie Pusch
Nicola Smith
Paige Farries
Renee Gonzalez