Centralized Roster Announced by Head Coach John Tait: 25 Athletes Selected
LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Women’s Sevens Program Head Coach John Tait has released his centralized roster of 25 athletes for the 2017-2018 HSBC Women's World Rugby Sevens Series getting underway November 30 – December 1, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The roster includes nine members of Team Canada / Équipe Canada's #RIO2016 Bronze Medal winning team, including Brittany Benn, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Natasha Watcham-Roy and Charity Williams.
“With the start of the new Olympic cycle already underway, it’s hugely important to us to get what we currently believe is the core of the team that will be in Tokyo 2020 working & growing together as a group,” Tait said. “The program has evolved greatly over the last five years and it is gratifying to see the athletes we identified for the Youth Olympics, Youth Commonwealth Games and FISU 7s teams coming through and providing us with some quality depth within this new centralized group.”
16 players have previous experience on the World Series in Benn, Pamphinette Buisa, Caroline Crossley, Darling, Farella, Julia Greenshields, Sara Kaljuvee, Kish, Landry, Kaili Lukan, Megan Lukan, Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Watcham-Roy and Williams.
The rest of the squad features a number of Canada’s next generation in Olivia Apps, Emma Chown, Maggie Banks, Olivia de Couvreur, Carmen Izyk Nakisa Levale, Tausani Levale, Arielle Normandin-Leclerc, Sabrina Poulin, & Keyara Wardley.
“We are a much more skilled and physically talented group than where we finished the last quad and it is absolutely necessary to keep the top development players training and accessing the support of our centralized program,” Tait said.
“The returning players will enhance the skill sets and expedite the game understanding of our development players by training alongside them. My expectation is that those development athletes will in turn push those senior players for selection in the years ahead.”
In the World Series’ five-year history, Canada has achieved four 3rd place finishes in addition to a 2nd place finish during the 2014-15 season. Canada has also won three cup titles (Amsterdam, 2015, Clermont, 2016, Sydney, 2017) and is the defending Pan-Am Games gold medallist (Toronto, 2015).
“This season we will be targeting the World Series title, it means we will need to be consistently challenging for the cup finals at all five stops to be in contention to win it come the last stop in Paris. Winning the overall series shows who the most consistent team is and a lot of confidence comes from that.
This will set us up well for our next goal of winning the World Cup in July as the top seeded team. The Commonwealth Games is a secondary goal as it is back-to-back with a series stop, so we will need to have our entire squad in good form to achieve the outcomes we are looking for.”
Canada will once again be lead by Captain Landry, whose 844 points is the all-time benchmark in the history of the series. Last year, the Toronto native led the season with 269 points, finished second overall in conversions with 168 and third overall with 101 tries scored.
“It's very exciting to be looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 and RWC 2018 as we get set to kick off the 2017-2018 series,” said Meaghan Howat, Rugby Canada’s Director of Rugby Sevens Operations. “We are excited to have a fantastic core group of talented athletes returning this season and we’re looking forward to welcoming our new athletes who are joining the program.”
“It’s also important to thank our funding partners Sport Canada, Own the Podium and B2ten for all of their continued support of our program. Additionally, the City of Langford continue to be critical supporters of our program and we’re extremely grateful for their support especially now as we relocate full time to the Centre of Excellence and Westhills stadium as our new home training base.”
For the fourth straight year, Canada will also return home for HSBC Canada Sevens as Langford’s Westhills Stadium will play host to the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series May 12-13. Ticket and event information can be found at www.canadasevens.com
Canada’s Women’s Sevens Centralized Roster:
‡Olivia Apps – Aurora Barbarians (Lindsay, ON)
‡Maggie Banks – Shawnigan Lake School (Coquitlam, BC)
Britt Benn – Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, ON)
Pamphinette Buisa – Ottawa Irish (Gatineau, QC)
Emma Chown – Aurora Barbarians (Barrie, ON)
Caroline Crossley – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Hannah Darling - Peterborough Pagans (Warsaw, ON)
‡Olivia de Couvreur – Ottawa Irish (Ottawa, ON)
Bianca Farella – Town of Mount Royal RFC (Montreal, QC)
‡Maddy Grant – Cornwall Claymores (Cornwall, ON)
Julia Greenshields - Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)
‡Carmen Izyk – Foothills Lions (Blackie, AB)
Sara Kaljuvee – Toronto Scottish RFC (Ajax, ON)
Jen Kish – Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, AB)
Ghislaine Landry (C) – Toronto Scottish RFC (Toronto, ON)
Nakisa Levale – Abbotsford Griffins (Abbotsford, BC)
Tausani Levale – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Kaili Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)
Megan Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)
Kayla Moleschi – Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)
Breanne Nicholas – London St. George RFC (Blenheim, ON)
Arielle Normandin-Leclerc – TMRRFC (Montreal, QC)
Keyara Wardley – Okotoks Lions (Vulcan, AB)
Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)
Charity Williams – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
‡Denotes players still in High School programs
HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Dates & Upcoming Tournaments:
Dubai, U.A.E – November 30 - December 1, 2017
Sydney, Australia – January 26-27, 2018
Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast, Australia – April 13-15, 2018
Kitakyushu, Japan – April 21-22, 2018
Langford, Canada – May 12-13, 2018
Paris, France – June 8-9, 2018
Rugby World Cup 7s – San Francisco, USA – July 2018